MOOD BOARD: Dining Room Edition!

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1. Jaipur Wooden Dining Table | A Restoration Hardware look for a reasonable price!
2. Dove Paige Round Back Dining Chair (Set of 2) | Be patient – these go on sale often!
3. French Perle Bead Dinner Plate
4. Gray Cambria Salad Plate
5. Magnolia Market Laurel Wreath 
| Anyone else obsessed with Chip & Joanna Gaines?!
6. Together is a Beautiful Place To Be Neon Sign
 | I’m in love with neon signs right now – you’ll see me install at least 1 on Amy Lately this Spring!
7. Pink Enamel Flatware Set 
| Sold out online, but I saw a set in store on sale for $16!
8. Rubbed Black Buffet 
| Conner’s favorite…
9. Mirrored Silver Buffet
| …My favorite! I want to replace the knobs with these for a vintage look. Thoughts?!
10. Urban Outfitters Arabella Rug 
| We bought the runner for our entry!
11. IKEA Fejka Artifical Plant
 | I have these in my office and guest room – for $4/plant and $.79 for a faux ceramic pot, you can’t beat IKEA!
12. LuLu & Georgia Alby Rug

13. Anthropologie Malachite Rug
| Let’s be real – I’ll never be able to afford Anthro furniture, but I love browsing their site for inspo!

Decorating a house is so much fun, but it involves a lot of (expensive) decisions – which is why I’m starting a MOOD BOARD series here on Amy Lately! When decorating a room, I typically start by pinning everything on a Pinterest board. This makes it easy for me to edit unnecessary pieces, ensure aesthetic cohesiveness, and help my husband see the vision as well! Consider this series a prettier Pinterest board where I can share my decor inspiration with you!

This year, I am focusing on decorating the main entertaining areas – entry way, dining room, and living room – so we can start hosting! I am not the type to buy a “set” at a furniture store; I prefer an eclectic look that mixes traditional, glam, and natural elements. In the dining room, our biggest investments will be a buffet table and flat-weave rug. The buffet is purely for function, and a rug will help us delineate the dining space in our open concept home. Comment and let me know which buffet and rug you prefer! 

Blushing for Beauty – Best Products of 2016

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What I’m wearing: Free People sweater | JCrew Caged Flats | BaubleBar ring

Best Foundation: It Cosmetics CC+ Cream Illumination SPF 50+
I don’t usually believe brands when they claim products contain both skincare AND makeup, but this foundation proved me wrong. It creates full coverage without looking cakey, and my skin hasn’t broken out since I first tried it in July. I use the illuminating version (#dryskinprobs), but the CC+ Cream is available in a satin finish as well. SPF is a huge plus as well!

Best Bronzer: Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
It’s blendable, affordable, and smells like coconuts – what more could you want in a bronzer?! I love that this bronzer doesn’t look orange on my fair skin and can be built up from a soft wash of color to a va-va-voom tan.

Best Blush: Tarte Cheek Stain in Flush
“Flush” looks scary and dark in the tube, but dab a little on your cheeks for a soft, natural flush that will last all day! It’s super low maintenance. Quick tip: since this is a liquid/gel product, apply it before you apply powder!

Best Mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex
Am I feeling a little awkward as I type that? Yep. This Too Faced mascara is my “holy grail” – I won’t buy anything else. It’s lengthening, thickening, and lasts all day. Buy the travel size Sephora to test it out for less!

Best Lipstick: Ciate Pretty Stix Murumuru Butter Lipstick
Surprise – my favorite lipstick of 2016 isn’t red or matte! I have no idea why these Ciate lipsticks aren’t more popular, because they’re sooo comfortable and pretty. They’re super moisturizing – more like a balm than a lipstick – and give a gorgeous, glossy wash of color that wears down to a stain. If you’re going to try one product from this post, make it the Pretty Stix! Try BFF for a soft nude, or Vintage Blush for the perfect everyday pink.

Best Dry Shampoo: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
Y’all, this product is legit. I am cringing as I recommend it because I am a true addict – I’ve repurchased this 4 times! It feels weightless in the hair and doesn’t leave any white residue. Perfect if you’re super busy or just want to give your hair a break from shampooing!

Best Affordable Skincare: Pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner
I throw a little on a cotton pad and rub it gently on my face every night – after make-up removal, before moisturizer. It lightly exfoliates my face without drying me out or irritating my sensitive skin. For $15, Glow Tonic is an easy way to treat yourself and your skin!

