Just Ask: Jessica of Alice Lane Home Collection

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image via alicelanehome.com

We are starting a new series here on Twin Tested called “Just Ask” where we chat with women we admire and ask them a few questions. We adore Jessica from Alice Lane and decided to chat with her for our inaugural post! Over the past 10 years she has created a design and brand that is respected worldwide. If you haven’t ever been in the store or seen her work, check it out. Jessica is one of the most humble, down to earth, and helpful people around! Read more about her incredible story here.

We went to her with our top 3 design questions that have come up since we both got married because we all know decorating your house changes when you throw a boy into the mix!

Q: How do you successfully combine feminine and masculine looks?

A: Whenever you get something feminine, temper it with something masculine. For example, if you get something peachy then get something black to juxtapose it. Or if you buy a tufted headboard then go with straight angular nightstands to create balance. Then point it out to your husband so that he can see that you are incorporating straight, architectural pieces.

Q: How do you successfully create a bed that the two of you both will like the look and feel of?

A: Scale is important. Go big, not tiny, when it comes to the pillows. When you have 11, small, decorative pillows it starts to look knick knacky. Instead, lay 2 or 3 big Euro pillows across the bed with one smaller statement pillow in front.

Q: What is the best way for  couples to compromise?

A: Choose a livable look for your home. Something comfortable and usable. Make sure you can live with it day-to-day and your not just going to get things out when guests come over.

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Aerial Yoga vs. Mat Yoga

We have to admit something, we are lifelong yoga haters. The workout has never appealed to us and we always felt we needed to supplement with other workouts because yoga was too “easy”. We don’t believe in exercising with your hair down and not breaking a sweat during a workout. Well this year, we both made goals to become more flexible with stronger cores and it led us straight to yoga. Brooke has been practicing weekly with Parker and I have started taking yoga classes at Xcel fitness. We’re now totally fascinated by all the different yoga variations, so we decided to test Aerial yoga vs. Schole yoga. We went to Xcel fitness in Holladay where they offer both classes. So, let’s start with Aerial Yoga.

It gave me the exact same feeling as when I did this in elementary school:

Vintage-playground(photo here)

Things To Know About Aerial Yoga:

- You hang in a silk hammock

- You feel like you’re in Cirque du Soleil

- It’s great for people with back pain because it takes the pressure off (thanks to the whole antigravity thing)

- It releases compressed joints

- You spend a lot of time upside down, which we are hearing more and more is important to overall health (just be warned the blood rushing to your head thing is real, so at first you can only stay upside down for a short amount of time)

- The silks can hold a baby elephant, so we can all try it without being embarrassed we will break them

- It was so much fun! You don’t actually feel like you’re working out because your focusing so hard on staying in the silk!

This is Kacie Ballard, the amazing instructor!IMG_4084 FullSizeRender-7 FullSizeRender-8 FullSizeRender-9

Things to Know About Mat Yoga

- It’s 5,000 years old

- You get out of the workout what you put in

- You will increase flexibility by consistent practice

- You can do whatever you want in class. If you want to lay down and take a nap, no one will bug you.

- Micah Scholes created the Schole Yoga Program, which is described as: Intelligent sequencing and engaging music bring strength, flexibility, balance and cardio into perfect harmony. The result is an intense yet accessible workout mentally, physically, and emotionally. We love the huge yoga room that is usually kept above 90 degrees at Xcel Fitness.

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I posed in the middle of the gym because no one really needs to see me in downward dog. I’m wearing my new favorite workout gear from Cariloha. All of their clothes are made out of bamboo, which means they are super lightweight and kind of feel like you’re wearing nothing, which is perfect for yoga. There is a free yoga class every Friday at the Holladay Xcel Fitness location! It starts at 6:15 and is completely free. You do not need to be a member and it’s for all ages. They even have mats for you to use. We hope to see you there!

Girls Staycation at Hotel Monaco

This weekend we took a little breather from real life and gathered up a bunch of our best friends for a night together in SLC. The best thing about this group of girls is that they are all from different phases and places in our life, which made for some really fun conversations! We started our night at Settebello with some gelato (dessert first of course) and then had the delish pizza. Hotel Monaco was our destination of choice. The boutique hotel is gorgeous and right in middle of town. We had way too much fun and because there is way too much to write about I have bulleted out the highlights!

