Top 10 Amazon Buys: Summer 2020

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

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Quarantine's catch phase should be "Wine & Amazon Prime" because, let's face facts, that's been the only upside to 2020. With that, like many of you, I've done quite a bit of exploring/shopping during the pandemic on everyone's favorite site. Last year I shared my first post about top Amazon buys, so I figured this was the perfect time to do it again! 

{1} Mora Ceramics Mug (gifted): This fabulous mug keeps your coffee nice and warm for up to an hour, thanks to its classic ceramic design. It's dishwasher safe, which I absolutely love, and to round out the trifecta, I'm obsessed with the modern, white speckled option; however, if you'd prefer a little color, they have lots available. Mora, which means to "take pause" in Latin, is a small business, so be sure to follow them on Instagram and feel free to reach out to Alix, the co-owner, with any questions. 

{2} Criss-Cross Indoor/Outdoor Slippers: These beauts are all over social media, so with the stay-at-home order in place, I finally pulled the trigger. To my pleasant surprise, I absolutely love them! My husband, on the other hand, thought I looked like an old biddie, so one of my blog friends nicknamed me/them "Gertie"...Now, going off of that, the little Italian woman in me has to is important to note that these are slippers, not shoes. They're great for knocking around the house, but they are not super tight on the upper part of the foot, especially if you're petite, so make sure to change into sneakers in you're going on a step stool or ladder (I speak from personal experience haha).

{3} Laundry Room Lint Bin: This novel item has come in so handy! It's got magnetic backing so it attaches to either your washer or dryer for easy convenience. You could, in theory, use it to hold whatever you'd like, but I've found it life-changing on those long laundry days (e.g. lint balls out the wazoo). 

{4} Glass Nail Files: Whether you're heading back to the salon, doing regular manis are home or you've ventured into DIY dip powder nails like me, you need these nail files. They are truly like no other. The glass helps to close the nail's outer edge when filing, which lessens the likelihood of breakage. I've found them to be a total lifesaver during the pandemic. 

{5} Magnetic Garage Door Hinges: So, truth be told, I was hesitant to buy these things. Were they going to look gimmicky? Was I making the house looked older than it was? No and no - I was totally wrong about them! So many newer homes have gorgeous, detailed garage doors, which can come at a hefty price tag. The exterior of our home is very nice, don't get me wrong, but its definitely a bit dated (it was built in 1999), so the extra detail added a modern touch and made it look as if we put in new doors entirely...for under $25.

{6} Stove Guard: If you've been a follower since last year, you know we went through a hellish kitchen reno, so when it came to protecting our investment, I was paranoid Patty. Enter: Stove Guard...a nifty plastic cover that's cut to match your range's make and model. The custom cuts make for a perfect fit, which is the main reason this works so well. While not on Prime, it's a worthwhile buy because it's kept cleanup to a minimum. I simply wipe mine down after each use and rinse in the sink when it needs a deep clean. 

{7} Petite-Friendly Maxi Dress: I'll be honest, I've never really been one to buy clothes on Amazon. I learned many, many years ago to seek a bargain but try to ensure some level of quality. This dress has been a total win for me. Although I *technically* ordered it last year, it's become a quarantine staple with it's effortless, great-fitting ways. Highly, highly recommend for anyone closer to 5'0, like myself. 

shop this entire look here // click here for necklace

{8} Pillow Covers: Being stuck (I mean, safe) at home for months on end can really start to wear on your opinion of your home. One day, you wake up and everything just looks like crap, so then you want to re-decorate the entire house. With old faithfuls, like Home Goods, closed, I turned to Amazon to snag a few new pillow covers to give my couches a refresh. I've been very impressed with the quality and pricing of the covers! 

{9} Ahmed Teas: I'm a sucker for a good holiday gift basket, so when my office received a bougie basket from one of our centers of influence this past December, I quickly snagged the fancy box of teas. First, I LOVE tea...all types of teas, for that matter...and actually only started really drinking coffee about 4-5 years ago when I was in law school. Second, I knew it would go to waste, as so many of those random basket items do. I'm thrilled I did because I discovered this AMAZING tea brand, which thankfully, is available on Amazon with every variety imaginable. My top 2 choices would be English Tea No. 1 and Earl Gray. Delish! 

Featured on my IG stories April 2020

{10} Acrylic Makeup Drawers: During the first few weeks of quarantine, I was cleaning house like a mad woman. Once I dialed back my makeup collection, I still realized how much stuff I had...hello, 9000 variations of nude-pink lipstick. This drawer was the perfect addition to my extra large, multi drawer organizer because it took up far less real estate and gave me the ability to put my mirror on top of it, while still having ample storage. The drawers are described as stackable, although I have not done that, but it is an option if you're looking to "build your own" acrylic set.

