HOME DECOR | Flooring Inspiration

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I've always dreamed of having wood floors in my home. It makes a place look so cozy and put together. But the more I learned about hardwood, the more I realized how high maintenance it is. I started looking at laminate flooring and liked the idea that it can stand up to a lot and doesn't need as much care as hardwood. While I was looking around on Pinterest, I stumbled upon so many unique floors. They are GORGEOUS! So unique and intricate and if I ever was filthy rich, I would hire the best people ever to create me something this beautiful.










Which is your favorite?

Don't forget to enter the contest to win this original piece!


To read the rules and enter the giveaway click here. The contest ends on 3/1/2016. Winners announced on 3/2!

-Susie

ART | Original Art Giveaway!

Monday, February 22, 2016


Hey friends!

I was thinking today and thought it would be totally fun to do a giveaway of one of my paintings! All of my art in my shop, Susie Bennett Studio, are original, one-of-a-kind paintings! There are no others in the world like it. No duplicates, no prints. I have a few series of paintings right now, Color and Motion, Circles, and Abstract Florals. They are all limited series and when I decide to stop making them, there will be no more like them. Exclusive, riiiiiigggghhhht?! The painting that will be up for grabs in the giveaway is part of my Abstract Florals series of paintings.



It features a thick texture of paint in pinks and purples and is painted in my distinct style. It is both neutral and vibrant at the same time. It is 11in x14in and painted on a wrapped, high quality canvas.


So someone is going to win this baby!

The Details:
Use the widget below to enter the contest.

You MUST follow and "Like" the Pursuit of Glitter + Gold Facebook page. This is mandatory and will get you one entry into the giveaway.

You can also get additional entries into the contest by doing the following:

*Sharing the Facebook Giveaway Post on your Facebook timeline. ( A link must be provided to me for verification, which is entered below) This will give you 3 additional entries into the giveaway.
*Write a comment on any blog post from The Pursuit of Glitter and Gold  (not Facebook) will get your 5 additional entries into the contest.

*** IMPORTANT! To get your entries, you have to come back to THIS page to complete. You have to click the "I visited", "Enter", and "I commented". To make sure your entries go in, the number above will tell you how many entries of 9 you entered. I.E. If you liked the FB page and you commented on the blog, it should read "6/9"

There is no purchase necessary to enter this giveaway. The only requirement is to follow the Facebook Page. Easy Peezy!

The contest will run from 02/22/2016 -  03/01/2016 at 12AM.
Winner will be announced on March 2nd at Noon!

I can't wait to see who wins!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LIFE | Working From Home Seems Wrong

Saturday, February 20, 2016



I know, I know. My title seems slightly click-bait-ish, but there seemed to be no other way to summarize how I was feeling. In our modern world, women are celebrated when they have reached the top of their game, when they get that prestigious CEO title, when they graduate law or medical school. And trust me, those are all impressive feats...but when a women decides to stay home in lieu of working out in the world...it seems almost...wrong.

Up until about a year ago, I worked full time and worked various management positions at large retailers. I enjoyed it. Being in charge, running the show. I'm one of those people who shows initiative, who isn't happy when things aren't going well or I'm not putting in my best effort. I don't like to have to explain myself in the case that things aren't well, so I always aimed to out perform. But even then, it was a futile attempt since every time a new manager would come in, they would try to squash you and make you feel insignificant, because let's face it, we all know new "leaders" like to flex when they get into position.

When I left that unhappy and miserable job, I ended up working at a beauty store. I LOVE IT. I mean, what's not to love about working around make up and helping people find beauty in anyway they wanted it? I liked the people I worked with and my manager and the smaller store just felt better. But still...it just wasn't quite right.

When my husband got deployed, I had to make the decision to leave work due to child care issues. At this time, I decided to finish up my bachelors degree. Yet...after more student loan debt and a shiny new degree, things still didn't feel right. Suddenly, I was supposed to find this great job and work in an amazing field and finally get those dolla-dolla bills, y'all. And so I looked, and looked, and nothing fit. Either I was WAY under qualified and inexperienced or I was entire OVER qualified.

So I made yet another decision. I was going to try to make my hobbies profitable. Thus, this blog started, my greeting card game was amplified and my art started to take a new look and feel, all of which started to bring in a income stream for me.

So now, I am working from home. Between my art, my cards, and my blog/contributor posts, I am making nearly half of what I was making working full time in the retail world. I mean, that's pretty  good right? Some people will never sell anything of their own, will never be able to create a profitable business, will never be able to make money from home. But I can. And I know I don't celebrate myself enough, but I need to. I get to stay home with my son and be around for his soccer games and I can manage everything from the walls of my office space in my home.

So then...why have I been finding myself lying about what I'm doing? When people ask me if I'm working, I tell them I am still looking. But really.... I'm not. Like AT ALL. I say "I'll be able to work when my husband gets back," but that's not the reason I'm not working. I don't quite know what to call myself: An Artist? An Entrepreneur? A Stay-at-Home Mom? A Hobbiest? A Blogger?

