At Home Manicure

January 29, 2014

polish // sally hansen - play koi

I've become quite accustomed to doing my mani's at home while being on a budget. It's also something soothing to me and gives me the opportunity to focus on myself for a few minutes. That being said, I've played with an excessive amount of base + top coats as well as different lotions to maintain soft cuticles and I feel I've finally come up with the best yet, so naturally, I have to share!

Base + Top Coat | Sally Hansen Double Duty
This stuff does exactly what it says it's going to and stays in place. I love that it's quick to dry without being a "quick dry" polish and the sheen it provides is perfection. I have tried Essie, Seche Vite and other Sally Hansen products, but this is the holy grail.

Cuticle Butter | Lemony Flutter by LUSH
#LIFECHANGING. But really, the consistency of this is a thick paste and rubs into a thin cream as you work it into your hands and leaves settle layer of oil which is amazing for your skin to soak up. This is something I don't apply during my mani but after when my nails have dried so I can relish in the crisp lemon fragrance and soothing it provides.

Basics | Buffer - File - Clippers
This goes without saying but you don't really need to invest in this area. As long as you have the basic tools to maintain a clean foundation for your polish, you're set. I personally have all Revlon in these items because Ulta had a sale at the time I was shopping.

Tips + Tricks
1 | I like to remove all my polish with a pure acetone polish remove. This gets in there nice a quick so I don't have to scrub longer than it actually takes me to paint my nails.

2 | Trim your nails to your desired length (I like them short with no white showing) and follow up with filing to make them clean on the edge versus sharp.

3 | Buff everything out so you have a great base for your polish. This is where you can get all the nasty cuticle overgrowth off and shine them up.

4 | Paint! I start with my base coat letting it fully dry before adding my color. I also let each layer completely dry between applications so I don't have a sticky mess of wet nails waiting on to dry. That makes the process much quicker for me!

What are some of your manicure tips?
Emily of Cupcakes & Cashmere also posted on mani's yesterday, see it here!

How To: iPhone Photo Editing | Edition 3

January 28, 2014

I can't even tell you how many times I have people commenting on instagram asking how I edit my images and what filters I use...etc. I have posted about this on the blog a few times now (here & here) but I wanted to share a simple video tutorial so you can see if first hand. It's literally so simple and I use one app in this tutorial but this is what I do every time I post to instagram!

T I P S   &   T R I C K S
Lighting // Natural lighting is your best friend. I like to stand next to an open window with a good source of light filtering it so when I take my picture, the quality isn't grainy from being so dark. I also almost always use a white background so the object I'm taking a picture of really stands out. If that means you simply buy a white poster board at the store, do so! It brings a nice clean and crisp element to your feed then.

Stability // Make sure when taking your photos you aren't shaky or moving too much because you'll end up with an image that's a hot mess of blur. To best succeed in a stable image, tap your screen so the camera focuses before taking the picture.

Adjusting // When you're taking a picture on your iPhone, you can easily make it lighter by tapping the screen of your image. When you're about to take the picture, tap the darkest area of the image and the camera will automatically brighten on the screen giving you a better quality image after it's taken.

Cropping // Nothing is worse on a picture than an ugly background. That room of yours with clothes thrown everywhere? Not so cute. If you don't have the ability to snap something outside or in an area with a neutral background, play with cropping it as needed to disguise anything that's sore on the eyes.

Flash // If at all possible, do not use your flash. If it's at night in a bar, it's a hot mess of fog and it's not a good image you'll want to use. I recommend always snapping under a street light or even where it's dim and then edit the exposure so you can see what the image is better. Again, natural lighting is your best friend.


