Wednesday, 31 July 2013

One Item FIVE ways: Leather Crop Top

Admit it. How many of you read the title of this post and were like, no way in HELL can someone come up with five ways to wear a leather crop top. Well my friends, not only have I found 5 ways, I think I can make a strong argument that this could be a nontraditional staple in your closet, like my green leather skirt!

Here goes:

Leather crop top: 5 Ways

Going clockwise from the top:
12:00 Position: I started things off with a bit of an unusual outfit. How many times in grad school did I want to just show up in my pajamas and still be socially acceptable?? Answer: Every. Damn. Day. This outfit provides a solution to that, by combining some lazy-girl staples (flannel shirt, sweatpants, and chucks) with a funky backpack and the crop top to pull it all together. This shirt is zipped up in back, so depending on how it's cut it could be cute worn backwards and unzipped, like a bolero!

2:00: If I had a bachelorette and all these items in my closet, I'd love to rock this! The Target skirt has been on my wishlist forever, and I think that since it sits higher on the waist it would be cute to show just a slim band of skin between the skirt and top. This top practically calls for funky, over the top jewelry, and I think this necklace suits that bill perfectly!

4:00: I call this outfit the Blogger Cliche: chambray shirt, white skinnies, leopard shoes, green accents and a bit of leather mixed in. There's a reason cliches are cliches though--I think this is super cute!

8:00: This outfit could make a great transitional outfit from work to after-hours drinks with a friend. At work I'd probably tone down the shoes a bit and wear just simple pointed black heels, then remove the watch for after-hours and add a cute clutch!

10:00: The first thing that came to mind when I spotted the crop top is that it would be the perfect touch to toughen up a girly, lacey dress. So that's what I've done! I'd wear this to a more formal party or a wedding. Check out the bling on that BaubleBar necklace!!

I also think these would be cute paired with wide-leg culottes or pants! Although my last One Item X Ways post didn't result in me keeping the item featured, I just may have to add this fun, versatile crop top to my closet soon...

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

One Item Four Ways: Maxi Dress

It happened again. I was innocently perusing Pinterest when I stumbled upon a dress that I had to purchase right now yesterday. I love the neckline, and the colors are so pretty--it is named the "Sunset Maxi Dress" for a reason!

As always with my wardrobe purchases, I debated for a bit whether to buy it. Once I started plotting a "One Item Four Ways" blog post in my brain, I knew I had to pull the trigger (as evidenced with my green leather skirt, black drop-waist dress, and peach floaty dress, this is often a great measure of items I'm going to love, since I wear those purchases connnnstantly!).

Since summer is rapidly approaching its end (tear!), I decided to show this dress for work and play, but also to present some summer and winter styling options. 

Pixie Market Sunset Maxi Dress: Work/Play, Summer/Winter

Summer Work Outfit: Although this dress is overall blue, I like to play up the accent colors of corals, reds, and tans. Those heels are a perfect goes-with-everything greige, and I love colored blazers for adding a pop of color to basics!

Winter Work Outfit: Is it just me, or do others feel the urge to toughen up their wardrobe once the cold hits? With an outfit like this, you could do battle against the weather. I love how the gold spikes of the earrings are picked up in the hour markers on the watch.

Summer Play Outfit: I'd rock this outfit at a breezy summer wedding. The bracelet makes me smile because it has two little infinity signs--a great way signal your best wishes to the new couple, for sure!

Winter Play Outfit: I love winter dressing because you get to layer layer layer. This cream sweater is cozy and still lets the dress fabric peek through. Top it off with a chunky ring, raw diamond hoop earrings, and my new favorite boots, and you've got a dream winter outfit in my book!

How would you wear this dress?

In the spirit of full disclosure, after writing this post I did receive the dress yesterday and don't plan to keep it. It was a bit small in the waist and the chiffon print looked a little cheaper than I would expect for the price point. It's still a really pretty dress though, and I think the outfits above can be applied to any print maxi dress!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Feel-Good, Go-To Summer Outfits for Play

'Ello loves! How was your weekend? Time flies and I feel like I could use another Sunday (or two) before coming back to work, but I have a vacation to look forward to starting Friday so hopefully the week speeds by!

Last week I shared some of my standard-but-not-boring outfits for work, so it only seems appropriate that I share my standbys for play too!

