Sunday, 29 January 2017

Whimsy in Today's Climate

The last several months have been rough for me. I've become much more active politically since November, devoting a lot of time and mental/emotional energy to learning about how I can best support ideas and people that are currently under attack. In addition, my job has been very busy and stressful since November and on top of it all we're planning our wedding.

Long story short, all of these fears and stressors culminated in me feeling very defeated on Friday, so I went on media blackout, poured myself a glass of wine, and started online window shopping (I rarely buy things, but the act of mindlessly browsing is relaxing to me). I started noticing that all of the items that caught my eye had youthful, whimsical elements--which seems like an appropriate counter-reaction to the heavy, hard adult topics that have been on my mind lately.

I started thinking about how despite how bleak things looked that Friday afternoon, there's still a lot of beauty in the world. Perhaps it's privileged and naive to say this, but maybe incorporating some oversize earrings, a punchy marbelized skirt, or fun bunny shoes will help serve as a daily reminder of that beauty. If you're of that mindset, see below :)

Colorful/ Color-phobic

A lot of my picks tended to fall into one of three themes: youthful motifs, like polka dots, baby animals, or gingham; amped-up color like fuchsia and marbelized prints; and oversized themes like big chunky earrings and exaggerated ruffles. I also picked items that were a fun twist on classic pieces, like a scalloped collar on a white button-up or big, artsy floral prints on an otherwise staid work dress.

Some of the items are clearly not work-appropriate (hot low-cut maxi dress, looking at you!), but I think many of the items I picked could easily be incorporated into your work week as well as your weekend:

Youthful Motifs

Given the high-stress atmosphere at work, lately I've been alllllllll about the comfort dressing. What's better than a fun printed pair of pants paired with comfortable wedge loafers, a snuggly sweater, and oversized abstract-shaped earrings?

Then, for the weekend, pull out those bunny sneakers (!!!), pair them with a baseball tee and gingham shorts, and head on your way to do some volunteering. 

Amped-Up Color

As someone who dresses primarily in black and white, this fun fuchsia skirt popped out at me and I couldn't resist pairing it with those gorgeous earrings! I kept it work-appropriate with a standard-issue black turtleneck and heels.

For play, this beautiful marble-print skirt paired well with Annie Costello Brown's beautiful chunky earrings (I'm obsesssssssed with her work!). I kept things relaxed with a wrap top that allows a pretty lace bralette to peak through, plus some easy slip-on sneakers. 

Oversize It!

Lastly, I put together an outfit that's a study in scale. The diminutive scallop collar of the white buttonup contrasts well with the heavy bib of the dress. They both pair nicely with the oversized beaded earrings, with chunky sandals to balance everything out. 

For my final pick, I gravitated toward this fun dress with an exaggerated ruffle. The black ruffled heels give a nod to the dress, then I added more fun ACB earrings and graphic sunglasses to round out the outfit. 

So tell me: have you noticed any shifts in what you wear, where you go to destress, etc in the recent months? How are you practicing self-care while still staying engaged?

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Holiday Party Dress Three Ways

Hello all! I took some time away partly because I was busy and partly because blogging hasn't seemed like an important use of my time when you know what's going on in the US right now. However, this blog has always been a hobby I turn to when I need a creative outlet, so I'm happy to be back in my little corner of the internet.

I would imagine I'm not alone in feeling a little less holiday spirit than I typically do this time of year, but I have several upcoming holiday parties and would like to temporarily focus on those fun things while I process the election outcome and its potential ramifications.

I had some credit at, so when I spotted this fun fringed dress it was a no-brainer to add it to my cart. As you know I like to restyle my clothing as much as possible, so I came up with three ways I can wear the dress to my holiday events.

My first invite is to spend Thanksgiving on the Oregon coast with friends. Being far from family over the holidays is hard to handle, so I'm grateful to friends who take in holiday orphans such as my fiancee and me :)


Since Thanksgiving is essentially federally-approved gluttony, for  my first go-round I styled the dress for maximum comfort. I paired it with a boxy denim jacket to help hide the post-meal turkey belly and kept it festive yet comfortable with funky metallic oxfords, studs that manage to be simple and statement at the same time, and a beaded bucket bag.

My next event is an after-work holiday party with coworkers. 

Work Party

To keep this office-friendly yet still full of good cheer, a skirt worn under the dress adds needed length--I think the silver would be so fun peaking out from under the fringe! I added a cozy metallic flannel, also to be worn under the dress, and some chic wedges and studs.

Lastly, I'm spending this New Year's Eve at my college roommate's wedding--so fun!

New Year's Eve

This is the perfect opportunity to bring in some bling with a goorrrrrrgeous tasseled necklace and statement earrings. Paired with luxe red velvet platform sandals, matching lipstick, and a chic updo, this outfit would be sure to kick 2017 off on the right foot.

So, which outfit is your favorite? How would you style this dress?
Holiday party dress

Monday, 5 September 2016

Quick design: Indigo and Raffia

Happy Labor Day! With all the great sales going on, I've been doing more online window shopping than usual and found some great pieces. Here's a quick design of how I'd use them in my home!

Quick Design: Indigo and raffia

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

We're all moved in! Tour our living/dining space :)

We've been in our place for 3 weeks now and it's starting to feel like home. I'd like to share some preliminary photos of the work we've done on the living/dining space.

