Friday, 24 June 2016

Our living room updates

Last time we discussed our apartment, we had recently moved in and had a to-do list a mile long. Our living room looked a bit bare:






We've now been there about a year and a half and have slowly crossed items off the to-do list, resulting in a much cozier feel:






We added this rug and a couple Target ottomans, which have since lost their shape. The rug has held up surprisingly well to wear and tear. I was worried that because we have a black dog, the white stripes may look dingy immediately, but it vacuums up easily.


The white end tables got repurposed in the bedroom and we added a small wood bench under the TV. It's really too small for the space but..*shrugs*. 

We're on the hunt for a coffee table and may have one made by our friend.




We added wooden shelving, using industrial black handrail brackets  in place of regular shelving brackets. This tactic proved to be much cheaper and simpler than installing shelving brackets, and the shelves and artwork really warm up the space.


Our lease is up next month and we're on the hunt for a new place because we'd love an outdoor area for our dog. I'll be sharing some misadventures in Portland real estate soon!



Wednesday, 20 April 2016

I'm back! With two new room designs

Long time no talk, friends! Almost a year has flown by since I last posted, and so much has happened in that time! I've had multiple friends get married, one just had a baby, several have moved to new states, my godson/nephew is turning one tomorrow, and last but not least I got engaged!

So, inspired by those fun life events, here are a couple designs I put together to account for friends and family's new life needs.



Campfire Nursery




This first nursery design was inspired by this adorable campfire nightlight, which got me thinking that a camping/hiking-themed nursery would be so fun and could transition to later years as well.



Cari's Living Room


Next up, my friend Cari and her husband Ryan recently moved to Vermont and bought an amazing log cabin-style home in the woods. Cari is a boho babe but loves the log cabin, rustic asthetic as well, so I put together this inspiration board for her new living room.


Hopefully I'll have time to check in more frequently, including posts on what's inspiring me during my wedding planning. Thanks for stopping by again!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Little red dress, four ways

Summer has been flying by lately, and I've been enjoying my time outdoors! I have lots more planned for the season, so time can slow on down anytime now, amiright?

Several of my plans include celebrating the nuptials of very good friends, so I spent the last couple of weeks on the hunt for a dress to wear to various wedding-related events. I finally found this little red dress at Anthropologie (which also comes in lavender; similar but shorter look for less here) and immediately concocted several ways to style it.

First up, I'm planning to wear the dress to my best friend's bachelorette party in Charleston, SC. Strappy gold heels and delicate ribboned jewelry are a must, obviously:

Charleston Bachelorette Party

 
Next, I'm in a wedding in Nashville. Obviously I'll be wearing a bridesmaid dress in the wedding, but she's having her rehearsal dinner at a BBQ joint so I can style the dress a little more casually:

Nashville Rehearsal Dinner BBQ

 
Last but not least, my boyfriend's buddy is getting married this fall at a ski resort in Vermont. Temps will be a little cooler, which gives me the opportunity to toughen the dress up a bit with a leather jacket and badass jewelry:


Vermont Ski Chalet Wedding

 


Then, when all the fun is over, the dress will make its way into my work wardrobe, like so:


Work dress

 
 
How would you style this dress? Is a LRD the new LBD?

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Summer 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

It's about time for a new capsule wardrobe for summer, don't you think?

Without further ado:
Summer 2015 Capsule



This is actually fairly similar to the capsule I posted for Spring 2015, but to be honest my spring capsule was sort of a disaster. I didn't end up buying many of the pieces I had intended to, so the capsule ended up being really terrible and unusable, which led to me pulling random items from storage to wear, which led to me pulling aaaaaallllll of my clothing out when I felt like I had 'nothing to wear'....which led to me still only wearing the same few pieces yet feeling uninspired by my closet. 