Refinishing a Console Table with Beyond Paint

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

{top (on sale for $24 + an additional 25% off!) // jeans // hoops}
The year was 2013 and cherry wood was all the rage...but here we are, many years later, and the orangey undertones once loved are dated, especially in comparison to our new espresso oak floors. My "problem child" was an accent piece from Bob's Discount Furniture that I purchased when I first moved to PA for law school. Not only was it sentimental for many reasons, but I actually loved the design and functionality. It also fit the space under our family room windows perfectly! Hence, my conundrum. The other challenge - I'm not exactly Martha Stewart when it comes to home projects. I prefer to leave things to the professionals when we can afford to do so; however, that proved fleeting in this situation.

After getting multiple estimates, it would cost more to professionally paint my "problem child" than it would to simply buy a brand new table that matched our decor.

Enter Instagram and the never-ending home pages I follow. I heard a variety of bloggers/influencers sign the praises of Beyond Paint, but to be honest, I was hesitant. Could I tackle this myself? Would this miracle/no-prep-needed product actually work? Did I honestly have the time to deal with it? Although we were in quarantine, I was still working from home and it felt like the days were longer than ever before. With that, the more I was home, the more irritated I was by this non-cohesive piece. My hubby and I discussed it and came to this conclusion: worst case scenario, I messed the thing up completely and it had to be tossed; best case scenario, it looks great and we'd get a few more years out of it. I picked my intended "start" date and purchased my supplies accordingly.

I ordered Beyond Paint's Refinishing Kit from HSN, since it was one of the only sites that had white in stock. I highly recommend ordering the kit because everything I needed came in one box. You're also going to want to order the sealer to ensure your piece(s) holds up to every day wear and tear. So, here's the final verdict: We're thrilled with the results and the process relatively simple! It look me 2 entire weekends to complete the project. My only real issue was the dust accumulation (discussed below) and the trickiness of the glass doors.

Tips & Recommendations:

  • For dark furniture pieces, like ours, I would recommend a separate primer. It took me 4-5 coats of white to cover the piece completely. If you're using a dark color, this shouldn't be a problem. 
  • Vacuum the piece before the sealer is applied. Do not use a duster! I ended up with all sorts of dust particles in my finished product. It's not noticeable to the naked eye, but I know they're there and it hurts my heart. 
  • Take off all doors and drawers where possible. This will help avoid drip marks and offer an even, easy canvas to paint on. 
  • Don't be alarmed when you see that the paint dries with a bit of texture. Apparently, that was done on purpose. The directions indicated that it helps hide imperfections and adds to the wearability. 
  • Storage your paint tray, brush and roller in an extra large ziplock. It can last up to a week. 
  • Add new knobs and/or hardware. It really completes and refreshes the piece!

Go-To Dry Shampoos

Wednesday, May 13, 2020


Want to know a secret?

I only wash my hair once, maybe twice, a week...and that's all thanks to dry shampoo. It's been life-changing because not only do I save a ton of time, but I can style my hair is many different ways, without feeling like my hair is a greasy mess by day 2!

Here's the low down on how to achieve the same results, and what products I use!

First, you want to apply your dry shampoo at night. I know that may sound odd, but it gives the product time to work for several hours, as opposed to a few minutes.

Second, if you have time, use your blow dryer to heat the dry shampoo a bit. My fabulous hair stylist, Mary (be sure to follow @manetechniques & @mary.t.techniques!), told me about this tip, and it has been a total game changer.

Third, use the right brush. I have a designated dry shampoo/product brush. You want something with bristles because it works the product evenly throughout the hair. I personally use this one by Wet Brush. It's amazing for anyone with extensions, by the way.

In terms of product, I have 3 go-to dry shampoos. I've tried everything on the market, from high end to drug store, and these are what work best for me. For reference, my hair is dark brown (almost black) and is very fine, even with hand-tied hair extension in.

Best All Around/For Everyone 
Living Proof Dry Shampoo
If I could, I'd buy this product by the gallon. Heck, I ordered the largest size available during the recent Sephora sale and have several travel sizes, so I'm never without it. The Living Proof dry shampoo actually cleans the hair, which is amazing to me. I use this several times a week to keep my hair looking and feeling freshly washed. With that, I'm also able to use this the day after a wash for a little bit of texture, without the weigh down, for a more voluminous, styled look.

Best for Extra Oily Hair/Thicker Hair
R + Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo
In my personal experience, R + Co products have been a hit or miss...Their Death Valley dry shampoo, however, is definitely a hit. I use this on the days when there is no turning back, e.g. my roots are super shiny for excess oil production. I've also used this when I've had product build up or shampoo/conditioner was not sufficiently washed out. If you have thicker hair, this will be your new best friend!
For transparency, R + Co did send me this to try, so a big thanks to them for supporting The Sassy Suburbs.

Best Bang for Your Buck/Most Accessible
Kristen Ess Style Reviving Dry Shampoo 
Available at Target, this dry shampoo boasts all the guts and glory for a fraction of the cost! It's got an amazing scent and does deliver for most; however, if you have darker hair, you really need to work this product into your roots. I've found slight white residue when applied directly to the top of my head. For that reason, I generally only apply it to the under layers of my crown area, or on days when my hair is still relatively clean and I just need a refresh (as the name implies).

Feel free to email or DM me on Instagram with any questions!

Lauren xo 
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