Best Luxury Skincare: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
I live in the desert now, and my skin is so. incredibly. dry! The only thing that can save me is this cream. I know, I know – $30 for a moisturizer?! – but it comes with an insane amount of product (6 oz. – your average foundation is typically less than 1 oz!). Use it before bed to wake up to soft, hydrated skin – even in January!

 

2016 Reflections & 2017 #Goals

Hi babies!

It’s almost 2017. Whew, we made it! When I scroll through social media this week, I see post after post screaming “Let 2016 end already! Worst year ever!” but I can’t say I share that groupthink. In 2016, I’ve been challenged in ways I never expected and (mostly) responded  with growth I am incredibly proud of.

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2016 Reflections

On January 4, 2016, I started my first “big girl” job working at a Fortune 200 company and one of Forbes Top 20 Best Employers in the U.S. Thus began a year of meeting and working with amazing people who are far smarter, kinder, and more experienced than me – basically, I struck gold.

In February, Conner left Texas and moved to New Mexico for work. I stayed in Texas because I refuse to live anywhere without a Target within 1 hour (just kidding – kind of). Really, I stayed to see through the amazing opportunity I had been given in my work life, at the company I fell in love with. C visited me frequently – perks of having a husband with his pilot license!

Fast forward to August, and C relocated yet again to Las Vegas, Nevada. He remained (remains) incredibly supportive of my career in ways that I could never ask for or imagine, and we continued to rack up Southwest points in our long-distance marriage. At work, I grew immensely – not just in skill, but in developing my personal brand and learning to confidently, unapologetically tell my story, all thanks to a couple of incredible people who took me under their wing like the little, lost duckling.

At the onset of the winter months, I made the incredibly difficult decision to leave my dream job and join C in Las Vegas. While in Texas, I met wonderfully kind, brilliant people, who may have left a few red wine stains on my Pottery Barn couch that I hope never come out. It’s the little accomplishments I am sad to leave behind – navigating a different grocery store chain, figuring out frontage roads, little moments of bravery in happy hours and Bible studies with strangers who became friends. Now I’m not sure whether to tell people I’m from Tennessee or Texas, and Willie’s fried pickles with ranch will forever hold a special place in my heart.

As I write this, I am sitting at an empty dining room table, eating cold pizza, and staring at our Christmas tree – the only quasi-decorated corner in this house – surrounded by half-packed cardboard boxes with my last name misspelled “SCWERTS” in Sharpie. We have added one more baby to the family, Minnie (meet her here), and my life has temporarily become one long Bounty commercial for puppy accidents. Conner continues to be the most loving, selfless partner I could ask for, and I am girlishly, butterflies-in-my-stomach excited to be with him again.

In 2013, I studied abroad at Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge – Emma, as we fondly called her. My friends and I ventured into London for a service  at St. Paul’s Cathedral one night. The priest read us a quote that I will never forget, that I carry in my heart:

For all that has been, “Thanks,” and for all that will be, “Yes.”
-Dag Hammarskjold

For 2016, I say thanks to the Lord, and to 2017, I scream “Yes!” at the top of my lungs, for a new year, in a strange house, in a foreign city, with the fullest heart, knowing that my hodgepodge family of cheerleaders and advocates now extends to San Antonio, Texas.

2017 #Goals

You’ve ready my sappy 2016 lovefest long enough! Below are my goals for 2017, in no particular order. Most of these goals have less to do with the advent of a new calendar year and more to do with the start of a new chapter for my family.

  • Get plugged in to a local church and small group. Grow my spiritual family in a new city. (Side note: Do they have churches in Vegas?! Half-joking…)
  • Hike at least 2x/month in the beautiful, Martian landscape that is Nevada.
  •  Do fulfilling work with joy. This may not mean finding another “dream job” like my last – lighting may not strike twice – rather, it may mean volunteerism, content creation, and community growth.
  • Join a gym or yoga studio – being a homeowner means no more free apartment gym!
  • Create an oasis of Southern hospitality and warmth within our new, very Southwestern-looking house. I’m excited to document this process on Amy Lately!
  • Be vulnerable and open with new people, holding back judgements and seeing them through the eyes of the Holy Spirit – white, clean, whole.
  • Adventure with Conner! L.A., Disneyland/Harry Potter World, Utah skiing, the Grand Canyon, and countless parks are all at my fingertips in this part of the country.