So, this summer, I've decided on a few things:
1) I really limited my color palette. I kept trying to force color into my capsules, but those pieces just went unworn and led to the above problems. So this time around, I focused on white, black, and denim pieces with a few patterns and pinks thrown in for when I'm feeling adventurous!
2) In order for my closet to be usable, I need to have all the pieces! Last capsule I didn't buy much because I was busy buying plane tickets for my friends' weddings (#firstworldproblems) but this time around I've decided to commit some dough to the project. 

I've pulled together most of the capsule already from my existing closet, but I still have a few notable items missing. Namely, white jeans, a white blazer, a white buttonup, and the perfect nude heels (I need to be able to rock them as a bridesmaid twice this year, but then wear them to work after).

I have these heels ordered, but I'm having the hardest time trying to find the last three pieces. I don't want to spend too much because I will, without a doubt, stain these white pieces before the year is out. Any suggestions?

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Drop-dead gorgeous jewelry alert!!

Recently I stopped by one of my favorite Portland stores, Adorn, where I came upon a new jewelry line and fell in love. They had these beautifully simplistic yet artistic silver- and gold-toned bracelets repurposed from things like old sink faucets and brass door handles.

Through the magical world of the Internet, I tracked down the source of the beauty to an artist named Kine from Kenya, who crafts his wearable art in the slums of Kibera and sells through a New York-based shop called Soko. Here's a small sampling of the gorgeousness, but please click here for his full collection!



Kine at Soko

The shop that distributes these beautiful pieces, Soko, has a really amazing mission. In their words, they were "founded on the belief that innovation can empower women, can connect markets, and can foster opportunities that change lives."

Soko works with artisans in developing countries, helping them not only to distribute their work but also training them in economic skills to succeed in their businesses. 

In addition to Kine, Soko stocks pieces from a variety of different artisans. Here's a peek at some of the others' work: 

Shop Soko


Aren't they beautiful??! I highly suggest  checking out the rest of the wares at shopsoko.com! And for your first purchase, you can get 20% by joining their mailing list. At the top of my wishlist? This bracelet set, this single-bar ring, and this flat-topped oval ring. I'm all about the simple statement jewelry! Which are your favorites?

Saturday, 13 June 2015

All dressed up and nowhere to go...

Sorry for the recent radio silence; life has gotten away from me a bit. Several (and by several I mean 8) of my good friends are getting married this summer, so weekends have been full of bridal showers, bachelorettes, and the weddings themselves.

I'm in three of them, so my outfits are planned for those, but I've been on the hunt for wedding guest gear for the other 3. I've come across several options that I'll share later, but I also found some fun options that, while not appropriate for my events, would be really fun to rock somewhere.



Dresses


I'm loving on this simple maxi dress. Paired with a slicked-back pony, futuristic jewelry, and killer heels, I'd feel like a total badass.

It's hard to see from this image, but dress #2 is covered in Picasso-esque line drawings of faces. I kept with the cartoon-y feel by adding polka-dot pumps and clutch plus tassel earrings, but modernized the outfit with the hairstyle.



Dresses 2


I'm so in love with how the left dress has a punk edge despite the floral motif, so a braided mohawk seemed appropriate. Adding in one of my current favorite trends (ear jackets), some strappy metallic heels, and a striped clutch takes this floral dress from cute to rebellious.

I adore the unexpected color palette of the next dress; I would never think to pair baby blue, citrus yellow, maroon, and black, but the pattern makes it all work. I love the scallop detail on these heels (they come in pink and gold, too!), and the hairstyle is deceptively easy!

Dresses 3

Lastly, we have a set of colorful dresses. The intricate lace of the top left dress gets repeated in the clutch and shoes, so I topped it off with simple pearl earrings and a romantic hairdo. 

Next, the silhouette and floral pattern of the other blue dress makes it a show-stopper on its own, so I kept the accessories and hairstyle simple. 

Likewise, the bottom left dress has such a modern, striking cut that simple hair, shoes, and accessories seemed the best match.

