LIBBY LIVING COLORFULLY

The Gina Julian Piece That Completed My Bedroom

Shopping, InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment

Instagram is incredible. We all know this. The positive connections I’ve established thanks to this social media platform completely outweigh the occasional jealousy that it can simultaneously create.  But long before insta, blogs were my primary source of finding artists and designers I loved.   One of the very first, was Roxy Te Owens, from Society Social or, as some of you may know her from the HGTV show, “Carolina Reno.”

 Photo:  David A. Land  

Photo: David A. Land 

Roxy’s blog and more importantly, online shop, was one of my most visited sites. It’s not difficult to see why either.  Roxy’s style is fun, colorful, and still classic.  So naturally, when I got Instagram in spring 2013 (I was actually very late in the game) Roxy was one of the first people I followed.

Fast forward to earlier this year, when Roxy posted this photo with a giveaway promoting the one and only, Gina Julian’s incredible paintings. Spoiler Alert: I didn’t win the giveaway, but I did gain a new favorite artist and hoped that someday, I too would have a Gina Julian piece.

A post shared by ROXY TE (@societysocial) on

That dream came true when Shannon and I decided we were going to completely redo my bedroom.  We had a theme, well kind of, enter “retro-Palm-Springs-groovy-den-meets-Grandma-chic-sexy-coffin-esq.”  Yes we are crazy and no, we don’t regret a damn thing about this design.

When I say Gina is incredible, I mean it. We were looking to tie in a piece that would capture this #vibe and also integrate the colors of the room.  So we sent a mood board off to Gina, and VOILA, she created this masterpiece.

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Titled, “Get Your Groove On”, my mouth was wide open the entire time I was unboxing it and for about 48 minutes after and then another 5 hours after that.

Shannon and I knew that the piece needed to be the first thing people noticed when they walked through the door, so placing it right in the entry of my room was a no-brainer.

 Photo:  Laura Metlzer

Currently, Gina just launched her new Op Art on her site.  She has an amazing variety of colors and sizes that are perfect for any room. Get yourrrrrs! Also, make sure to follow Gina on Instagram for more beautiful art in your life, and feed. 

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE - WEEK TWO - With Shannon Claire Interiors

Shopping, InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment
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We’re well-past WEEK TWO of the One Room Challenge but I wanted to highlight some of the fun things that happened the second week of ORC.  As always, be sure to read my designer, Shannon’s posts on the challenge.  Here is her post from WEEK TWO.

At week two, Shannon created the most incredible mood board for the room. Exhibit A:

Shannon also created design boards for the bedroom, bathroom, and hallway.  AND THEY’RE AMAZING.

BEDROOM

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I told Shannon that I really wanted a seating area in front of the windows in my room. Then I regretted it because I was worried about said chairs becoming a dumping ground for clothes and clutter. And then she sent me the link to these STUNNING velvet persimmon chairs and I immediately took back my reservations. I couldn't fathom putting anything on these beauties other than chic pillows.  

I also went CRAZY for this retro-inspired Deny Designs credenza from Overstock which would look perfect with this Gray Malin Lemonade print from the Parker Palm Springs.  

BATHROOM

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Yes yes yes. The bathroom is going to look sooooo clean and fresh. Currently, the bathroom is a horrible cream color that is everything but fun.  Shannon found this incredible wallpaper from Bellacor and I am in love. 

Additionally, there will be a lot of fantastic artwork from Minted. I love this Hold My Hand piece that Shannon selected. It's romantic and interesting and I would have never thought of it here but of course, SHANNON IS GOD AND KNOWS ALL. Duh. 

HALLWAY

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This cracks me up every time, but if you've been in my apartment, you know that I have some verrrrrrry inttttteresting-shaped stains on the floor of my apartment, particularly in the hallway. Shannon and I cannot stop laughing about floors and knew that a runner in the hall was essential.  Shannon found this stunning peacock runner from Bellacor which did the trick for hiding the silly stains.  

Well that’s all for now! Stay tuned for my next One Room Challenge recap of WEEK 3. And as always, make sure to follow Shannon on Instagram for more One Room Challenge updates!

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Why I’m doing W30 Again, With a Twist

FoodLibby RasmussenComment

Before you get defensive (I know you W30 people out there will, understandably) know that I have done Whole30 three times before and obeyed by (most) of the rules. Read my Whole30 roundup here!

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It’s been a long winter, and I’ve essentially been eating whatever I want. WHICH ISN’T A BAD THING. But, I know myself, and when I eat healthier, I exercise more; I drink more water, and I take better care of myself overall, and vice-versa.  

So I’m doing things a little differently this month, I’m going to do Whole30 until 6 pm each day.  Why? Well, I once read a book called, VB6” by Mark Bittman, about eating vegan before 6 PM.  It was a way for him to restore his health throughout the day, and enjoy that steak dinner or dessert from time to time in the evening. 

Why am I doing this with Whole30?  Because I LOVED the way I felt when I did W30. My skin was clear, on not just on my face, but my entire body.  I was hydrated and just felt lighter.  I know that’s an overused term when people are vegan or do W30, but it’s true.  Even after one day of doing Whole30 before 6, or we can just shorten it to, “W30B6”  (looks like a chemical compound to me) I feel so much better.

 My W30 staple, roasted cauliflower coconut turmeric soup (recipe)

My W30 staple, roasted cauliflower coconut turmeric soup (recipe)

This is because most of my unhealthy eating happens during the day.  I know, not really the typical move for most.  I’m a BIG breakfast gal and snack quite a bit and work.  But the snacks aren’t the veggies and fruits that I should be noshing on.  Hellllllooo Sun Chips. Yikes.

So I’m going to change that for the next month, with the hopes that it sticks through the summer and maybe into fall. Whole foods throughout the day and then, if I’m at a happy hour or having dinner with friends, I’ll allow myself to stray with the reminder not to go overboard.

We could all use the reminders, so here’s a list of goals and intentions for the month:

  • Water Water Water
  • Leafier greens - helllloooo Sweetgreen
  • Take the time to make breakfast at home
  • Cut ALL the sugar
  • Collagen Peptides daily
  • Healthier meat alternatives - like Jackfruit
  • Vitamin D daily
  • Alllll the pasture-raised eggs
  • Bike to or from work
  • Smile lots

What do you think about Whole30 or eating Vegan Before 6? 

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The Velvet Persimmon Chairs I Can't Stop Talking About

Interiors, ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment

These velvet persimmon chairs.  All I can really say is wow. 

Something I’ve always wanted in my room was a grown-ass sitting area.  A place where I could unwind in the evening, read, blog, or have a martini. (lol half kidding) I mean, we all want this right? But most of the time, if you have room for a chair in your bedroom, it becomes ‘the everything chair’ and you know what I’m talking about.  It’s where you pile up all of your clothes, dirty or clean, higher than your own self. Or maybe it’s where you throw all of your purses or mail. Go ahead and pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about. I know the truth.  

So when I told Shannon, my interior designer (and idol) for the One Room Challenge that I envisioned said chairs, I almost took it back immediately.  Was I ready to commit to keeping a chair clean or rather, TWO CHAIRS?! While I realize this is sounding a tad bit dramatic, I am actually totally serious. 