Before I started putting this together, I never really thought about how many more scenarios you have to dress for outside of work than at work. At my job, pencil skirts and a nice top are standard, although I can get away with being a little more casual sometimes. Outside of work, you have to create outfits for running errands, going out for drinks, going to concerts, walking the dog, dinner dates, girls' hopefully I've provided some options for each of those scenarios!

Feel-Good Go-To Summer Play Outfits

Top Left: I actually wore a nearly identical outfit a couple weeks ago (minus the awesome shark tooth necklace...tear..) when it was too hot to move much less load up on any type of layers. Floaty cotton or chiffon dresses are such a summer staple, and I think they look best when accessorized minimally and finished off with simple leather sandals.

Top Right: I've worn a similar outfit (minus the pretty earrings--looks like my jewelry closet needs an upgrade!) running errands or to a relaxed dinner at a friend's house. Add boots and take away the hat and you have a great winter option too.

Middle Left: Like I said the other day, I'm basically obsessed with this skirt. I'd wear this outfit out bar-hopping--flats mandatory if you're combining lots of walking + booze! I've also had those green earrings and ring on my wishlist forever--now if only they'd go on sale!!

Middle Right: I wore this exact outfit (again...minus the earrings...SAD) the other night when I went out for dinner and drinks with the girls. The little booties were a fun addition to the outfit, but it's super summer-appropriate with the white shorts and flimsy patterned top.

Bottom Left: I'm also obsessed with my grey Minnesota tee--it's perfectly soft and flattering. I like tucking the front into a pair of comfy bootcuts, adding some bling with a pretty necklace (the one shown is at the tippity-top of my shopping list) and earrings, and finishing it all off with cute wedges. I swear, wedges can be just as comfortable as sneakers and look so. much. cuter.

Bottom Right: I attend a lot of summer concerts and wear endless variations on this outfit: comfy tee, shorts, wedges, simple earrings, and a jacket for when the sun goes down. Aviators are a must!

What are your go-to outfits for having fun?

Friday, 26 July 2013

What I'm Wearing Weekly: July 20-26

This week was a strange one. I had a fun weekend with a girlfriend from college, then Utah celebrated a made-up holiday Pioneer Day so I had a day off of work on Wednesday! Yesterday, ironically, I wore a very boring outfit so I showed what I wore to a Flaming Lips concert last night instead. This morning was a struggle to wake up so I threw on my favorite statement-making pants and let them do all the talking for me today.

Here's what I wore this week. For other editions of WIWW, please click here, here,  here, here,  here,  here, herehere and here :)

What I'm Wearing Weekly: July 20-26

Any fun plans for the weekend? I don't have much on the docket, which is going to be amazing, so I plan to finish the coffee table I started building a couple weeks ago! Have a good one, friends!

Truth in blogging: In these boards I try to use the exact items I own, but if those items aren't available I've replaced them with visually similar items. This week, I actually own: Saturday's entire outfit, Sunday's entire outfit, Monday's entire outfit, Tuesday's shoes, skirt, and blazer, Wednesday's shoes, and Friday's shoes and pants. 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Feel-Good Go-To Summer Work Outfits

Let's face it. When I wake up for work in the morning, typically the last thing I feel like doing is getting creative with my wardrobe. I get into ruts where I wear the same outfit in different variations (blazer, shell, pencil skirt/dress, necklace, wedges)....and it gets old!

I've found that I'm more productive on days when I look and feel good, so I decided to come up with a list of staple summer work outfits that make me feel good. Now when I get up in the morning, I have no excuse to not look pulled-together and cute!

Feel-Good Go-To Work Outfits

Top Left: This maxi/jean jacket/stripe shirt outfit is definitely more on the casual side of things (I wore it for Casual Friday last week), but there's just something about going back to basics that makes me feel comfortable and put together.

Top Right: I also wore this last week and felt so summery! With the yellow top knotted at the waist, this simple outfit kept me cool and collected. It would also be cute with the top tucked into wide-leg white trousers to dress it up a bit more.

Middle Left: Sheath dresses are a staple of many working women's wardrobes (say that ten times fast), and I love that this one jazzes up a staple with its bold hue. Layering necklaces is really easy, but I always forget to try it out--simple gold jewelry and heels look nice with the structured dress.