Our Master Bedroom

January 27, 2014

A couple weeks ago I chose to repaint our master bedroom. It was a long time coming because I'm not a fan of what it was before but I just didn't have the time to dedicate to paint the room on my own. So I cleared a Saturday, started bright and early and ended with a bottle of wine to celebrate.... by myself, ha! To say I'm pleased with the outcome would be an understatement! You can see what it was previously, here or here but I love the soft gray we brought in and how everything is so crisp and clean and soft and airy. We tend to be more minimal with our decor in this room and it's something I wouldn't change. Eventually, I want to swap out the desk with a white West Elm Parsons desk but that's way down the line since it's hubs space  and he doesn't care much and I have my own office space so we don't need to be picky here.

bedding | IKEA
throw pillows | Target
throw blanket | Target
curtains | IKEA
end tables | IKEA
bed frame | IKEA
laps | IKEA
picture frames | IKEA
"K" | Kohls
desk chair | Staples
laundry hamper | Wal Mart
tassel garland | Studio Mucci
his + her signs | Hobby Lobby
mirror | Home Depot
paint color | Chocolate Froth by Behr

Fabulous Friday

January 24, 2014

click here for desktop download

This week has been such a fun one and my first week working for myself, talk about crazy and surreal and so exciting. I was able to snag a bite to eat with some blogging babes on Thursday and it's just what I needed enjoy the first week of my new journey. I have been so blessed to meet beautiful girls throughout this process and I'm excited to be planning lunches and dinner date more often than not now.

T H I S   W E E K

+ I'm so looking forward to getting my Whitney English planner in. I finally ordered last week so February shipment can't come soon enough.

+ I've hit the gym hard starting on Tuesday and in the three days, I've lost 2 pounds. Call me crazy and say it's water weight but it has me motivated to keep going!

+ Speaking of working out.... I finally popped into Lululemon on Monday which was a mistake; I want everything with their gorgeous spring colors. Particularly this & this!

+ I fell in love with this ASOS dress when Rach blogged it so naturally, I purchased and plan on wearing it for Easter with some chunky wedges-- these would totally work.

+ The kids didn't have school on Monday so I took Drake and Rylan (my cousin) to Butterfly Wonderland... talk about the most amazing place. I loved our time there!

Have a Fabulous Friday and blessed weekend, babes!

Lace Detail

January 22, 2014

Every time I'm on a time crunch or just want to be super comfy, I grab for my boyf jeans. The down side is if I happen to be spending that day with my husband, I'm the joke of the say in my hobo jeans and sagging pants. Men just don't get it, do they? I personally still can't get over the effortlessly chic look a classic boyf jean brings along with comfort and we all know this stepmama needs that for running around with the dude.

sweater | Kiki La' Rue
jeans (similar) | Target
heels | Target
sunnies | Ray Ban
watch | Fossil



January 21, 2014

I'm back to being quite sleep deprived and it's taking a toll, I tell ya. From trying to get into a routine and working while also taking care of myself has already seemed to take more effort than I feel it should and it's so frustrating because I'm so inspired right now and simply want to work! I heard NyQuil has a new zzz drug that's strictly a sleep aid so I might have to give that a shot. Have any of you taken it?

I feel like I should also say I hate shorts. You would never catch me wearing them until about a year ago because for some reason, my husband likes my tree trunk legs but it was 80 degrees in PHX Saturday so I had to take the opportunity to hit the market in this spring-like number. I am currently working on slimming those legs down along with getting a tan so hopefully I'll be sharing Aubrey's Legs 2.0 soon.... :)

sweater | Kiki La'Rue
shorts | Kiki La'Rue
fedora | Windsor
sandals (similar) | Target
sunnies | Ray Ban
watch | Fossil
bracelet | Alex & Ani
necklaces | Miaearrings (giveaway coming in Feb!)


Miss Priss + Giveaway

January 19, 2014

Well, hello beauties! I feel so refreshed and ready to embark on this crazy journey of being a stay at home wife, mother and freelance web designer. After the last week coming to a close and me regrouping with a new planner (this one), goals and services in my shop (launching this week!), I'm beyond pumped to get started! 

To kick off being back to blogging regularly, I have a fun little giveaway for you with the fab shop, Kiki La' Rue! We just totally want to be your Valentine so they're generously offering $50 store credit to two lucky winners! If you haven't shopped here already, I'm confident you'll be pleasantly surprised by all the goodness and I love that they offer for curvy babes too! My most favorite items from their store are here (I have multiple colors), here (stay tuned for these this week), here and here so I promise, you'll love all those picks.