All of those seem to be things some people look down upon. Let's be real here for a second. Saying "no" to working out in the world, especially as a woman, when other women are paving the way for gender equality in the work place, seems almost like a slap in the face to feminism. But you know what's worse to me? Feeling bad that I can't just openly say that I don't want to work. People assume it's temporary or the assume it's necessary. She is home because they don't have anyone to watch her kid. Or she is home because she can't find a job. Or she is home because XYZ.

I get scared, a lot, that the money will stop coming in. That my family and I will struggle to make ends meet, but that's just because I'm a worrier.

To be honest, I don't necessarily know where I am going with this. Women should be able to do as they please when it comes to working or not working or working from home. No one should be made to feel bad about the decisions that are making. No one should feel scared or hesitant to tell someone what they do or don't do for a living because it doesn't fit in with what is considered normal or expected now-a-days.

Just do you. Do what is right for you. And get at it HARD.  No half-sies, no half-assery. There is no single right path for anyone and only you get to create your own path.

Kay?

Kay.

-Susie

LIFE | An Avengers Themed Birthday Party

Thursday, February 18, 2016



This past month, my son turned 5 years old. 5 years old! I can't even believe it! I spent the week wondering how it was possible that the days and years passed so quickly and how my once super tiny baby was now almost as tall as me and as strong willed as me. Yet, there we were getting ready to throw a super fun Avengers themed party for my almost adult son (I'm exaggerating, but it feels that way.) We opted out of sending out paper invitations and sent out a Facebook invite, as it seems to be the best way to plan events and get counts of who will be there.

address and number edited out

The invitations were modified from the original invitations that Atta Girl Says posted on her blog. I needed to change it up for a bit for Logan's Party, but I absolutely loved how Atta Girl Says designed and presented her original invitations. Best of all, she provided them free of charge! You can also download files to create name badges for the party. Pretty great huh! 






Decorating was so much fun for me. This is where I get to have a good time.

The CITY SKYLINES are just black poster board with cut down post it notes glued to it.
The "POW" SIGNS were cut out from this super hero plastic table cloth from Target and then taped onto the wall.
The CUPCAKE TOPPERS were order from Amazon.
The CAKE STARS were made from bamboo skewers and glitter stickers from Hobby Lobby.
The IRON MAN TOPPER is a Funko Pop! Figurine from Target.
The PARTY BAGS were also from Target and the characters on the front are stickers cut out from scrapbooking materials from Hobby Lobby!

Fun, right?!

We rented an Avenger's bounce house from All Bounce Entertainment. They cover all of Southwest Florida, so if you are in the area, definitely use them. They are personal friends, but they are super professional, their bounce houses are always clean and we have used them for any event where we wanted a little more fun for the kids. 





As always, Pinterest is a treasure trove of great ideas for your parties. I was able to find the ones that were perfect and piece together the perfect birthday party for my son.

I got the Hulk Smash idea from a post shared on Catch My Party.





Hulk Smash was the hit of the party, hands down. The kids played this for nearly 4 hours straight! It seemed like there was a constant line and the kids of all ages really loved it. Not bad for a some painted boxes.

I also set up a Hawk Eye Archery Practice Station, where the kids shot foam arrows at floating balloons. And by kids, I mean adults, mostly adults.



When the balloons lost enough air, then the balloons became fair play for the little, little ones.

It was such a good time for everyone and I'm so glad we got to spend the day celebrating my (not-so) little man on his 5th birthday! Logan's daddy wasn't there to celebrate it in person due to his deployment, but we were able to use FaceTime to let him be a part of the events. Thank you to everyone who came out! And to my readers, I hope you enjoyed this post :)


-Susie

Want to get some of these decorations at a better price? I found them for you on Amazon!











BEAUTY AND STYLE | Valentia True Glow Eye Cream and Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask Review

This past week I was lucky enough to try out some new skin care from the brand Valentia. I absolutely LOVE skin care, so reviewing skin care products is always such a dream. For those of you not familiar with Valentia, it is a brand that prides itself on using natural and organic products in their formulas. They believe in the healing and restorative powers of ingredients found in nature to help the skin hydrate and glow. Their products are toxin and paraben-free and many people with sensitive skin can easily use their products. They are also animal cruelty free and are even vegan friendly, which I know is important to many of us!

I had the opportunity to try out two products, courtesy of Valentia: the True Glow Eye Cream and the Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask. As I approach my 30's, I am way more aware of how my skin is changing and as I've read and been told over and over, starting your skin care young is going to give you the best chance at minimizing the effects of aging. So while, I don't quite have wrinkles yet, my skin seems to already been loosing hydration and my medical conditions have left me with some pretty gnarly dark circles, both conditions in which these products claim to help with.


I first tried out the Valentia True Glow Eye Cream, $25.