Middle Right: Surprisingly, the green pleather skirt I blogged about months ago has become a wardrobe essential. Unlike your typical plain-Jane work skirt, this one takes center stage, so dressing around it is really easy. No matter what you put with it, it seems to flatter!

Bottom Left: Sometimes I feel like dressing a little more artsy, so I'll pop on my standard pencil skirt and a shell but funk it up with some chunky jewelry, python heels, and an eye-popping nail polish shade.

Bottom Right: You really can't go wrong with the blazer/pencil skirt combination at work, but to keep things interesting and fun, try new shapes like a peplum tank and top it off with a statement necklace that goes, but doesn't necessarily match, your outfit. I've found my mint blazer to be super versatile and plan to invest in more colored blazers soon, since they make my black basics so much more fun :)

What do you wear when you want to look and feel good at work?

PS: See my picks for go-to summer outfits for PLAY here :)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Living Room Redesign: Take Two

Isn't it funny how falling in love changes everything? Your world seems brighter, your concentration focuses, and it's hard to think about anything but the object of your affection.

I'm talking, of course, about finding a pillow that changes your whole design plan.

To back up a step, I was plugging along with my living room design, and thought I had come up with a solid color scheme of citron, paprika, greys, and whites:

Living room ideas
Living room ideas by mjchirpich-1 on Polyvore (the two rugs on the right are alternative options to the one originally shown)

Problem is, I haven't been able to find textiles that live up to the plan in my imagination. Even the ones shown in my moodboard don't really tug at my heartstrings.

Then I came across this amazing malachite pillow at Tonic Living, and my whole design plan changed. I showed the pillow to my boyfriend, who surprisingly also liked it (solid sign we're moving in the right direction!). I started putting together a new design board and realized that I really want to make the pillow the room's star. So I simplified the color scheme to black, white, grey, and the green of the malachite pillow:

Living Room Design: Take 2

As you can see, I still have a deep abiding love for these coral Target curtains, so I'm trying to work them in somehow to the new design plan, but I have a feeling they're going to get axed in favor of the above Ikea curtains, to which I plan to apply a black trim for a little pizazz.

This scheme feels much more tailored than my other design, but I think I like it. It also lets me work in this python Furbish tray, which I've also been eyeing forever, so yay for that! :) I'm planning on hitting up my local World Market to see whether the b&w rug shown is as nice as I'm hoping, so I'll keep you posted!

What do you think of the new design plan? Which do you prefer?

Living room ideas  Vs.    Living Room Design: Take 2

Monday, 22 July 2013

Weekly Wishlist: Closet ADD

I just wrapped up a fun weekend with a friend from college visiting. I'm not ready to face the real world again (am I ever on a Monday?) so it seems like a better plan to online window shop, no?

Apparently my sartorial choices reflect my life right now, in that I'm all over the board in what's appealing. I can't make a decision on fabrics for my living room to save my life, perhaps because, as seen below, I love too many colors and neutrals!

Anyway, here's what's on this week's wishlist:

Weekly Wishlist: All over the board

(As always, click on the image to be directed to product links)

Black and White: 
1. I'm a sucker for a black and white stripe, and those cheap wedges from JCPenney ($25!) are no exception.
2. I recently discovered the Minneapolis shop Parc Boutique and I want to basically buy their whole store. This black and tan blazer is so versatile and has a special little kick in cut and color combination when compared to your typical black blazer.
3. This Club Monaco dress reminds me of my perpetual favorite Joie's price tag is about a Benjamin less steep than Joie's option but still just out of realistic reach for my summer budget, boo!

Neutral loves:
1. Another Parc Boutique blazer option, I like that this is neutral, not black, but not quite white either.
2. I've started dreaming up my fall wants, and these Sam Edelman boots top the list. I love the color and that they can dress up or down so easily, with just a small heel.
3. I used to have a gold hexagon bracelet and lost it along the I think I need to replace it with a trio!
4. I'm a sucker for a good lace skirt and this one is so cheap!
5. I bought a fun summery dress for an upcoming wedding this weekend, and it's so colorful I need neutral shoes. These flats are dressy enough for a wedding, obviously more comfortable than heels, and only $35!