While the goal to keep them pristine 24/7 is up in the air, what isn’t, is my obsession with them.  When Shannon sent me the link for these velvet persimmon chairs from HomePop, I audibly gasped in the grocery store.  Not totttttalllly unusual for me considering how horrible my local Giant’s produce is. But, hello, these chairs are stunning. 

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So, I knew they were going to be pretty, but I didn’t realize they were going to be this damn good.  They arrived just last week and I immediately assembled them after my event with Fiverr. Took me a whopping 7 minutes to assemble and about another 47 to get my chill back after taking them out of the plastic.  

The velvet on them is SO soft and the color is incredible. Persimmon.

What a fun word right? Fun fact actually: this summer I learned why unripe persimmons make your tongue numb.  Persimmons are full of tannins (like wine) and the tannins in the skins make your tongue and cheeks feel like your chewing on chalk. Yum right? Actually yes, they are so good when ripe. Check out this yummy persimmon recipe below by Alison Roman. 
A few of us gals made it for our Fifth Annual Fall Fete on Fairview and it was a hittttt. 

 Photo: Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott, Courtesy of Clarkson Potter

Photo: Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott, Courtesy of Clarkson Potter

Persimmons and Pears With Blue Cheese and Spicy Pecans

1 cup pecans
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Bosc pears, cored and thinly sliced
2 persimmons, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
3 ounces firm blue cheese, such as Valdeón or Bayley Hazen Blue, thinly sliced or crumbled

Combine the pecans, maple syrup, and Aleppo pepper in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the maple syrup bubbles, reduces, and crystallizes around the pecans, 5 to 8 minutes. They will look all white and fuzzy with an even layer of crystallized sugar coating each nut—this is what you want. Add the olive oil and remove from the heat; season with salt and pepper, and let cool completely before coarsely chopping the pecans.

Scatter the pears and persimmons around a large serving platter or bowl and drizzle with the vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and finish with the pecans and blue cheese.

 When we made the recipe for our girl's weekend 

When we made the recipe for our girl's weekend 

Okay back to the chairs – I love them. Did I say that already? When I’m sitting in them I feel like I’m on a talk show and my five-year-old self is twirling at that daydream. Anyway, highest recommendation for these chairs.  I’m so excited to feature them in the room for the One Room Challenge.  And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, refer to this post of mine or this post from my designer, Shannon’s blog for details!
Yay! 
 

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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE - WEEK ONE - With Shannon Claire Interiors

InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment
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THIS  IS SO LATE BUT I HAVE SOMETHING SO EXCITING TO SHARE! I'm Shannon Claire Smith's design client and we get to participate in the One Room Challenge and it's easily the Top 10 Best Things to Ever Happy to Libby Rasmussen.

Alright – let’s get started on what the One Room Challenge is, shall we?  

The One Room Challenge is a six-week design challenge where 20 designers document the progress of completely redesigning a room.  Yes, you heard me, re-do an entire room in just SIX WEEKS.  

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How did I get involved with this? Well, it all started a few years ago when I became utterly obsessed with a designer and blogger, Shannon Claire Smith. ISN'T SHE PERFECT?!

 You guys, I don’t think Shannon really even knows this (or maybe I confessed it to her once when I was a few glasses of bubbles in) but Shannon was the person who inspired me to start a blog before we had ever even met.  See, she used to have a blog called Burlap and Lace wayyyyy back in the day and I couldn’t handle how much I loved it.  

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Anyway, I finally met her at an event just two years ago in April and have been calling her “Mom” ever since.  I consult her for almost every interior or styling trick in the book and have an uncomfortable, and I mean uncomfortable, crush on her husband, Nick. Hi Nick. Hi. 

Yes, I did just creep all the way from 2015 for this picture of the two of them that I love. Hi again Nick. 

Ehem, moving on. So when Shannon called me and asked if I wanted to be her client for the One Room Challenge, I actually felt like I won the lottery and honestly, I really have. I really won the interior design lottery with this. 

Shannon knows me pretty well. I don’t think there’s a single day that goes by where we don’t DM each other about SZA, the gays we love, candles, curse words, and oh, yeah, Nick. I like to talk about Nick a lot. Now, as her client, for the ORC, we probably text 5 times a day and I AM LOVING IT. 

So, here we go, a few weeks late, but here’s a little overview of what we did the first week of the one room challenge.  I’m currently shouting this. PLEASE DON’T JUDGE ME FOR MY VACANT ROOM. PLEASE. I just moved in a month or two prior and decorating wasn’t a priority at the time. I know, I can’t believe it either. 

So I forgot to mention this above, but we're also doing my bathroom and hallway! HELLLOOOO opportunities! 

Curious to see what Shannon had to say about WEEK ONE? Check out her post here! 
Until the next! XOXO

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A Few Jumpsuits For Spring

ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment

Ask and you shall receive.  Here a few jumpsuits I'm currently coveting for Spring (if it ever shows up for more than a day!) Click on the photos to shop!

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What It's Been Like to Have Rose Gold Hair - Kristin Ess Review

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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Alright – let’s discuss this pink hair situation, shall we?  Let me begin with this, having pink hair has been one of the most fun beauty trends I’ve participated in to date.  I’ve wanted to have pink hair a la Gwen Stefani since the ripe age of 6 but like many of us, never had the guts, or more importantly, the job that would allow me to look like circus candy.

So here I am, with pink hair, and thankfully, an event planning job that allows me to have it, or strategically hide it in a bun.  But that’s not the important part, so let’s get to the questions.

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What did I use?

For my temporary hair tint, I used Kristin Ess’s latest and greatest Rose Gold Temporary Tint.  I ordered it from Target online to have picked up in the store closest to me.  Easy Easy Easy.  And the best part, it’s only $12, yeah, TWELVE DOLLARS. 

So, what exactly is it?

It’s temporary tint that you can spray on wet or dry hair, then rinse out and dry.  According to Kristin Ess, “I’m always looking for ways to play with pastel tones in the hair. This is the first ever in-shower watercolor that creates a temporary tone when sprayed on wet hair and then rinsed out. The intensity is up to you. When you spray it on damp, towel-dried hair it will soak up more color and last longer. If you spray it on wet hair it will give you a more subtle tone and will rinse out faster. The pink tone is most visible on pre-lightened/highlighted or blonde hair and washes out in 1-3 shampoos depending on the porosity of your hair.”

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Okay, but how long did it last on my hair?

Admittedly, I became a little addicted and each time it would start to fade a little bit, I’d spray a little more in.  Right now, after about 4 days washing it every day, there’s still a pretty light light pink to it.  The sections that faded the quickest, were the areas around my face, makes sense. Also, the dark hair I have on the underside of my head didn’t “take” the color as well as the blonde. 

How blonde do you need to be for it to work?

My hair is far from platinum, but I also just got it highlighted the week before (shout-out to Smitten for this.) Sadly, the color will really only appear on light hair.  But, here is a #rosegoldhair hashtag for reference.  Honestly, if you’re even considering it, I say just get it and try on a small piece of hair. It cost less than a DC cocktail or sandwich, sad.

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Ready to take the pink plunge? Here’s how you do it according to Kristin herself:

1. Shampoo your hair and rinse.

2. Apply spray in the shower on wet hair. For a more intense pink color, towel dry the hair before you spray. For a more subtle hint of pink, spray it directly on freshly rinsed hair. (The less water there is on the hair, the more tone the hair will soak up. Think of your hair as a sponge! If it's full of water it can only absorb a little color.)