  • We got to stay in the penthouse suite on the 14th floor!!!
  • Monaco set us up with the most adorable Italian soda bar in our suite, aka best party idea ever, they were soooo yummy.
  • We were given our first selfie stick, oh my goodness bad idea! Hours of entertainment.
  • They have complimentary bikes at the hotel. Awesome! You can jet around downtown without having to worry about finding a parking spot.
  • All pets are welcome with no extra fees. If you don’t have one, they let you “rent” a goldfish for the night. So fun! (they gave us two that were twins!)
  • There is a complete yoga mat set in every room that is complimentary. Love this, especially because Parker and I have started doing yoga together once a week!
  • We stayed up way later than 10:30 pm which was impressive.
  • Students in interior design stop at the hotel frequently for field trips because the rooms are incredible, i.e. fur throws, geometric carpet prints, etc.
  • The hotel gave each of us girls a lush lip balm and cute nail polish, plus we all loved wearing the amazing animal print robes that come in every room!
  • We honestly laughed until we cried and our cheeks hurt. Girl’s nights are so good for the soul, thanks to all of our lovely friends for coming and making it such a fun night!

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Huge thank you to the Hotel Monaco for showing us such an incredible time! Yay for a successful girls night! xo

Travel Essentials

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To gear up for some fun trips in our future (Britt to LA and Brooke to the Caribbean) we have rounded up the latest and greatest products when it comes to travel. We have come a long way in our packing habits– I was a terrible overpacker and Britt was always forgetting things (as in forgot her entire toiletry bag one trip). We came across some awesome products that we have never seen before and want to share. Starting out with the Cup Case: a suitcase for your bras from The Container Store! How awesome is that? Now they won’t get smashed or misshapen on vacation. Lucky for us, they were so spacious for ours we can also fit a couple pairs of undies :)
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Next up is the Hanging Weekender Bag. I am obsessed with this! I finally just threw out my day-to-day grungy makeup bag and solely use this. The best part is you can hang it anywhere!
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And our final goodie from the Container Store is the Stripes Resort Washable Weekender. If you’re worried about going over the weight limit with your suitcase, you need this! It is super lightweight and can fit tons of stuff because of all the different compartments. If you are an OCD neat freak it is perfect for you! :)
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Get ready for cuteness overload, Ulta actually makes mini curling rods and flat irons specifically for travelling. If you know us, we are obsessed with anything mini! I think these can also be great for carrying in your purse for a last minute touch up, which we do almost every day at work. The detachable cords make them very easy to transport. Plus, they both heat up to 430 degrees in 10 seconds! They are half the size of a normal curling rod or flat iron and so worth $30!
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And this last item might be our very favorite. They are called Skyn Iceland Hydro Cooling Firming Eye Gels. You apply them under the eye and they feel heavenly – especially if you have just finished a red eye flight! We also love these after getting our eyelash extensions done. They are so refreshing and can be used anytime.
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Let us know what your travel must haves are! Here’s to a fabulous Spring travel season! Hope you have something fun planned.

Our Weekend Favorites

via Rifle Paper Co https://riflepaperco.com/shop/art-prints/marie-antoinette-illustrated-art-print/

Image via Rifle Paper Co

Here in Utah it is snowing and temperatures are dropping so we are planning on cuddling up with our husbands and staying indoors! Brooke is moving this weekend and has a few DIY projects in the works. If any of you have tips for using chalk paint – let us know!

Here are a few fun things we loved this week:

- Recipe for crab cakes: Brooke and I were lucky enough to go to a blogger event at Oakwood Homes showroom where we learned how to make these with chefs from Whole Foods. They just hit the spot and transport you to an East coast beach house! If we can make them, anyone can do it!

- Britt wrote the story of a power couple that lives in Huntsville and hosts music superstars like Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban in their home to write hit songs. Fascinating!

- Salt Lake Magazine’s article on local watch company Arvo. We love wearing their watches and always get compliments on them.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

Salt Lake Magazine Feature

We are so flattered to be featured in the latest edition of Salt Lake magazine. We were legitimately surprised they wanted to talk to us, but it turned out to be such a fun experience! We met the reporter at the Rose Establishment in downtown Salt Lake City and did something we’re very good at… chatted about ourselves for a good hour. He somehow turned all of our mumbo jumbo into a really nice article. Then, we did a photo shoot at the station. Of course we’re wearing sparkles and sitting on the anchor desk… that just seemed like the right thing to do. Thanks to everyone at Salt Lake magazine for thinking of us, it really means a lot!

You can read the full article HERE (We love that the title of the article is “Stunt Double”

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SLMAG1SLMAG2(Brooke’s outfit: top & skirt from Anthropologie Brittany’s outfit: top from Anthropologie, skirt from Mindy Mae’s Market)

Build a Better Booty

Meet Elyse Miller. She is a mama, personal trainer, fitness model and all around amazing lady. She is pregnant with her second child and looks amazing. She is a huge inspiration when it comes to all things fitness, so we asked her to give us three exercises to build a better booty. Elyse says if you do 50 reps of each of these exercises after your normal workout, you will see a difference after two weeks. We’ve already started and we can feel the burn! So, if you want a little lift and tuck on your backside, try it out!