Summer Citrus:
1. Not quite sure what it is about these orange wedges, since I literally own zero items of orange clothing, but I want them in the worst way!
2. I've had my eye on that yellow Labworks skirt from Target for a while. Looks so comfy!
3. I spotted this maxi on a new favorite fashion blog, Cleverly Yours, and am patiently awaiting a sale to buy it.
4. I saw these Level 99 skinnies at a boutique in Park City over the weekend, and although they call them 'Burnt Orange' they are actually the prettiest summery buttery yellow. If not for their $98 price tag they would have come home with me for sure!
5. Parc Boutique, again. I've been loving on neutrals + neons lately, and this one is a great flowy option for summer weddings.

Pool Blues: 
1. Target has some cute pencil skirts right now. This aqua option with the cute zipper detail could shake up my work wardrobe of mainly black basics a bit!
2. Love these easy breezy shorts from Zara.
3. I've been trying to find a great, remixable floral pattern, and this Target skirt might fit that bill.

What's on your wishlist this week?

Friday, 19 July 2013

What I'm Wearing Weekly: July 13-19

Unlike the past several weeks, this week seemed to fly by! My number of patients has about doubled post-Angelina Jolie's announcement about her mastectomies and BRCA mutation (the majority of patients I work with are being evaluated for BRCA mutations), so each day I put my head down, slog through a pile of work and patient consults, and don't seem to breathe until it's time to leave!

Needless to say, I'm ready for a vacation. I have a friend visiting for the weekend, so I'm adopting a staycation attitude for the next several days!

Here's what I wore this week. For other editions of WIWW, please click here,  here, here,  here,  here, herehere and here :)

What I'm Wearing Weekly: July 13-19

As you can see, I'm getting great use out of my Aerosoles wedges this summer! So comfortable and they go with everything. I also stopped by a few thrift stores this week and filled in some holes in my closet for pennies--Wednesday's booties, Thursday's white jeans, and today's denim jacket were all thrift shop purchases for less than $9 each!

Happy weekend everyone!

Truth in blogging: In these boards I try to use the exact items I own, but if those items aren't available I've replaced them with visually similar items. This week, I actually own: Saturday's shorts, Sunday's wedges, Monday's pants and wedges, Tuesday's whole outfit minus the necklace, Wednesday's dress and shoes, Thursday's whole outfit, and Friday's wedges, belt, and striped tank.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Lady Lair for my Best Friend

Lately I've been really in a funk. It's been gloomy and rainy here, which sometimes I love but when you're already down in the dumps it tends to seem like Mother Nature is just shitting on you. In the form of rain. Gross.

ANYWAY, lately I've been leaning a lot on my lady friends to help me put my life and problems into their proper perspective. My best friend Anna is always an absolute rock for me, and as a school counselor she's also a wonderful listener and advice-giver!

So, in appreciation for her gift of friendship, I wanted to put together a little something something for her in the form of an apartment moodboard! I pulled some images from her Wedding pinterest board (I tend to find that girls are truest to their own style when they're thinking about their dream wedding!) and also some images that remind me of her:

Home For Anna

As you may be able to tell, Anna's style is very feminine, classy, elegant, a bit rustic, and chock full of neutrals! So, with that in mind, here's the living room moodboard I've put together for if I were to design her lady lair:

Anna's Living Room

I love that this color palette is mostly neutral but has lots of textures and a tiny hint of lavender to spice things up.

Living room budget options:

  • There are several budget items shown, like the $60 side tables (!) and the $35 pillows on the sofa.
  • This Ikea rattan chair could be a nice stand-in for the one shown and will save you about $200.
  • You could easily find a cheap coffee table on Craigslist and cover it in this fabric using this tutorial to make the ottoman.
  • This may be a stretch, but you could get a buffet with flat doors, glue a ceiling medallion like this to the front, and paint the whole thing white for a similar look to the $1500 console table in my moodboard.

For Ms. Anna's bedroom, I envisioned a girly respite--completely neutral (just the way she likes it), with tone-on-tone patterns and a really great chintzy floral that manages to be classic, elegant, and modern all at the same time--just like Anna!