H O W   T O   E N T E R

follow kiki la' rue on
@ S H O P K I K I L A R U E

follow the kinch life on
@ A U B R E Y K I N C H

leave a comment for each entry
giveaway will close Friday, January 24 at midnight MST
* be looking out for an extra entry on instagram & twitter too!  *

sweater | Kiki La' Rue
jeans | Joe Jeans
sandals | Lulu's
watch | Fossil
sunnies | Ray Ban
clutch | Forever 21
lipstick | MAC Snob

And So It Begins

January 15, 2014

I'm sitting here writing this in my home office which seems totally normal but today it's so different for me. It's now my one and only space that I will be working in. No more commuting, no more alarm clocks (at least before 8am), no more rushing out the door, no more chaos. I am so excited to be opening the new chapter of my life where I'll solely be working for myself building blog designs and websites with a side of virtual assistance and social media marketing. It's still a little surreal feeling but it became much more real when I hugged all the pastors goodbye today all while thanking them for their support on this decision. I did work with some amazing people and I hope to keep those relationships going and I'm so grateful God placed me at our church home for the last 2 years but this next chapter is where I need to be. It's right for my family, it's right for my health, it's right for me. God has blessed our life abundantly and I know He will continue to do so as we remain faithful in Him on this new journey.

I will be back on Monday posting 3-4 times a week with a rotation of beauty, fashion, family....etc and I can't wait to see what 2014 brings for design. It's already proving to be the busiest season of my business just in the last 2 weeks! Oy! As for now, I'm off to down some champagne and cheers to this new adventure!

Foundation Shopping

January 9, 2014

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

We all know I've been going back and forth on product for dealing with my acne and I have to say, I'm still loving the Mario Badescu spot treatment! It's been amazing for those pesky little (...big) blemishes that don't want to go away so I've been slowly becoming more confident in my skin. As for a daily regimen, I've just started Proactiv+ and also am loving the results. It's given my face an overall scrub down so the skin is radiant and smooth, something I've never had with my acne scarring. I have found it's a touch drying so my normal Bare Minerals matte foundation isn't doing the trick for me anymore so I'm on the hunt for a new, more enriching foundation. I've pulled together my top picks and I am exclusively leaning towards the Bobbi Brown option because I've heard it's amazingly hydrating while maintaining great coverage, but I want your opinion!

Have you tried any of these or have another option in mind that might work for me? I'm all ears!

The Basics

January 8, 2014

Andrew and I have been juggling one vehicle the past couple days as his truck is getting some work done so when I took him to work today and saw this amazing spread of fallen leaves, I squealed. I just had to stop and take pictures, obviously. It was only natural being myself and all.

I do have something exciting to share. I've found the most amazing basic, long v-neck tee's that are the perfect length for leggings. I have the hardest time finding ones that aren't too deep that show my hooters and fit my arms the way I like and the material has to be sheer enough to toss on with cutoffs in the summer for the AZ heat. I know, I'm picky, sorry friends! I just have to spread the word though because they're amazing. I did order in gray and black and then I've order the same style in a scoop neck in olive and white. Can you tell I'm obsessed? It's my duty to simply encourage you to add this perfect basic to your closet.... in every color!

leggings | Spanx
top | Shop Sosie
jacket | Forever 21 (similar)
scarf | Target (similar)
boots | Charlotte Russe (similar)
bag | Aldo (similar- holy splurge!)
watch | Fossil


Life Update | Migraines

January 6, 2014

Monday.... it either seems to be amazing or it's just dragging on. Today for me was a dragger. It was so hard waking up this morning on mom duty and getting Drake to school and even harder planting myself in front of the computer getting back to emails. It will be a crazy couple weeks as I gear up leaving the church. So much stuff to get in order to whoever takes over my position and a lot of wine to get me through the crazy stress it's already inflicting. Oye!