To give you a sense of the space, here's a panoramic shot from the front door:

And another from the bathroom (which is the open door on the left in the first shot):

As you can see, the living/dining area is one open space that we've divided into a living area, office area, and kitchen/dining area. The place gets such great light, it's been so fun seeing our once-deprived plants flourishing!

We just bought a new counter-height table and are picking up the stools to go with it next week!

 I bought this ridiculous birdy table last week just because it makes me laugh. Design should be fun! And check out that coffee table my fiancee made from locally reclaimed lumber. The variation in pattern and texture is awesome in person!

With only one blank wall to work with, we reused our shelving from our last apartment and filled it with personal momentos and an Ikea plant stand my mom gifted me, which we've repurposed for the moment as a bookshelf. 

We still have lots of plans for the space, like retrofitting the dining table to have a shelf for our pots, building a console table for behind the sofa, and building an outdoor setup for our bikes. But it already feels like home and I'm pretty happy with the progress we've made in just 3 short weeks!

Also, here's a gratuitous photo just because I think my dog is adorable. Not pictured: my fiancee telling her to sit behind me ;)

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Portland Bungalow: Bedroom

When we were plotting out the living and dining areas, we decided to go light, bright and colorful. We wanted to distinguish the bedroom a bit stylistically. In perusing my Pinterest boards, a theme emerged:

Did you pick up the theme? In essence, we've decided to go a little more neutral and textural, mixing more prints and less colors. We'll maintain the white and wood theme, but add in black, blue, and grey in various patterns:

Portland Bungalow Bedroom

Our goal is to do this on a budget (we're saving for our wedding), so we've repurposed items from all over our last apartment: our duvet cover, curtains, lamp, bedside table, map, TV, sconces, rug, and shoe cabinet are all now coalescing in the bedroom. The only new pieces will are the headboard (surprisingly nice for $91!) and this beautiful jewelry stand (since our new bathroom is much smaller, my jewelry is relocating to the bedroom). 

I still need to find some fun patterned blue/grey/black accent pillows or shams, but overall the bedroom is already looking really nice I think!

Friday, 5 August 2016

Portland Bungalow: Dining/Work Area

As you know, we recently moved to a cute new bungalow in Portland. I shared my plans for the living area, and today I thought I'd share our plans for the dining and work spaces of the main room.

Our strategy in the kitchen and office space is to maximize storage, keep lines of sight clean, and only have out items that we find beautiful. Here are some of our inspiration images:

Again, we're going with a white/wood/beautiful textiles theme. Here's our game plan:

Portland Bungalow Seating Areas

We will cozy this up a bit with fun textiles and artwork, but for the most part these spaces will be utilitarian and meant to fade into the background compared to the living space and backyard. 

We plan to get a counter-height table to use as a prep space and dining table. We debated getting an island with seating space, but are likely going to opt out of the extra storage in favor of keeping the space lighter and less cluttered. We found some industrial counter-height stools at a local Portland store; I thought they'd be uncomfortable, but they're actually pretty supportive and will be very comfortable especially once I add a cute lumbar pillow :)

For the office space, we're repurposing the desk we had been using as a dinner table. We plan to get rid of our ugly Ikea place-holder chairs and replace it with one comfortable cognac leather chair. I really like the one pictured but it's from Dot & Bo and I've heard horror stories about that company! Anyone know of a similar, not horrifically expensive alternative?

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Portland Bungalow: Living Area

Recently I showed you what our new place looks like. Since then, we've moved in and are loving our new place, especially the small yard!

Now that we finally have a home we can see ourselves staying in a for a couple years, we really want to make it our own (as much as you can in a rental). The bungalow is basically just one large square living space with a bay window across from the kitchen, bedroom/bathroom across from the front door and a window. The floor plan can be pretty flexible, but here's our planned layout:

Portland Bungalow Floor Plan

Because it's so open, the kitchen/work/living spaces all need to speak to one another stylistically. The new place gets such great light, particularly with the white walls and large windows. We want to capitalize on the open, airy feeling, which means getting rid of or repurposing some of our heavier pieces from our last place and supplementing what we already own with a few new pieces. For example, my insanely talented fiancee is creating a coffee table and console table from local reclaimed lumbar and locally-created metal legs (I got a picture text at work today of the coffee table and it looks so good!).

Here are some inspiration images for the vibe we're after in the living area, along with our plan for how to accomplish it!


As you can see, we're shooting for a mix of colorful, fun textiles, lots of white and wood, and an overall bright, breezy minimal boho vibe. 

Here's the game plan: 

Portland Bungalow Living Area

We really only have one open wall in this place (everywhere else is windows, doors, or kitchen!), so we're planning to reuse the floating wood shelves from our apartment there. This wall is bigger than our last one, so we'll fill in the empty spaces around the floating shelves with invisible bookshelves.

The sofa is floating in the middle of the room facing the window, so we'll put the new console table to put behind it with some fun lamps. I like the ones pictured here because they're a fun shape and color but still glass, so they don't feel too heavy in the room. The new coffee table is sized just right for the space, and my housewarming present to myself will be this silly side table that makes me smile. 

Finally, we have a slipper chair and side table that go in the bay window, facing the sofa, and will fill in the space with lots of green plants. I'm most excited about the plants, because our last place was where beautiful plants went to slowly curl into themselves and not-quite-die from lack of sun!

What do you think?