Anna's Bedroom

Bedroom budget options:

  • this grey floral  clocks in at $9.25/yd as opposed to $132/yd and gives a similar vibe
  • You could paint a pair of Craigslist side tables using this $35 Indian inlay stencil  to get the same look without the $895(!!!) sticker shock of each of the side tables shown.
  • You could easily buy a small console table, desk, or dining table and paint it black to get the look of the vanity shown here.
Lastly, for the dining room, I decided to go a little beyond what Anna would probably choose for herself. I have long been in love with the amazing aquamarine chandelier from Z Gallerie and decided to play with it for this moodboard. Once I found the vintage suzani with hints of aquamarine and pink to serve as a wall hanging over the storage buffet, it all started to come together. 

Anna's Dining Room

Anna's Dining Room by mjchirpich-1 on Polyvore

Dining room budget options:
  • If there's room in your budget to splurge, I would spend my money on the Z Gallerie chandelier. I have never seen anything close to it, and actually $400 isn't a bad price for the size. 
  • Since lots o' pennies will be allotted to the chandelier, plus all focus in the room should be on it, you can keep things simple with a Craigslist round wood pedestal table and simple chairs, plus a jute rug (available at Rugs USA for a steal). 
  • Although I think the sideboard shown is lovely, it could easily be replaced by a Craigslist buffet table or long low dresser and styled with a piece of art.
  • The dishware shown is from Etsy and I think is a reasonable price, but you could easily get basic white dishes from Walmart, Target, etc, and dress up the table with colored napkins or placemats.

I want to move in! Hope you've enjoyed--love you Ann, thanks for all you do :)

Friday, 12 July 2013

What I'm Wearing Weekly: July 8-12

This week was another long one (I feel like that's been my refrain all summer...). Saturday and Sunday were spent in workout clothes, running errands and cleaning my house. Work has been hectic lately (I work in genetics and there have been all sorts of crazy effects of the Supreme Court case against Myriad Genetics...ugh). I'm looking forward to a little R&R this weekend, and hopefully finishing the coffee table I've started! More on that soon... :)

Here's what I wore this week. For other editions of WIWW, please click here, here,  here,  here, herehere and here :)

What I'm Wearing Weekly: July 8-12

Hope you have a great weekend, lovelies!

Truth in blogging: In these boards I try to use the exact items I own, but if those items aren't available I've replaced them with visually similar items. This week, I actually own: Tuesday's dress, Wednesday's skirt, Thursday's shirt and shoes, and Friday's shirt. 

Thursday, 11 July 2013

You May Be a Design Blogger If... (i.e., is nothing new?)

If your home sports 5 or more of the following may be a design blogger (or just read a lot of interior design blogs):

Sh*t design bloggers use

I'm not bashing any of these items (in fact, I'm have and/or love several of them)...but it does make me ask: is nothing new in interior design? I feel like every third home tour I see looks nearly identical: mostly white, gold or brass accents, 'pops of color,' industrial accents, Moroccan poufs, and a dresser styled up with alcohol on a tray. These homes all look pulled together and pretty, but to me they don't reflect the homeowner but rather Pinterest come to life.

There are, however,  several interior designers who I love because they are consistently putting out designs that surprise me in the best possible ways. Their designs consist of things I would never in a million years think of myself, and thus provide inspiration far beyond any overly-Pinterested domain (although, of course, the homes they create inevitably end up on Pinterest, creating a never-ending cycle of copy cat design...)

Currently, my favorite designers (in no particular order) are:

Jessica Helgerson: Favorite Interior Designer

Jessica Helgerson: Favorite Interior Designer by mjchirpich-1 on Polyvore

Jessica Helgerson, because:

  • I never look at one of her rooms and think, this looks just like so-and-so's room in X magazine
  • Her best work is minimalistic with just enough extra touches to keep the design approachable and cozy. Her designs make me want to go all Coco Chanel on my house--you know, 'before you go out the door, take off one piece of jewelry'--but for my home. 
  • She works with a lot of eco-friendly/green products
  • She completely designs many of the spaces (i.e., construction involved!) to best suit her clients' needs
  • Each of her rooms makes me think of something that I could do in my home--not the exact thing, more like, "It's really cool how she created a subtle division between the rooms with that beautiful glass sculpture on the desk--what can I use to add artistic division in my space?"
  • Most of all, each project she does has its own point of view--nothing seems half-assed or run-of-the-mill

Another favorite designer is:

Emily Henderson Interior Design

Emily Henderson, because:
  • She started out as a stylist, which is evident in her work--everything has its place and contributes aesthetically to the overall picture
  • She uses tonnnnns of vintage pieces, or new pieces that she recovers or paints so its a whole new, unique piece
  • She puts a big emphasis on designing for you and making your home unique to its occupants--cookie-cutter homes are NOT in her portfolio
  • Her rooms look styled but not overly so--it's like they exist the way that they are supposed to, like anything other than what they are would be unnatural

A third favorite designer is:

Bailey McCarthy Interior Design

  • I absolutely love Bailey's designs. They are so unique and have such a strong point of view that sometimes I wouldn't necessarily even want to live in them myself, but just appreciate the chance to drool over the photos like the art they are.
  • She is a master at color palettes. She combines color in ways I've never seen, which in turn inspires me to be more adventurous with color combos in my own home. 
  • She makes many design choices that I would never think of, like the gorgeous pelmets that finish off her bathrooms so beautifully, or hanging a stuffy painting over a window in a bathroom as a quirky privacy shield
  • She consistently and purposely strives to create designs unlike any others. On the topic of copying another designer's work, she's said, "What would that add to the conversation? If I ever want to enjoy it I can look at it on Pinterest. I want to creat some new good junk to look at." She clearly views interior design as an artistic process, one that I enjoy following along with.
Lastly, rounding out my current top four favorite designers, we have:

Jamie Meares Interior Design

Jamie Meares, because: 

  • She is a pattern-mixing master. Each time I think I've seen it all, she throws a new combo at me that makes me delve into what works about the mix and why
  • Her work is always colorful and fun and makes you feel creative just looking at it
  • Her designs, and the products she stocks in her shop, don't look or feel like you've seen it all before, or if you have she uses them in ways you haven't seen before, like the Les Touches chairs above with hot pink piping.
  • Whereas Jessica Helgerson's designs make me want to scale back everything in my house, Jamie's designs inspire a 'more is more' feeling--for me, I think a combination of the two is perfect.
To me, the common link between all of these designers is that they each consistently bring new ideas to the interior design table. Each project they work on is unique and distinct from their own and anyone else's other projects, and although there are common threads, none feel like, 'oh, so she just replicated what she did in X project here in this new project.' Most importantly, each of these designers makes me think of my home and designs in new ways--they encourage the thought process behind the designs, not duplication of the design itself. 

What do you think? Is nothing new in the design world? Are you, too, tired of the same old same old, or are you continually finding inspiration? Who are your favorite designers?

All photos credited to their respective designer (either from their portfolio or their blog).

Monday, 8 July 2013

Living Room Firewood Storage DIY Plan

Iiiiiiit's Monday again, and I for one am not ready. I think weekends should be at LEAST twice as long, no?

We did manage to make some progress on our living room over the weekend. I finally found the fabric I will use for the custom slipcover, and it is gonna look snaaazzzzy. Now that I know the exact shade of grey I'm dealing with (insert 50 shades of grey reference here), it's making other design decisions much easier---picking accent pillow fabrics, etc.

One problem I have yet to tackle was storage for our firewood and kindling. We have a functioning fireplace in the living room and it actually gets a ton of use in the winter. But it drives me nuts that we always have a cardboard box full of kindling on the fireplace stoop. Surely there's got to be a chicer way to have supplies available for a cozy fire!

That's when I spotted this on Pinterest:

I love how minimalistic the design is, and thought it would be a pretty easy DIY. Then I realized the above design does not account for kindling, so I came up with this: 

Firewood/Kindling Storage Design

Basically I'm planning to build a little cubby on the bottom to stuff kindling into, and above it create another box on top out of L-frame to store chopped firewood like the inspiration image.

Since we obviously don't have fires during the summer, this project is low on the priority list, but I thought I'd share it before I forgot! :)

For those of you with functioning fireplaces, how do you tackle the storage problem?

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Etsy Your Place: Interesting pillow colors

It all started with this pillow: 

I thought the color combination was really interesting. It could go bad 80s southwestern living room real quick, but I liked it so much I made a bedroom moodboard out of it!

Pillow-inspired bedroom

By the way, that amazing gold lighting is less than $500, say whaaaa? I'd love this room to be my guest bedroom!

Friday, 5 July 2013

What I'm Wearing Weekly: June 29-July 6

Happy fifth of July everyone! Did you enjoy your holiday? My boy and I had gone hiking and camped overnight on the third with our puppy at the top of a local mountain peak and got to see fireworks from all over the Salt Lake valley.