3. Once you feel you've covered the hair you want to color, wait 1-2 minutes and then rinse. 

4. Follow it up with your favorite conditioner or mask.
Tip: Do a small test piece in the sink and then blow dry it. You'll know how much color your hair will soak up and how quickly it will rinse out.

PATCH TEST: Apply a small amount of product to dry, cleansed inner side of elbow. Wait for 48 hours. Do not use this product if you experience any burning, redness, swelling or itching.

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Alright, what are the pros and cons?

Pros:  

With how temporary it is, there’s really no going wrong.  It’s incredibly easy to apply and there’s little room for error.

It smells fantastic.  The spray is light and floral, I really can’t get enough of the scent TBH.

Living out your childhood dream of being a badass, I suppose.


Cons:

Sorry brunettes, but it just won’t work for ya – but you SHOULD consider midnight blue hair

Might not be work-place suitable but also, it’s 2018, challenge that.

Sells out quickly so if you buy it, get two bottles!

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What did I learn from having pink hair?

Girl you better OWN it.  I’ve realized that there really isn’t much room for self-doubt when you’re sporting pink locks.  There were definitely occasions where I forgot about it and then would catch someone giving me a double take.  Eventually I got used to it and reminded myself that confidence is key, with or out without this look.  It’s been really fun, and I think honestly, I’m going to do it again very very soon.

SHOP THIS POST

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Blonde, Without Breaking The Bank With Smitten Salon

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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I’ve been blonde forever.  As a little kid I had blonde hair and contrasting, dark eyebrows. Some things truly never change I guess.  Being a blonde is tough. I’m serious, ask any blonde in DC where they get their hair done and far too many will roll their eyes and begrudgingly say “Ughhh I go to (salon XYZ) but it literally costs me an arm and a leg” or, “Oh, I just get my hair done in my home state!”  And I have totally been both of these girls.  During college, it was FAR less expensive for me to fly home to Wisconsin, get highlights and fly back, than it was for me to get my hair highlighted at a quality salon in DC. Yes, you heard me; a FLIGHT was less expensive than getting my hair done in DC.  I tried cutting costs by going to an Aveda Institute here and there, but honestly, the anxiety of the whole process was just all too much. Then, I started branching out, and looking at salons outside of DC. I’ve posted before about another salon in Bethesda that I love, and I totally stand by this.  Full transparency, I find that it’s a good idea to switch things up once in a while for different colorist and stylist techniques.

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This brings me to Smitten Salon; located in Arlington. It’s not too far outside of DC and it’s a place that I’ve been to many times before.  I love it. I love their products. I love their stylists. I love their prices, (so reasonable, I’m serious.) Everything, really.

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Partnering with Smitten couldn’t have come at a better time.  I was giving my hair a little break from highlighting for the fall and winter to help repair and restore but it left be feeling a little drab with the lack of dimension and color.  I also knew, as you’ve seen lately, that I would want to go pink for a little bit (post on that coming soon) and getting more highlights would help bring that rose pink color through.

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Honestly, above everything that is amazing at Smitten, Ashley is easily my (new) favorite part.  This was our first time together and now I adore her! We talked about what I envisioned for the color and she described her technique.  We decided to go with a light, spring, blonde, with very small pieces blended, leaving the highlights looking incredibly natural.  She also placed a lot of highlights in the front of my face – which I LOVE, especially now when I pull it back.

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I know I might have a little pink at the moment, but I am so in love with my blonde from Ashley and Smitten.   Highest recommendations!  Make sure you keep up with their Instagram @smittenboutiquesalon for updates and their latest hair creations!  Also, they are expanding and redecorating soon. Can’t wait to see what they have planned!

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**As always, my opinions are 100% genuine and are my own. I was a previous client with Smitten before this partnership and will continue to go back.

(Some) Of the DC Concerts I'm Going To This Spring - And You Should Too

DC, MusicLibby RasmussenComment
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A few years ago, I had someone ask me if I would rather wait 3 hours in line for an amazing meal, or concert. And while I love question, because I think it says a lot about a person, I am becoming to feel like my answer is more 50/50 than it used to be.  “Oh, dinner, of course!” I announced. Don’t get me wrong, I love music. Bob Dylan was my first concert in middle school after begging my parents to take me. And I had my fair share of Lollapalooza in high school and college. But something kind of faded for me, I was sick of seeing artists at large venues with massive crowds so I stopped going.  

Fast forward to early last year, I made it a goal of mine to see more shows at my favorite venues; U Street Music Hall, 9:30 Club, and Flash. It was great, and I knew that this year, I would want more. I’ve kept up with this list since the new year and have been added to it weekly. I am so excited for the newer DC venues, like The Anthem (amazing by the way) and Union Stage. 

Upcoming Shows

January 23 – Darius, Cashmere Cat, MØ at 9:30
January 24 – Gilligan Moss, Toro y Moi at Flash
February 10 - Steve Aoki at Echostage
February 13 – Børns at Anthem
February 15 – Youngr, Elephante, Matoma at 9:30 Club
February 16 - Don Diablo at Echostage
February 22 - Lane 8 at 9:30 Club
March 5 - LP at 9:30 Club

March 10 - Tycho at Flash
March 10 - Beth Ditto at 9:30 Club
March 17 - Courtship at UHall
March 20 – Billie English at Black Cat
March 21 – Betty Who at 9:30 Club
April 7 – Vérité at 9:30 Club
April 18 - Sofi Tukker at 9:30 Club
April 19 – Clean Bandit at 9:30 Club
April 20 – Gramatik at Echostage
May 6 – Bahamas at 9:30 Club
May 8 – Kygo and Blackbear at Anthem
May 13 – Jorja Smith Union Stage
May 16 - Darius at Flash
May 27 - Chad Valley at Black Cat

See any that I’m missing? PLEASE TELL ME! I love hearing new suggestions, especially at the smaller venues in DC.   

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Thinking About Glossier? Save 10% On Your Next Order

Libby RasmussenComment
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If you follow me on Instagram, you know it's no secret that I'm a fan of Glossier's products. See my review of their products here below.  Well if you're still not sure, or maybe you are and you want to save 10% on your next order, follow my BFF link here and it will automatically give you the discount.  I just used it for myself and got the brown Boy Brow and the Glossier You Solid
Anyone considering the perfume, just try it. I love the floral scent on my skin mixed with some more masuline notes that I wasn't expecting but, love. 

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*disclaimer: I make a small profit from affiliate links I post. I also only post and promote sh!t I actually love, and use myself. 

What is Whole30 and Why Did I Do It?

Food, How ToLibby RasmussenComment
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I love food. Period.  I feel very fortunate to have a healthy relationship with it. I don't have any food allergies, disordered eating habits, or even any real aversions to any kind of food.  There isn't a food item I won't try or likely, enjoy.  I do however, love a good challenge, especially when it comes to changing the way I think about what I'm putting in my body.  

Enter Whole30.  What started as a personal challenge to go "Sugar-Free For a Week" turned into a decision to try it out for a month.  So, let's talk about it, because a lot of people have some seeeeerious opinions about "diets" or "eating habits" without really listening to the person who is trying it out.  

What is Whole30?