I am going to be boring today and update on the good ole migraines happening in my life. I did hit the doctor again before Christmas with an obnoxiously long list of side effects and how I felt like I'm not myself basically. He sort of laughed because half my list made complete sense as the other has nothing to do with weaning off my medications. So he pretty much said I'm weird... okay not really, but I'm sure he was thinking that.

To name a few I had nausea, excessive eating, no sleep, shakes, anxiety and the list goes on! Totally weird. Not to mention, I have never in my life been late for my girl stuff and was 8 days late. Who knew? He said my hormones are adjusting and I'm going to be going through this phase of unknown side effects for about another 3 weeks. Yay!...not.

That being said, I have still been pretty miserable on the migraine front. He decided to pull some Vicodin to save the day and I will be treating with that for pain. I do still get nauseous when I have them so I've reverted to some preggers anecdotes with ginger tea and little hard candy treats that help. Otherwise, we're surviving. Still a lot of sleepless nights but I'm thinking positively as I'll be able to adjust my schedule much more freely in 2 weeks.... I can do it!

On another note, I hit 5k on instagram last week! That is so very exciting to me and can't thank you guys enough who do follow along. It's my obsession kind of so I'm happy so many people seem to like it also. You can follow along here if you aren't already | @aubreykinch.


January 5, 2014

BLUSH // the color that every girl seems to swoon over the second she sees it. The color I've fallen for taking precedent over my prior favorite, orange. The color that seems light and airy enough to make it okay to decorate your master bedroom with even when shared with a male.... they can't technically say it's pink, right? I think every woman has reconnected with it's loveliness over the past year but there are so many shades to choose from. My favorite.... top left. The perfect mix of nude with ballet pink. Something my own heart knows well after dancing for many years so of course, it's the color graced all throughout my home office.

Which is your favorite?

Big News!

January 2, 2014

I have quite the news to share. Something I've been wishing I could set in motion to be able to move forward and it's happening.... someone pinch me so I know it's real. Is the suspense killing you?! I guess I should just cut right to the chase.... I have officially put in my notice at the church (!!) and I will be leaving January 16th to become a full time freelance designer + virtual assistant from home! Cue the confetti and Beyonce!

What? Why? How....? As we've settled into our life having Drake 50% for the last 6 months, I've realized what a toll I've been putting my mind and body through trying to juggle being a wife and mother first and foremost but also trying to maintain two full time jobs. I've learned the signs of an oncoming breaking point and how I knew I'd be sick with migraines when I got too stressed. I learned I'm a push over and people pleaser so I wouldn't ever say no only leaving me overloaded and drowning with clients and tasks much too big for my time. As the end of the year approached, Andrew and I had been talking about this next year for us and where we would be in our marriage and family and feel now is the time to take this chance with my thriving business. The opportunity to embrace the blessings coming my way each month with client after client so I can build my home business to be a stable source of income for our home. I'm most excited about being a "stay at home stepmom" the weeks we have Drake but it will also be entertaining being a full time business lady on our weeks off! I can't wait to see how The Kinch Life | DESIGNS evolves over 2014 as 2013 was packed with much more than I had ever dreamed it would be!

I do have to say my husband is the most amazing man ever supporting me and encouraging me to take this huge leap of faith. Without his consistent love and understanding of me wanting to chase this huge dream, I would never be where I am today!

I do plan to spend more time focusing on a consistent blogging schedule here so there's some kind of intriguing content happening and you might have guessed by the freebie above, but I will be sharing downloads much more often as I'll be able to design my little heart out, daily. Eeek! I can't wait.

2014.... let's do this!

Freebie | Bar Cart Prints

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year friends! I'm going to be cliche and say I can't believe it's 2014 already but seriously, time just seems to be moving quicker and quicker. We threw a little soiree last night with our closest friends and couldn't have had a better time ringing in the New Year! In all the party planning, I did create some cute little prints for our champagne table that I'm now using on our bar cart so I wanted to share here for those of you who asked about them on instagram! Enjoy and please link back here if you're wanting to pass them along.

Happy 2014!