Unfortunately, the trade-off was that we got caught in an unexpected thunderstorm--as in, right in the effing middle of it. Terrifying. Our puppy was much less fazed than I, thankfully! Our tent leaked (joyous), so after a sleepless night we headed home early and spent our fourth recuperating with lots of movies, 30 Rock reruns, and Greek food. It was pretty great, actually!

Here's what I wore this week. For other editions of WIWW, please click here,  here,  here, herehere and here :)

What I'm Wearing Weekly: June 29-July 5

What I'm Wearing Weekly: June 29-July 5 by mjchirpich-1 featuring petite dresses

Here's hoping you have a fantastic weekend!

Truth in blogging: In these boards I try to use the exact items I own, but if those items aren't available I've replaced them with visually similar items. This week, I actually own: Saturday's entire outfit, Monday's necklace and shoes, Tuesday's shoes, Wednesday's skirt and shoes, Thursday's entire 'outfit' if you call it that (ha), and Friday's dress and shoes. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Weekly Wishlist: Accessories

I pretty sure that when your backyard is above the temperature of a bikram yoga's too damn hot. We've resisted turning on the air conditioner all year but we caved last night. Given our new icy haven, I did a little window shopping on the's what caught my eye:

Weekly Wishlist: House and Home Accessories

1. I love the slate wall clock from JCPenney. I don't know about you, but I think JCP has been killing it lately, what with the Conrad and Jonathan Adler collections...and even their clothing is getting better!

2. Lately I've been dressing super simply to stay cool. Pretty sure I need a little bling to jazz up my outfits!

3. I checked out these curtains at Ikea last weekend and was pleasantly surprised with their quality. I'm thinking of buying either them in either grey or white and adding a pretty trim for our living room.

4. Nothing screams summer more than a little white sundress. I think this dress would look amazing paired with really any of the shoes/necklaces on this board! And it's 25% off right now at Asos :)

5. Oh west elm, how you eternally present items I want at costs higher and quality lower than I'm willing to spend. This console table may be the exception though!

6. I have a love/hate relationship with ikat these days, but it's all love for this beauty.

7. Another JCP stunner, I think that this blue easy chair would provide the perfect jolt of color to a mostly neutral room--and it's on sale!

8. Aren't these chandelier earrings so fun??! Try them with a white vneck, a blue maxi, and a jean jacket :)

9. Given that it's the pre-Fourth of July, I'm in the mood for a great red lip, and this new offering from Ilia Beauty is right up my alley--and chock full of all-natural ingredients to boot!

10. Slightly tribal, mostly trendy, all love for this beaded bib necklace from Nordstrom. Pair it with the white dress and some boldly colored heels!

11. Sole Society, to me, is like the shoe version of BaubleBar--I love 90% of what they offer, their prices are reasonable, and I can't believe I haven't ever bought from them! These snakeskin flats are office-appropriate but with some edge.

12. Speaking of BaubleBar, I'm in love with the colors of this necklace. I'm tempted to buy it and pair it with my new fuchsia shift dress from Loft!

13. These little wall planter pots are so cute, and only $10 from Anthro! I'm thinking of getting three and lining them up in a row on a narrow wall in our living room.

14. Another Sole Society gem, these hot pink beauties are also office-appropriate but with a kick. I also want them in the mint color!!

And for an extra little pre-vacation day bonus, here's how I imagine these pieces in action!

Weekly Wishlist in Action

Happy Hump Day everyone!!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Summer Beauty Regimen plus mini-reviews!

I realized after this post on Stark's facial oil that I haven't provided a beauty regimen update in a while. I have a system that I'm really liking right now, so I thought I'd share it. Read closely for mini-reviews on W3ll People's Universalist 2 and Devita's Cocoa and Cappuccino Masque!

For reference:
Face: dry skin but prone to breakouts. Pale, burns easily then tans. Pretty neutral skintone with slight tendency toward blue undertones.
Hair: Blonde, fine but lots of it, prone to greasiness/limpness with the wrong products, not frizzy or easily tangled, dries pretty straight and holds curl (via curling iron/flat iron) well.
Body: Dry skin, no problems with eczema, rosacea, etc.