According to Whole30.com, Whole30 (we'll call it W30 from now on) is a way to change the way you think and eat for 30 days.  "Think of it as a short-term nutrition reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system."  What could be wrong with that?  The W30 theory is that many food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it.

Again, I don't have any stomach issues, I sleep like a baby each night, and don't have any food allergies.  I do, however, tend to get a little off-balance from time to time and am easily convinced (by myself) that what I'm eating, seemingly healthy, or not, isn't thaaaat bad for me. 

So I like to reset - which for me, is what Whole30 does. It puts things back into perspective for me and challenges me to think more.  Am I reading the labels? Are the foods I'm eating truly, "whole"? Or are there 13+ ingredients on the label, half of which I can't pronounce? Am I drinking that coffee because I love the taste of the coffee? No, it's because I want the cream and sugar.  When I do W30, I basically decide to take the plunge, and push the “reset” button with my metabolism and take a hard look at the food choices I made in the past and what I plan on doing with them in the future. 

Okay, So What Do I Eat on W30?

Probably the first question I get when I tell people that I'm cutting out sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes for 30 days is, "Okay, well what CAN you eat then?" and my answer, well, a lot of things actually. Rather than think about the foods I CANT have, I try to think of W30 as a way to eat more fruits, vegetables, seafood, with the occasional red meat and a lot of eggs.  HERE is my favorite Whole 30 Trader Joe's Grocery list and HERE is my favorite Whole Foods W30 compliant list. 

If I had to break down my top W30 foods it would be:

1. More green veggies.. hellllllooooo Sweetgreen salads
2. Pasture Raised Eggs (see here why I only eat these kind)
3. Clementines & other citrus fruits
4. Plantain chips
5. RXBars (here's their Whole30 pack)
6. Avocados 

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...And What Can't You Eat

Straight from the experts at Whole30.com here is the official list of no no's. "Omitting all of these foods and beverages 100% for 30 days will help you eliminate cravings, restore a healthy metabolism, heal the digestive tract, reduce systemic inflammation, and discover how these foods are truly impacting how you look, how you feel, and your quality of life."

  • Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, date syrup, stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And ideally, no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn, and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat, or sheep’s milk products like milk, cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, or frozen yogurt.
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not consume baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients. Recreating or buying sweets, treats, and foods-with-no-brakes (even if the ingredients are technically compliant) is totally missing the point of the Whole30, and will compromise your life-changing results.  These are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, even if it is made with coconut flour.
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What Makes W30 So Hard?

HUMMUS guys.  I missed it so much.  Probably of all the foods, not having legumes when cooking for myself is a particular challenge.  As someone who doesn't really drink soda (unless I'm getting fast food) or is a habitual coffee drinker (other than Colada Shop) cutting out the sugar wasn't really that hard.  One exception though, I LOVE LOVE LOVE condiments and sauces and guess what, pretty much every condiment has sugar in it.  Ketchup, Sriracha, Ranch, BBQ sauce, Honey mustard, tartar sauce, they all have sugar.  

My affinity for hummus and sauces aside, eating out tends to be a bit of a challenge.  If you're planning on going on a trip to Europe or long trip back home, don't do Whole30. Unless you really have the determination, it would just be far too hard.  This is why a lot of people choose to do W30 in January.  It can be a great way to kick off the new year, and rid your body of the holiday weight and poor decisions you may have made in the early winter months. Plus, many choose to participate in Dry January which leads me to the next topic of W30, alcohol...

So What About Alcohol? 

This is where I chose to "opt-out" and no it has nothing to do with needing alcohol. I've gone weeks and months at a time without drinking alcohol and take no issue with cutting it out.  However, I did my second round of Whole30 in July and much of my social life revolves around eating and drinking. So when I'm needing to be cautious about my food choices, simply opting out of alcohol didn't feel like something I wanted to do.  Did I avoid mixed drinks? Yes, if I could help it.  My intent was to have mostly clear, low sugar alcohols like vodka and gin.  If I was a guest at an event where wine is served or a mixed drink is prepared for me, I wasn't necessarily going to turn it down. Overall, I did make an effort though to consume less alcohol during W30.  

Why less? Well we all know what happens when we drink, and I know it's not just me here, we make poor choices, especially when it comes to food.  What has been a great personal "challenge" of having alcohol while on W30 is coming home from an event or a bar and making the decision to pass on the pizza or Chinese food and go straight for the cold bowl of watermelon in the fridge or dried (sugar-free) mango. The next day I wake up feeling guilt-free and refreshed.

If you do decide to consume alcohol during W30, be prepared to get a little heat from the W30 pros, and (somewhat) rightfully so.  They are doing it 100% and you're not.  But, I think I'll keep my sanity and social life! #chinchin #thanks

Did I Lose Any Weight?

Of course I did. Do you even know how much gluten I eat on a regular basis? (Hint: I was on Buzzfeed for it lol.)  So yes, I lost a few lbs' and this was pretty noticeable by week 2. I looked and felt lighter, my clothes fit better and yes, my skin was great too.  Strangely enough, my fingernails grew a lot.  I'm a fidgety nail-biter, and I didn't find myself doing that while on W30 for some reason.  This was also the case a few years ago when I went vegan for a few months, but we'll talk about that some other time...

Girl kneels at the altar of gluten @libby_livingcolorfully #girlswithgluten

A post shared by Girls with Gluten (@girlswithgluten) on

Will I Do It Again?

Easy answer. 100% yes.  I'm not particularly sure when, but definitely in the near future.  I've also considered doing small stints, like a Whole15 or 20. Just going long enough to feel refreshed and cleansed. Next year I will probably partake in Dry January along with my W30 just for kicks.


Have any of you done Whole 30 before? What did you like? What didn't you like? Will you do it again? 

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Photography by: Kara Schab of Right Foot Creative 

Real Talk: I Replaced 95% of my Makeup with Glossier

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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It’s unavoidable. There’s no way that this is the first time you are hearing about Glossier because frankly, I feel a little late in the game with this post.  If you haven’t been following them on Instagram, you should. If you haven’t stopped by their incredible NYC showroom, you should. If you haven’t gotten your hands on at least one of their beautifully-millennial-pink-packaged-products.  Jesus Christ, you  really, really should.  

I know, for a while, I too didn’t believe the hype - even from some of my best friends. But then I did it. I basically threw out 95% of my other makeup and replaced it with, you guessed it, Glossier.  And in case you don’t read the fine print on my posts below, (like most of my blog posts, I wasn’t paid for this) I, Libby Rasmussen, reached out to Glossier for this collab, because I wanted to really see what the fuss was all about. So, real talk, here’s what they sent me and here’s what I loved.  Spoiler alert: everything.

Now let’s talk the products I use, one by one. While I haven’t tried every single Glossier product, I have a pretty good idea of what they really have to offer.  And my skin has been living proof of just how great both the makeup and skincare are. 

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Skin Milk Cleanser – DREAAAAAMY AF.  I get the most questions about this because I think people like to stick with their skincare systems and I get it, it can be scary to venture out and try something new.  As someone who doesn’t struggle with acne (knock on wood) I can’t speak to how this clears skin, although one of my best friends who has struggled with adult acne, said it has done miracles for her complexion. I personally love it for the silkiness and its ability to really remove all of my makeup gently.  While I love a good scrub once and a while, giving my skin a break and pampering it with skin milk.  