The product comes in a tinted glass bottle, which helps to preserve the formula inside and keep it from weakening. The pump, which makes it easy to apply, does however pump a little more product than is needed for the eye area. The amount that comes out in one full pump is good for about 4 under eye areas, but considering I only have 2...some goes to waste. I tried to get a half pump, but it prove a little more difficult that I would have though. Regardless, the product comes out and it is creamy and smooth. I goes on so easily and delicately and absorbs very quickly. It does not leave your skin greasy or shimmery and, on contact, removes some of the puffiness that you may have. 

It does have a scent, but it is very mild. My skin is quite sensitive, but this product didn't give me any kind of negative reaction when I used it. It has ingredients like vitamin C and organic rose hip seed oil (among others), which help to smooth lines and slow down the effects of aging. Since this area loses moisture quickly, this formula helps to retain that moisture. As always when using eye products, apply delicately and do not pull on the skin when doing so.

The second product I tried out was the Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask, $25. 
I love masks because they always feel so indulgent! This mask comes in a jar and has, I'll admit a very strange texture. It is like a jelly. It kind of reminds me of a custard, but jellier (is that a word? I'm going to say its a word). I took a good size scoop and as I applied it to my skin, I realized I grabbed entirely too much. Just like their eye cream, a little goes a long way, so grabbing less than you think you will need is a good idea. It felt nice and cool when I put it on my face. It does have ingredients that cause a tingling sensation, but it is mild and even on my sensitive skin, it was not at all irritating. I left the mask on for 30 minutes and then used a wash cloth to remove it. My skin looked refreshed and moisturized and I noticed I didn't even feel like I needed to apply an additional moisturizer after using this mask!


Of course, a week is not long enough to see long term effects of a product and a little more time is needed to find out just how well these products will work for me, but I can say that so far, I am really enjoying these products and how well they are working with my skin. 


The products are available at www.Valentia.com or on Amazon, where you can get at least a 10% discount when purchasing 2 or more products. 

What are some of your favorite skin care products?

-Susie

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

BEAUTY AND STYLE | 6 Cute Swimsuits Under $70

Tuesday, February 16, 2016



Living in Southwest Florida means that we hit "summer" a lot faster than the rest of the country. We have a few cold days and then we go back to our hot, sweat-inducing weather. Since I have gone down a couple of sizes, I find myself needing a new swimsuit. I like my suits to cover up my problem areas, which as a mom, is definitely the belly area. Lucky for me, there are so many cute swimsuits out there that totally fit the bill. I like fun and cute and a splash of sexy. I was able to narrow down my choices to these 6 suits. Everything shown is $70 and under. Awesome, right!?

Audrey Dot Bikini, Top $37 | Bottoms $30

Palm Print Strappy Halter One Piece, $45




Square Cut Out Bikini, Top $31| Bottom $28


I can't decide which to purchase! Which would you pick?

-Susie

These suits below are so gorgeous and fun too!

HOME DESIGN | The Magnolia House

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It's no secret that I absolutely love anything and everything Chip and Joanna Gaines do. They are like the home design dream team. I have yet to see anything that they have done that I haven't totally obsessed over. When I posted about my love for the HGTV show Fixer Upper, I had such a hard time only choosing just a couple of images to share with you guys! (You can see some of my favorites by clicking here.)

So naturally, when I saw that they are now accepting reservations for their vacation home The Magnolia House, I knew I had to share this with you guys. This house has all the amazing charm and beauty that every house they have fixed up and decorated on their show has. It is STUNNING.

At $695/night, I wish I had some reason and the extra (extra) cash to head over to Texas to stay there, but for now I will just day dream about how amazing it would be to vacation there.

I mean, look at these pictures, how could you NOT want to stay at The Magnolia House?? It is clear to see why they are already almost solidly booked until the end of the year!









all images via the Magnolia Blog

-Susie

Check out these products below to help you get into the decorating spirit!

HOME DECOR | Pillowfort Kids Home Decor by Target

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Today, Target announced that they were launching a new line of home decor for kids. Their new line, Pillowfort, features the cutest line of bedding and products that are great for both girls and boys! The "choose your own" style of the line means that you and your child are in complete control over the entire look of the room. Most children bedding can not be described as chic... like, not at all. I like for my sons room to match the decor and theme of the house, yet still be personalized for him. If my son wanted an Avengers themed room, he would get it, but it wouldn't look like a the Licensed Product Monster threw up all over the place. Right now his room is spaced themed, but it's time to give it a bit of a more grown up update.

I am absolutely loving these new pieces and I can't wait to shop the collection! How cute is this astronaut bedding?? I will definitely be shopping the space bedding the second it comes out. I mean, moon sheets, are you kidding? How perfect!














My other favorite pieces have to be the large "Wild and Free" wall piece, the black and mint green metal chairs, and that black and white tent!

The new collection launches on February 21st. I am so ready to shop!

What do you think of the new collection?

-Susie