DSC_1323DSC_1335DSC_1345Exercise #1 Jump Squat: Jump into a wide low squat and quickly come back up into a standing position with slightly bent knees. Here are some ridiculously awkward photos of us demonstrating…

DSC_1341DSC_1340Exercise #2 Curtsy Lunge: Start standing with your feet hip width apart, and then, keeping your weight in your left foot, take a big step back with your right leg, crossing it behind your left leg, like you are about to curtsy to the Queen of England. Slowly bend your knees and lower your body straight down until your front thigh is parallel to the floor, and both knees are bent at 90 degrees. It burns so good!

DSC_1338Exercise #3: Basic squat with arms raised straight in front of you while you lower down and come back up. My favorite squat tip is to always make sure you can wiggle your toes to keep weight in your heels. Love how this squat improves upon a basic that we all know how to do!

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DSC_1288Thanks to Elyse for the tips! If you want more great get fit tips and healthy recipes, check out Elyse’s blog: Girls Just Wanna Have Buns!

What Happened When My Husband Dressed Me

overallsEDIT We loved the recent feature Summer Bellessa did called “My Toddler Dressed Me” where she let her toddler pick out her clothes for a week. Since we don’t have toddlers, we decided to use our husbands! They are always saying they could pick out great outfits for us, so we decided to put them to the test. The Outlets at Traverse Mountain were nice enough to give each of the boys $150 to spend at any store they wished. We knew we were in a safe place because the Outlets have our top 3 faves: J Crew, Loft and H&M! Photographer extraordinaire Travis Richardson joined us for the adventure. It helps that our husbands both think he is awesome and that he makes them feel comfortable in front of the camera! If we are being honest, Britt thought she would end up in a button down shirt and cardigan, while Brooke was pretty sure Parker would go for a full Nike look. Luckily, their choices weren’t quite that extreme but we did learn a few things about our husbands:

  •  They do not like pointy stilettos.
  •  They prefer more casual looks.
  •  Instead of the newest trends in denim, the boys love the classic colors and cuts.
  •  They do not go for lace, embroidery, embellishments, or sparkle.
  •  Sensible flats is the name of the game. 

Overall, it was a really fun experience to see their perspective and learn what they prefer to see us in. Once we made it clear Victoria’s Secret was not an option the guys had a lot of fun. We didn’t correct any of their choices and truly just let them pick things they liked… it was kind of hard to hold our tongues! (Like when I was trying on furry scarves and leather pants). However, we think this definitely calls for a Part 2… “This is what happened when my wife dressed me.”… to be continued!

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Here are our BEFORE looks. Typical work outfits for both of us: Brooke in a dress and me in patterned pants, fitted jacket and heels.

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{nothing more confusing than trying to find a pair of cute women’s shoes! i saw this look on his face quite a bit during our shopping adventure…}

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{parker went straight for the flats, no high heels in sight}

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{realizing the last time i wore leather pants was in 7th grade & they were purple}

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{cute on him maybe? in a snowstorm? in antarctica?}

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{realizing these leather pants would actually be perfect for a Sandy from Grease Halloween costume…}

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{another moment of enlightenment: parker loves princess kate style – striped tees, keds and trench coats!}TJP_3197 TJP_3201 (1) TJP_3207 (1)

{this is parker looking on pinterest for the latest trends in fashion… jk he was checking ESPN}TJP_3218 TJP_3225 (1) TJP_3238 TJP_3251

Our outfit details: Brooke is wearing a striped shirt from J Crew (here), her new favorite dark wash jeans from Loft (here), a trench coat from H&M and shoes from H&M. Britt is wearing a floral top from J Crew (here), jeans from H&M and silver flats from H&M.

TJP_3261Huge thanks to the Outlets at Traverse Mountain for letting us do this experiment on their turf! If you want to do the same thing with your husband, post using the hashtag #MyHusbandDressedMe so we can feature some of our favorites!

 

What Celebrities are REALLY like (Grammys Edition)

Since we have been asked by almost everyone we know this past week who we interviewed and what they were really like, we decided to make a handy dandy list! So here they are… all of our deepest, darkest Grammys awards 2015 secrets!

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1. Taylor Swift: Everyone loves her for a reason. I literally came within inches of running into her on the red carpet and she was still nice. I turned around and was like, “OMG! It’s Taylor!” So I said “Hi” and she was so nice. She is stunningly beautiful in person. She has a huge troop of publicists/managers/people that keep her under a very watchful eye, but she still manages to make everyone feel like she genuinely wants to talk to you.

2. Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman: They will always be some of our favorites to interview. They are so nice and friendly. Keith’s accent makes him so cute and Nicole is striking in person. This year his crazy publicist went on a rant when we asked for an interview, so he apologized and only stopped for a second.

3. Josh Duhamel: So handsome and friendly. He brought both of us back to our junior high giggly school crush days. He is very charismatic and was so kind. He acted like he had plenty of time to talk and hung around for about 5 minutes (which is a lifetime in red carpet interview time)

4. Usher: Brooke has had the biggest crush on him since she was about 12 and he fit everything we’ve thought about him. He is an obviously happy go lucky guy that is constantly smiling and saying hi to everyone as he walks down the red carpet. He was a little bit shorter than we though… he’s about 5’8″ so we were taller than him!

5. Haim Sisters: We were so excited to meet them because they are also a band of sisters that have created a career together. They have a very eclectic style and seemed thrilled to be at the Grammys. We asked how they liked working together and they said the same thing Brooke and I do.. it’s so nice to have someone you can share all of the experiences with that knows you so well. We are definitely new fans.

6. Dierks Bentley: sweetie pie. He’s shorter than we thought, but has gone through the best transformation ever… He seemed genuinely surprised and happy with his success.

7. Sam Smith: adorable. Just so fun to watch someone like him win so many awards. It’s a brand new world to him and he was thrilled to be a part of it. Basically everyone at the Grammys wanted a picture with him. The main reason we love him– he celebrated his win with a meal at In’n’Out burger! He said he’s been drinking lots of “green juice” to get ready for the awards.

8. Miranda Lambert: She is always a pleasure to talk to because she seems 100% genuine and real. She said she really wanted a cocktail after performing and winning her award. She still seems to be a humble country girl. When we asked if she would ever do a rock album she said, “No way! Even if I tried to do rock it would sound country because I’m from East Texas!”.

That’s all for now! If you have specific questions about a celeb or are wondering if we talked to your favorite, message us!

Valentine’s Flowers on Every Budget

EmmyLowePhotoJolleysSegment-5We have been dying to collaborate with one of our best friends and florist extraordinaire,Rachel Osguthorpe, for quite some time now. We decided Valentine’s week was the perfect time to do it! Whether Rachel is working with a budget of $10 or $100, she makes every project beautiful and personalized. In case you don’t believe us we have photographic evidence thanks to Emmy Lowe Photo! Together Emmy and Rachel create some of the most beautiful photos together. You can go here, here, and here to look at some of our favorites. We challenged her to come up with several different floral arrangements that cost $10, $40 and $75. All clothes worn in the photos are from Jolley’s Gift & Floral. They have the cutest clothes and shoes! Even though we are both super excited for Valentine’s this year, we definitely remember being heartbroken and lonely in years past. One thing our Dad did for us growing up was to get us each a simple flower for Valentine’s Day. It was so nice to feel loved, even if it was from someone who is kind of forced to love us :) This year we are going to try and brighten someone else’s day who is not be thrilled about the holiday this year. It’s amazing what a bunch of cute flowers can do for your mood!

EmmyLowePhotoJolleysSegment-17EmmyLowePhotoJolleysSegment-14 {you can get these gorgeous blooms for $10!}
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{Rach can do anything you want, but she has an amazing eye for design and is always introducing us to flowers and plants we’ve never seen before, this is the mid range $40}

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{how excited would you be to get this gorgeous arrangment?! this is the $75 and it’s stunning}EmmyLowePhotoJolleysSegment-20 EmmyLowePhotoJolleysSegment-46{how cute is this little pup and its red collar?}EmmyLowePhotoJolleysSegment-49EmmyLowePhotoJolleysSegment-23EmmyLowePhotoJolleysSegment-26{if you’ve never had the sour heart gummies from Jolley’s run now, they are so good!}EmmyLowePhotoJolleysSegment-32 EmmyLowePhotoJolleysSegment-50{this is the mid range bouquet that is so gorgeous! It runs about $40}

EmmyLowePhotoJolleysSegment-10 EmmyLowePhotoJolleysSegment-22 EmmyLowePhotoJolleysSegment-41We love supporting local businesses and Jolley’s is definitely one of our favorites! They also carry Treats & Trends cookies, which come in flavors like Diet Coke & Cookies and Cream. They are beyond. You can find Jolley’s at 1676 E 1300 S in Sugar House. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! We are so grateful to have you following along with us and we truly LOVE you!

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