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Priming Moisturizer – I truly can’t get enough of this shiiiii. I rush out of the shower, ice roll, and immediately put this on my face and décolletage.  I use small pea-sized dots around my face and honestly, it takes serious restraint not to smother my entire body in this stuff.  It’s really that dreamy.  It’s cool, it smells fantastic, and it applies gently and leaves my skin feeling moisturized but not greasy.

Balm Dotcom – Ding Ding Ding this is the BEST in my book.  The smell, the thickness, the taste, everything. So damn good.  I particularly love the Coconut balm dotcom which you can use on your lips, cuticles, elbows, heels, really anywhere that needs some love.  For me, this is 100% my elbows so I loved putting a little on my lips and using the excess on those dry little ‘bows. I was also sent the cherry balm dotcom which is tinted red but also smells fantastic.  One night, I left the house without remembering blush and just took a little of the cherry balm and dabbed it on my cheekbones.  Easy.  

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Cloud Paint – PIGMENT PIGMENT PIGMENT. I am so pleasantly surprised with how pigmented this liquid blush is.  I was given the Dusk shade, which I love because well frankly, I’ve never used a peachy-colored blush before this.  All you need is the smallllllest dab and you’re good to go.  I also use it on my eyelids for a dewier look.  I have a strong feeling I will be purchasing Puff and Haze in the very near future.  Best part, you can blend them together for fun custom shades.

Haloscope – I was sent the Moonstone, which is probably the most neutral and subtle of the three highlighters and it was great for everyday use.  It blends super well and goes on incredibly smooth.  I will say, I really want to try the Topaz color for evening or times I’m feeling extra and want to really shine. Next to the Boy Brow, this was many of my friends’ favorite product.

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Boy Brow – Since getting my brows microbladed, I’ve had the best time with my brows. LOL it’s really been a great year together. Always a fan of the bushier/darker brows (I used to gently brush mascara on them to darken them) now, I don’t need much coloring and have been loving the clear boy brow.  Hands down this is the #1 product that my Glossier friends love and use most.  Also, you can use it in under 7 seconds. Seriously, SEV-VEN SECONDS.  They even tested this out one day at the Glossier headquarters and trust me, it can be done.  Unlike a lot of brow gels, it’s lightweight and is a great product to help keep them brows in place and more importantly, effortlessly bold.  I don’t leave the house without brushing my teeth, and now, my brows.

Generation G – I was sent the Generation G lip in Zip (poppy red) and typically I shy away from any red glosses, stains, or sticks but this one is just different.  It’s incredibly light and really just heightens my lip color rather than changing it completely. I think as winter approaches and I wear more neutral colors, I will be more likely to use this color.  But for now, I already have my heart set on getting the Crush.

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Here’s what I’m dying to try:
Wowder
Stretch Concealer
Cloud Paint in Puff
Lip Gloss
Glossier You Fragrance  

 Wearing boybrow, cloud paint, haloscope, and balm dot com

Wearing boybrow, cloud paint, haloscope, and balm dot com

Overall, what I’ve loved most about all of these products and being a “Glossier Girl” is how much I’ve just learned to embrace (clap) what (clap) I (clap) got. 

“It’s so subtle. If anything, the criticism would be that our products are too subtle than too intense. But I think that’s so important to be able to build. So few of us are makeup artists. We want the products to be universally flattering, to be very intuitive, very easy.” None of the products require brushes; it’s all designed to be slapped on in the back of the cab.”
-Founder, Emily Weiss

Truly effortless. Believe me, believe the hype. Try it out and see for yourself. Ask for it for the holidays. Give it to your Mom, your sister, your bridesmaids. Hell highlight your cat for all I care, just try it. SHOP BELOW! 
 

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Disclaimer: The products mentioned in this post were given to me as a partnership with Glossier. All of my opinions (as always) are my own and I only write about products, people, and places that I love and support. If you purchase from the links in this post, I will receive a small affiliate bonus for the reccs – so go head and get your shoppin on.

Glossier

I Finally Tried Lash Extensions ($50 off your first full set)

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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Guys, I did something I never thought I would really want, need, or try.  I got eyelash extensions and I'm fearful I may never look back. 

A few months ago, I wrote a post on essentially everything lash-related.  I talked about my friends' experiences with lash extensions and have always been incredibly curious about them.  So I did it, I took the plunge and got them, and wow, I am sooooo glad I did. 

Let's Talk : The Process

Prior to my appointment, per Art of Lash’s recommendation, I arrived on time and free of eye-makeup.  More info about pre/post care can be found HERE

Upon arriving to Art of Lash (located on the upper level of 1522 U Street NW in DC) I was greeted with a warm smile by the absolutely lovely owner, Malin. She made me feel super comfortable as we got to know each other a bit better.  I mean, she was just about to stare at my face for the next few hours. Malin went through a thorough consultation of what exactly I was looking for with my lash extensions.  She explained the two different types of extensions that Art of Lash Offers: The Classic and The Volume.  

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The Classic set is best for the person who either wants a natural, dramatic, or cat eye-look. The sets are done with faux mink, made from the highest quality & comes in different curls & thicknesses. A classic application means 1 single extension to each natural lash.  

The Volume  is a fuller set of lash extensions, made with lighter lashes, giving you an iconic, fuller & more luxurious look. All volume fans will be handmade & individually designed to cater to each client. This set is perfect for the person who is looking for a more dramatic & glamorous look. 

Because I love a good, thick lash, Malin and I decided that the volume set would be best for me. I wanted my lashes to be dramatic without looking too dense or too fake-looking. Malin also stressed the importance of getting lashes that would be the proper weight for my real lashes. This part was really important - when lashes aren't properly matched, they can weigh down the real lash, causing damage or breakage.  By having this consultation, Malin ensured that the lashes she selected would be the perfect weight and overall match for me.  This is what I loved - Malin listened to what I wanted but also, as the professional, knew that she knows best when came to what would look best for me! Malin also pointed out that the arches in my brows would be a good place to start having my lashes fan out, to make my eyes look bright, big, and beautiful. Yes Yes Yes.  

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Then began the relaxing part, the application process which truthfully, didn't take that long.  
I laid down on her cushioned massage-styled table where Malin provided me with a soft blanket and a pillow for behind my knees #bigbootyprobs. She then delicately placed two cool, collagen patches under my eyes, turned on a calm playlist (with some of my favvvvvorite songs) and started individually placing the light handmade volume fans of lashes individually on each of my lashes, one by one.  She explained that instead of doing one eye at a time, she alternates between the two eyes to ensure that they are completely symmetrical, which, I absolutely love. I felt completely relaxed and caught myself nearly drifting off to sleep. (To be honest, during my refill three weeks later, I actually did doze off!) Again when I say Malin is amazingly meticulous, I mean it.  Right before we finished, she inspected my lashes in detail, making sure she didn't miss anything and that they were shaped evenly and beautifully. 

After about two hours, I was ready to see my new lashes. The suspense was killing me, but I also had full faith in Malin and knew they would look amazing.  And guess what? They really trully were. 

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How cute is Art of Lash's studio? It was incredibly comfortable and clean.
Another bonus: Malin's Spotify playlist is amaaaazing. 