When you look back at 2016, I encourage you to reflect on the unexpected that you handled with grace, and on the expected that you manifested into being. Meditate on your goals for 2017 knowing that destiny is often self-fulfilling. Sending much love – I hope you have a sparkly New Year’s Eve!

Glitter Tree + Introducing Minerva Schwartz!

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Happy holidays, everyone! After moving into our new home last week (just look at those gorgeous floors!), C and I were finally able to get our Christmas tree today! The best present of all came early this year – our little Scottish Terrier puppy, Minerva! Little Minnie is now the princess of the household, and big brother Fala is loving having a playmate. Wherever you’re reading this from, have a very Merry Christmas, from the Schwartz home to yours!

Shop This Post
Sweater: J.Crew Factory Pocket Tunic Sweater
Shoes: 
J.Crew Mary Jame Flats in Glitter  – Now 60% off!
Red Lipstick: Colourpop MatteX Lippie Stix in Frenchie – On sale for $4!
Ornaments: Most ornaments, star, faux fur tree skirt, and jingle bell garland are from Target. The champagne and glitter balls are from Hobby Lobby.
Geode Side Table: HomeGoods

The Ultimate Holiday Party Dress Guide

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1. Ted Baker London Embellished Collar Velvet Dress
2. Rebecca Taylor Black Lace Mix Dress
3. Colourpop Highlighter Trio in Cookies
(See also in Cake & Ice Cream)
4. ASOS One Shoulder Midi Dress
5. BaubleBar Moonrock Drops in Green – 
I need these!
6. Covergirl Katy Kat Matte Lipstick in Cat Call
7. Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in Midnight Cowboy
8. Wayf Next to You Wrap Dress
9. Steve Madden Stecy Sandal in Pewter
10. BaubleBar Crystal Mason Ring – 
Size up and wear on your middle finger!
11. Forever21 Faux Gem Body Chain
12. Slate & Willow Silver Aileen Dress

Story time, y’all – last week, I finished up work in San Antonio, packed up my little apartment, and drove my pup cross-country to Las Vegas, Nevada, the unlikely place that I will call home for the next few years. C and I are in the process of buying our first home (hurray!), and, until we close in a week or two, all but a suitcase of my clothes are in temporary storage. After 10+ months of long distance marriage, we are so happy to be together again!

Imagine my elation when my husband (hi, Conner!) rolled over on Sunday night and said, “By the way, babe, I keep forgetting to tell you – we have a work holiday party is Dec. 17.” With all my heels and party dresses in storage, my girlfriends and I have been scouring the internet to find an affordable, quick-ship outfit for the party, and I figured it couldn’t hurt to share my findings! Here are my favorite dresses and accessories for this holiday season – happy shopping!

Emerald City

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Top: Zara (old)
Pants: JCrew in Everglade Green
Heels: JCrew (no longer available)
Necklace: JCrew Factory (similar on sale!)
Lipstick: Katy Kat Matte in Maroon Meow

Thank you Kelsey Prater for making me look and feel like a rockstar! If you are located in/around Knoxville and are looking for a portrait photographer, look no further.

October Heat

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Hat: Simliar & inexpensive
Sweater: Nordstrom 

Shorts: Similar
Necklace: Similar
Arrowhead Ring:
Kendra Scott
Lipstick:
 Covergirl (Katy Kat Matte in Maroon Meow)

Good morning and happy pre-Friday, babies! Confession time: it’s still hitting the 90’s every day here in San Antonio. In October. I know – it’s devastating for my little Tennessee heart that’s accustomed golden leaves and rainy fall skies. My only coping mechanism is mismatching clothes across seasons, like with this shorts-and-oversize-sweater combo. It looks cool and effortless, but it lets me beat the heat while feeling v pumpkin spice ready. I hope you love this look! Here’s praying that Texas gets hit with some real fall weather soon!

P.S. – The sweater comes in several beautiful colors that pop in and out of stock, and it goes on sale very few weeks. Keep checking back and don’t buy anything full price!

Thank you Kelsey Shea Prater Photography for your artistry and light-seeking contributions to this post.  Follow Kelsey on Instagram for more photo beauty!