Not to be outdone, the dramatic ruffle of the bottom right dress makes such a statement that no jewelry is really required except some simple earrings. To emphasize the color of the dress I added coral heels and clutch, and I think this would look great on a redhead!


Which outfit would you be most likely to rock?

Friday, 3 April 2015

I'm baaaaaaack....with a Spring 2015 Capsule Wardrobe!


Hello loves! Long time no talk! I don't know about you, but I feel like 2015 is flyyyyyyyyyying by so quickly!

Let's just jump right into things, shall we? Now that the weather has taken a turn for the prettier, it's time to retire my sweaters and tights for a springier collection! Here's what I'm thinking for Spring 2015:


Spring 2015 Capsule


When my boyfriend and I were packing up to move to Portland, we did a huuuuuuuge purge of all the 'stuff' we didn't really need or use anymore, plus we got rid of anything we still loved but that was too worn out to justify moving (like raggedy hiking clothes, worn-out work flats, etc). So I'm in the market to revive my wardrobe!

Ideally, in order to achieve a wardrobe similar to the dream capsule version shown above, I'd need to purchase the following:

 

 
Spring 2015 Capsule Purchases


It will be a surprise to no long-term readers that I've already made a few purchases, all of which are black or white (cantstopwontstop with my love of neutrals!) I already have the white buttonup, white striped dress, black flats, and black wedges on their way to me.

But if I were to purchase the entire wishlist, it would take $1094 out of my bank account, which is more than I'm willing to spend...by, like, a lot. So I'll be on the hunt for alternative options to create the looks I want without blowing my entire tax return (I do have a car loan to pay off, after all ;)

Here are a few tips for prioritizing your shopping dollars:

1. Decide which options you'll wear the most and invest accordingly.
  • For example, I perused my Work and Play style boards on Pinterest, and many of the outfits feature white jeans, so a good pair of well-fitting white denim is near the top of my list. 

2. Determine which items need to withstand the most wear, and buy the best quality for your budget.
  • Since having hip surgery (twice..), I can't wear high heels or cheap, thin flats, so I'm more willing to spend money on cushy sandals, flats, and wedges.
3. Figure out the look you're going for and pick a statement piece that fits that look in the most versatile way.
  • I've been loving the pretty floral items debuting in shops and on Instagram ("Florals for spring? Groundbreaking." #namethatmovie), so I'm determined to add a little colorful pattern to my wardrobe. I love the floral dress shown above, but there are limited ways I can wear it (basically +/- a jacket or blazer), so the floral skirt or blazer are probably better options for me.
4. On a related note, buy pieces that can be worn multiple ways.
  • For example, the buttonup chambray dress can be worn alone, with a jacket/blazer, over a buttonup, or unbuttoned it could act as a long vest.
5. Wait for sales (duh).
  • This tip is pretty obvious, but if you know that a store has frequent sales (or coupons if you sign up for their emails)....wait for those sales. For example, the white skirt and white jeans shown total $150 full-price, but they're from the Loft which frequently has 20-40% off sales, saving me up to $60. Likewise, if an item is sold at multiple stores (like the BB Dakota chambray dress above), do a quick Google search to find the best price for the item.
6. Decide if a cheaper alternative is worth it.
  • Sometimes, rule #2 doesn't apply--items don't need to withstand lots of wear and tear, so a cheaper alternative to your ideal option may be ok. For example, I really like the black vest shown, but it's a fairly trendy item right now so I could find a cheaper alternative at Forever 21.
7. Shop thrift stores for basics.
  • If I was looking for a pair of jeans or black pants, the first place I'd stop would be a thrift store because name-brand versions of these items can easily be found at a heavy discount.
7. If you finally find the holy grail item that's been on your shopping list forever....buy it!
  • For example, I've been on the hunt for over a year for a soft, slouchy white buttonup, so when I found one for $60 (a little more than I was trying to spend), I decided to just go for it!

What are your favorite tips for getting the best bang for your buck?