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Me and the beautiful and talented owner and lash expert, Malin. Guys, she's the sweetest!

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So, What about Refills?

I was pleasantly surprised by how good they looked, well into week three. I got my refill, and Malin gently took off the lashes that were grown out and replaced them with new lashes closer to the lash line.  This part is key ladies. Often times, lash extensions tend to look bad or fake because the person wearing them goes too long without getting them replaced and refilled.  They become too long and straggly and just look plain tacky.  Malin makes sure this doesn't happen and was incredibly meticulous about replacing them.  The photo below is of me after my most recent refill! 

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How Much Does it Cost?

Art of Lash's prices can be found here but GUESS WHAT, because you're reading this, you'll get $50 off!

What Did I Learn?

My Lashes are Actually Stronger  Yes, you heard me. When I was getting them refilled, Malin said that my real lashes were actually looking longer and stronger than before I got them. This is because I wasn't gooping them with mascara every day and scrubbing them off every night. 

It's Important to Take Care of Your Extensions But, they are by no means time-consuming.My top 3 pointers for aftercare would probably be: 1. Don't be afraid to get them wet. Seriously, after the 24-hour period, you should be cleaning them regularly to prevent any debris. It will also help them stay on longer.  2. Refills are your friends. Don't wait too long to get them done. These are your lashes! Don't you want them do look amazing 24/7? 3. Don't apply mascara. Keeping your lashes clean of residue and maybe the little bit of eye shadow that got on them is one thing, globbing on layers of mascara (or any for that matter) is another. You want to keep your lashes looking fresh and natural for as long as you can. Putting on mascara won't do you any favors long-term. 

They Really Do Make Life Easier.. Okay, well maybe not everything in life but, now aftergetting my brows microbladed and having lash extensions, my morning makeup routine consists of a little concealer, blush, and a highlight, a whopping 8 minutes folks. EIGHT! Nothing is better than going to bed and waking up already feeling pretty, I promise you this.   

Leave It To The Pros  If you're going to try to cut corners and go to just some random place for your lashes, I highly recommend you reconsider. Malin at Art of Lash is a licensed professional with years and years of experience.  Don't try to go somewhere just for the best deal. If you're interested in getting lash extensions, it's because you care about what your lashes and you want them to look the best that they possibly can right? Then seriously, listen to your gut and go with the pros.   

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Like I mentioned, from now until October 31st, if you book an appointment with Malin at Art of Lash and mention "Libby" in the notes when booking your appointment and you will get $50 off your first full set of either classic or volume lashes.  #worthit

 After booking your lash appointment, make sure to follow @artoflashdc for more amazing before and after photos! 

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A Few Favorite Fall-ish Jumpsuits

ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment

In 2015, I made it a goal of mine to wear a jumpsuit. Yes, singular.  I had yet to wear one in my adult life (jumpers were big in my infant years, I'm told) but frankly, as an adult, I was intimidated by them. Until I got my first jumpsuit, and my thoughts (& wardrobe changed drastically.)

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And now, I thought I would do a little roundup of the many many rompers that I've been collecting and coveting lately.  The one pictured above is this little frilly number from ASOS.  I wore it to a cocktail tasting at the new Pod Hotel in Chinatown! Special shout out to Jarrett Hendrix for snapping this shot of Lauren and me! 

Click through the photos to shop my ASOS favorites! 
Happy Friday!

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The links for this post are my affiliate links. I make a small commission for each purchase. Thanks!

How To: Make a No-Brainer Cocktail

Food, How To, EntertainingLibby RasmussenComment

So in spite my bar cart being one of my favorite pieces of furniture in my home, I tend to keep a pretty light stock of alcohol.  And if it's one thing I've learned about hosting, it's that your guests are rarely there when you have perfect flowers blooming, or the right cocktail garnishes and fixings.  So, enter the solution, and one-stop-wonders of the two ingredient cocktail.
Yes, two. 

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So, maybe you're like me and aren't always fully stocked up on well, the good stuff.  Here are a few tips to remember for the future when you're scrambling to put something together. Try to always have a bottle of champagne. Why? Because when you're lacking in the booze department, spritzers, Bellinis, mimosas, you name it, these. are. your. friends. More times than not, you're going to have a juice in your fridge and using it to top off your bubbles is a great option to a complicated cocktail. But, also, don't underestimate your liqueur like; St. Germain, Campari, or Aperol.  All of the above are great ways to add a little extra specialty to your cocktails. And most importantly, portable cocktails are a lifesaver. They're all great, whether it's canned wine and these cute mason jar cocktails or pictured below, Element Shrubs.  There are tons of great options that help you craft your own drinks. 

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Below, I used the Honeydew Jalapeno element shrub and a little vodka, with a hint of fresh jalapeños to whip up a quick drink for a friend! 

So What About Garnishes? 

Citrus: Every time I go to the grocery store, I try to get a bag of clementines, lemons, and limes. When in reality, I typically end up eating more of the clementines, using some of the limes, and maybe all of just one measly lemon before I have to throw the remaining out
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Jalapeños: Spicy alcohol is the best. This is a fact.  And if you don't believe me, then you're not experimenting with your alcohol enough and I encourage you to step outside your vodka soda snoozefest.  I mean, even think about how good a vodka soda would taste with a few slices of spice.  Yum.  Spicy margs, spicy mules, spicy bloodies. The list goes on and on.  Even with a fruity, bubbly bevvie, the kick adds just the right amount of interest to make your bottled-booze taste like a craft cocktail. I snagged a few of these peppers from a new friend's roof at the Apollo a few weekends ago.  He's lucky enough to have a small garden up there with a very very generous amount of jalapeños. Yum! 

On the plus side, most, but not all, of the time, I typically have plenty of garnishes when need be for cocktails. But, the greenery poses a problem. 

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Herbs: This is where I fall short, I rarely have fresh mint, basil, or rosemary sprigs in the fridge because, we all know this. They go bad so quickly! Which is really such a shame considering most herbs grow like, well, WEEDS outside.  My goal for this year is to try to keep a few herb plants in my apartment for fresh garnishes for cocktails and food dishes. Another thought, walking over to my local community garden and picking some myself... 

Edible Flowers: Obviously this is even less obtainable than having fresh herbs ready 24/7 in your fridge. But, I am encountering more and more edible floral options here in DC. Local farmers markets: DuPont, Bloomingdale, Columbia Heights even, have edible flowers for sale at their markets on Saturdays and Sundays.  Or in this case, you could pull a me and pluck some from the rooftop of your apartment.  

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And all of that other cute shit.

Stir Sticks: A few weeks ago I received these darling tropical bird wooden swizzle sticks from Shelby herself, from Shelby Dillon Studio.  They are hand carved and painted so everyone at the party knows which tropical bird represents their cocktail. So cute. 

Coasters: While the coasters pictured above were a thrift-gift, I have some coasters from The Blush Label that I love and use on the reg.  Here are some of my favorites. (use the code: Libby15 to get 15% off!) 
 

SHOP THIS POST

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Photographer: Kara Schab, Right Foot Creative 

My Favorite Las Bayadas Beach Blanket (On Sale)

ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment
 Photo from  FeatFashio n9 shot by  Renee Rogers  

Photo from FeatFashion9 shot by Renee Rogers 

Last weekend on my instagram story, I talked about my obsession and frankly, hoarding of my favorite beach/casual/couch/picnic blanket from Las Bayadas, and I got a ton of questions about it!

I purchased this multicolored blanket from Shop Waiting On Martha two years ago and have used it for EVERYTHING. At the beach, as a picnic blanket, as a pool towel, as a bed "eating blanket" yes, I eat in bed, and no, I don't care if you think it's gross.  

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Here's a little bit about the company from the founders themselves:

Eight years ago my husband and I arrived in this small fishing village called Sayulita in Mexico, we literally fell in love with the Mexican culture. Living on the beach, we started thinking about the perfect beach towel.

We were inspired by a Mexican fabric used to decorate houses, and we started to turn it in a beach towel. We just added colorful stripes to put our colorful and personal touch. Also the environment part was essential for us. Thus, we decided to collaborate with a firm that provides us recycled cotton to make our towels. We received a warm welcome from Mexican people, consequently for us it's normal to give it back. 10% of the profits of each Las Bayadas sold will be donated to support a scholarship program for the local Mexican students going to the Costa Verde International School. 

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Alright, lets discuss the SALE part. 

Madewell sells them for $34.99
Shopbop has the El Pablo Tote $55
Nordstrom sells the mult-stripe for $45
Saint Bernard has the pink-green combo for $34.90

And yes, I'm 100% in fullll denial that summer is over. 
Thanks, adios. 

Small Biz Spotlight: Bodnar Bags

ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment
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Lets talk about a little series I've wanted to start for a while now, Small Biz Spotlights.  I started my business back in 2015 and have since learned SO much about the ups and downs of running a company.  Between expense reports and taxes, there's a lot that goes into making it all run smoothly.  And let me tell you, every business owner I meet, whether it be someone in starting their first restaurant or in this case, an online boutique, I'm always fascinated and admirable of all of the hard work that others put into it.  

Which leads me to my friend Laura...

Laura Zobar, recently started a small line of adorable bags, Bodnar.  I first met Laura when she was considering starting the business.  Like many of us small business owners, Laura was a little nervous about outing herself "out there" (girl we know the feeling) and getting things started  but she did it and I'm IN LOVE with these bags. 

Here I'm wearing the Mackenzie clutch which is actually super spacious.  The morale of the story is, these bags are seriously just plain fun. Ideal for a date, the beach, or brunch, the Bodnar bags are too cute to pass on. Let's chat with Laura a little bit about the company shall we...

Q: Tell us about the bags! 

A: So the bags are made of a colorful woven cotton blend that I discovered in New York City's Garment District last summer. The fabric was originally created for a well-known fashion designer who opted out of using it but when I found it, I knew I had to have it and bought the entire roll. There are five different bag styles but all are unstructured, which is great because they can easily be folded into a suitcase if you're traveling or tucked into a work or school bag. Personally, I think they're perfect as the type of bag you take with you when you want to go grab a midday coffee but don't want to bring your whole bag with you. 

Q: Where are they made/how are they made?

A: Each bag is made of the recycled material I mentioned above, which is super soft (think American Apparel t-shirt) and lined with a thin canvas. Although the styles and sizes vary, each bag features rainbow colored tassels and poms. The Cece Clutch is a zippered pouch, while the others have a top flap closure. As for how they are made, I sew and hand-stitch each bag here in my studio in Washington, D.C. so they are Made in the USA, which is really important to me. I'm also working on incorporating organic fabric and natural dyes in future rounds of production. 

Q: What was your inspiration for the bags?

A: A year ago, I was studying fashion design at Parsons School of Design in New York, and one of our assignments required us to make a handbag. While shopping for materials, I fell in love with the bright and colorful pattern and immediately knew I wanted to make an oversized slouchy clutch. I think at the time I was carrying a lot of things around with me in the city and needed something that could go from day to night, and this bag really worked for that. I carried it everywhere I went for the rest of summer. 

Q: What made you decide to make a business out of it?

A: When I finished the bag I posted a picture of it on my Instagram and immediately had friends messaging and texting me asking me to make them one, which was really exciting! A few weeks later at our final exhibition, which is basically a showcase of everyone's work, I was walking around looking at other students' projects when one of my friends texted me that a girl was asking for me and wanted to buy one of my bags. The exhibition is more like an art show so the pieces aren't actually for sale but this girl was dead-set on leaving with one of my bags, so I named a price and she became my first customer! I think together these two experiences made me think I ought to give it a shot.

Q: Where did you come up with the name, Bodnar? And am I saying it right?

A: Yeah, so Bodnar (\bod-ner\) is a family name. It was the last name of my great-aunt and uncle who were clothiers in Budapest, Hungary. They owned a shop in Paris and made clothes for members of the Austro-Hungarian Empire's royal family, which I thought was pretty cool. I also liked the name because it didn't box me into anything specific, so whichever direction I decide to expand in the future I'll still be able to use the same brand name.

Q: What is the best part of having your own small business?

A: I love being able to work on something that is meaningful to me and where I see the impact of my work. I didn't always feel this way when I was working in an office and it's something I really appreciate. I also enjoy being able to bounce between being creative when I'm designing, social when I'm engaging with customers, and strategic when I'm running numbers or working on the business side of things. It's fun that every day is different! 

...and what is the worst?

I think the hardest part is doing it on my own. I don't have a business partner or team so every decision rests on my shoulders, which can be a little overwhelming. That being said, I'm incredibly lucky because I have the most supportive friends and family who have helped with every decision I've made. They also happen to be my best customers! So it goes without saying that without them, Bodnar wouldn't exist. (Thanks guys!!!)

Q: How would you describe your target customer?

A: I'd say our client is a woman with a classic, preppier style. Definitely someone who "lives colorfully"! The bags are perfect for a woman-on-the-go because they transition from day-to-night really well. My current customers use their Bodnar bags for everything from a smaller pouch to hold essentials in a large work bag to the clutch they take out when meeting friends for drinks or traveling abroad.

Q: If you could have any celebrity or influencer carrying a Bodnar bag, who would it be?

A: Well I loved the shoot you did and seeing the Bodnar MacKenzie Clutch featured on Libby Living Colorfully was really exciting! It's hard to pick a celebrity or influencer because there are so many talented and incredible women, some of whom I've been lucky enough to engage with already. I think also because Bodnar is so new it's really exciting when anyone purchases or is carrying a Bodnar bag. As I mentioned earlier, so many of my girlfriends have been so supportive and it's the best feeling in the world when we go out or run into each other and they're using their Bodnar bag!

Q: So what's next? 

A: I'm playing around with new styles all the time and planning colors and fabrics for the upcoming seasons. Right now our five styles include the Original Milly Oversized Slouchy Clutch, the CeCe which is a smaller zippered pouch, the MacKenzie Oversized Slouchy Clutch, the Mini Mac (a smaller version of the MacKenzie), and the Perfect Kate Clutch.

In planning for the upcoming Fall and Winter seasons, I'm focused on a color palette that includes blush, navy, and shades of red and tawny brown, maybe olive too! I'm also looking at how we can incorporate organic fabrics and outsource to ethical manufacturers (within in the U.S.). And I'd love to see Bodnar bags in local retailers like Tuckernuck, Salt & Sundry, and Take Care Shop but for now our bags are available at www.shopbodnar.com

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Make sure to shop ALLLLLLL the bags from Bodnar and follow them on instagram

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Design Crush - Jessica McClendon of Glamour Nest

InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment
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Jessica McClendon of Glamour Nest, a Los Angeles based interior design studio known for Jessica’s distinctive “casual glamour” aesthetic. 

Growing up in the Dallas-Forth Worth area meant Jessica was surrounded by historical homes, igniting a passion for interior design early in her life. Before she became an interior designer, studied theatrical performance and design at Texas Christian University. Upon graduation she landed a job in visual merchandising for Fort Worth boot shop, Leddy’s Ranch. Her talent was soon noticed by J.Crew, and she was tapped as a Visual Manager, which led her to Los Angeles, where she still resides today. While working at J.Crew, she began freelancing for interior design firms which is where Glamour Nest’s story really begins. 

Fast forward, five years, and Jessica found herself with her own client base, separate from the firms she was freelancing for. This is when the idea of starting her own interior design studio was born. Though the US was in the middle of a recession, Jessica took the risk of opening the doors of Glamour Nest. And since 2009, she’s never looked back. Her style and intuitive approach to design has caught the attention of outlets like HGTV Magazine, MyDomaine, and Rue, and Jessica’s business has blossomed into the thriving studio we see today. 

Shop This Room

Jessica's work is fresh, clean, and functional.  I love what she did with the cabinet and bar space above.

Shop This Room

Make sure to check out Jessica's adorable instagram @glamournest!
Happy Weekend!

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Photography: Mary Costa / Scott Rickels 

Five Travel Bloggers That Will Make You Want to GTFO & Take a Vacay

TravelLibby RasmussenComment
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So help me god I am promising to make 2018 a year where I travel more.  The above photo was from a shoot I was helping my friend Kara, of Right Foot Creative with for the State Department and let me tell you, it made me want to leave dodge for a bit and explore.  This past year I've been a little limited with my weekend schedule, which has left me hanging out in DC a littttttle more than I'd like. Needless to say, I'm itching with wanderlust and these are my favorite bloggers to follow and well, live vicariously through. 

1. The Blonde Abroad

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Kiersten, a California native, left her job in corporate finance to become a world traveler.  She's since traveled to more than 50 countries and her instagram feed is insane.  Ask me to trade lives with anyone on social media, and Kiersten's would be a top contender. Check out The Blonde Abroad here. 
 

2. The Wayfaress

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Ironically enough, Alexandra, The Wayfaress herself, and I went to college together.  I've loved following her many many journeys (to more than 30+ countries to be exact) all while practicing corporate law here in DC. Alexandra is new(ish) to the travel blogging world, but don't let that fool you, her social media is rich with experiences and thought-provoking captions. Alexandra is a wonderful storyteller and her blog, showcases that beautifully. 

3. Barefoot Blonde

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Another blonde? Yep. Sorry not sorry.  I've followed Amber Fillerup Clark for a good while now and chances you have too.  Known for her incredible instagram braiding technique, Amber and her adorable little family have become the picture-perfect poster children for #travelfamilygoals.  Relocating pretty regularly, Amber shares a lot of tips on her insta-stories and honestly, they are all just so fun to watch. "Goals" doesn't even really do them justice. 


4. Wild Terrains

Another DC-based blog, but more importantly, boutique travel company started by my friend, Lauren Bates is Wild Terrains. Wild Terrains has plenty of detailed tips, custom itineraries, and tons of inspiration. What I really love: the Travel Guides page. Consider my next vacay booked through Wild Terrains. 


5. Cake and Lillies

My god friend Monica, of Cake and Lilies has always nailed the Travel Guides, whether it's staying in Annapolis in 24 Hours or a getaway to Thailand.  I've loved how easy and to the point her posts are.  My current favorite: this feature on Scott's Cheap Flights. I personally struggle with where to purchase inexpensive flights, so I always run to Monica's blog for suggestions. 

Any trips planned soon? Who do you go to for your travel needs? 

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My 10 Beach Essentials - LDW Edition

Shopping, TravelLibby RasmussenComment

1. Sunscreen - I'm really trying to be a stickler for sunscreen, especially when it comes to my face. Lately I've been loving this roll-on sunscreen that looks like a stick of deodorant. It goes on really clean and blends into my skin without feel heavy. Something else I've learned, that your hair also needs sun protection.  A friend also suggested I try this Brush on Broad Spectrum sunscreen, which is literally a bronzer brush that has mineral powder sunscreen to keep you protected when you don't necessarily have a bottle of sunblock on you.  Very intriguing. I'm also very into this Coola Makeup Setting Spray with SPF 30 - for those of us who like to wear a little makeup to the beach (I know you're out there.)

2. Beach Blanket  - I have a serious bias toward the colorful Las Bayadas beach blankets.  They're lightweight, easy to wash, and more importantly, colorful.  I got mine from the Waiting On Martha Shop.  Here are some other colors:

3. Sunnies - I'm not typically someone who owns more than 2 pair of sunglasses at a time. When I like something, I want to wear it all the time and I want be able to wear it with whatever. This is no exception when it comes to sunglasses.  After what honestly felt like years of searching for the perfect pair, I finally found this pair of Ray Bans.  When I say these look good on everyone, I really mean it. My guy friends have worn these, and even 6 of my best friends tried them on, all with different complexions, hair color, face shape, etc. and they looked great on everyone.  I think I may have found the Traveling Pants of sunglasses. 


4. Cover Up - Cover ups are a great way to keep clothing light and easy at the beach. Lightweight linen coverups are breathable and easy to dry. What I didn't know is that there are a lot of great companies that make coverups that have sun protection built in.  Take Cabana Life for example, all of their items have built in sun protection. I own this Moroccan tile printed tunic in blue and absolutely love the look and the feel. Best part, it blocks 98% of UV rays. 

5. Swimsuit (Duh) - Do we need to discuss in detail? Prob not, so here are just a few swim suits I'm laaaaaahving. Also, here's the first one-piece I've owned in about 14 years and it's the softest, most flattering suit ever. 

6. Drinks on the Go - Finding the perfect and more importantly, portable drink for the beach is v. important.  So when Seagram's sent me their new line of Escapes drinks, I immediately saw myself bringing them to the beach with me.  

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7. Sandals - I've become a woman obsessed with Madewell's sandals. If I could have a pair in every color, I obviously would. These are also a great option (I wear them almost every day.)

8. Water Bottle - I got my first S'well water bottle a few years ago and have since been hooked.  If you haven't used one yet and have only heard the hype, believe it. 100% This bottle keeps my water cold in spite of how hot its surroundings are.  I'm sure you can only imagine how crazy I went over this collaboration that S'well did with my favorite photographer, Gray Malin

9. Light Reading - So I'm pretty bad at sitting still, especially at the beach. I've never really been able to nap or read at the beach but it's definitely something I could improve on.  A few light reads that I've enjoyed lately include: The Girls, Men Explain Things to Me, The Interestings, and I Take You

10. Beach Bag -  My friend recently started her own company and these Bodnar bags are some of my favorites for summer. As a larger bag, a highly recommend this straw tote. And my other favorite, SCOUT bags. I take this big bag everywhere, the grocery store, weekends away, and yes, the beach. 

Where are you all traveling this Labor Day Weekend? I can't believe it's already (almost) September. Eek.