Summer 2013 Natural Beauty Regimen


  • Andalou Naturals toner: although I don't necessarily think this toner is doing anything (good or bad) for my skin, I am still using the last bottle I bought in the winter. When it's up, I will either buy a different toner or just spritz with water (I only really use it to get my skin damp enough to make the other products work better).
  • Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum: As I've said in the past, I like how this serum applies. It absorbs quickly and feels nice and cool in the summer. I think it's been helpful but can't really say for sure. I'll use up the bottle and see if I miss it once it's gone!
  • Stark Skincare Cypress Purity and Defense Oil: As stated recently, I'm in love with this oil and will continue to repurchase until she stops making it or I stop seeing such great results in my skin.
  • Devita Solar Protect Moisturizer: like most natural beauty bloggers, I'm a fan of this moisturizer--I've already run out once and will continue to repurchase. My boyfriend likes this better than my old BurnOut sunscreen because it absorbs better into hairy man arms...
  • Rainwater Botanicals Deodorant: I was head over heels for this deodorant the first time I bought it. Now on my second stick, it doesn't seem quite as effective as my last one, but still effective enough that I'm not tempted to find an alternative. Will repurchase in all likelihood.
  • Eye Kandii blush: I'm still loving the performance and color of this blush. I'm not even halfway through the container, but if I want more I'll probably need to order soon--it took over a month to get to me from Canada last time.
  • Real Purity Mascara: As per my last review of this product, I'm still loving this and wearing it every day! Will repurchase.
  • W3ll People Universalist 2: I got a sample of this when I was testing a few other W3ll People products. This is basically W3ll People's version of the infamous RMS Beauty Luminizer, but I like W3ll People's better. RMS's version didn't have very good lasting power for me, but the Universalist sticks around most of the day. I use it on the inner corner of my eyes and under my eye and it perks me right up! I've already bought the little pot version of this (not the stick, although that's what I thought I was getting off Amazon...).
  • Honey and Stark's Oil: as reviewed here, I've been using honey as a cleanser and just patting on some more Cypress oil on my damp skin before bed. Love!
As Needed: 
  • Acure Organic Mint Shampoo and Conditioner: I'm still using and liking Acure's mint offerings. I do find that near the end of the bottle the shampoo doesn't seem to clean my hair as well (almost like as the ingredients settle, one of them gets used up), so I've taken to shaking the bottle before each use, which has helped. These are just good, basic products and I have no complaints. Will likely repurchase.
  • Ubtan Scrub: I've raved endlessly about this mask, so I won't go on about it again. But I plan to repurchase when I'm done with this bottle. I've had it since November and am about halfway through the bottle, using it maybe once a week.
  • Devita's Cocoa and Cappuccino Masque: I bought this on a whim because it was $5 on clearance (regular price: $34.95), and I'm so glad I did! This provides the gunk-clearing suction I need for my blackhead-prone pores, without drying out my skin to the degree of my Aztec Indian Clay. This is a pretty active mask, which surprised me as it looked so mild--like chocolate pudding! It smells delicious and glides onto the skin nicely, with a cooling sensation. While it dries, it starts to pulsate your skin. It washes off much easier than the concrete-like Indian Clay, and my skin is much less red and dried out after the Devita mask than the Indian Clay. All-around win in my book, and it comes in the cutest reusable glass jar! This product will last me a good long while, too. If I was a normal person I'd definitely repurchase this again and again--however, I enjoy playing around with different masks, so I probably won't immediately repurchase so I can test out another product.

So, all in all, of the 13 products I'm regularly using this summer, the only one that I definitely don't plan to repurchase is the Andalou Naturals toner (just because I think I can either find something more active/beneficial, or I'll just use water--nothing against the product in particular!). It's nice to start finding products that are working well for me!

If you're looking to start cleaning up your skin/beauty care and you have similar skin as me, I'd recommend starting with the Stark oil and the Devita masque--those two used in the same regimen have made the most noticeable difference in my skin of any product combo I've used since switching to natural in October of last year.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Revised Living Room Moodboard: Product Specs!

As is common in decorating for more than one person, I ran my last living room ideas past my boyfriend and got a tentative thumbs up. He didn't like the citron, but approved mostly everything else. So in an effort to temper the acidic jolt from the neon green, I've toned down the hue of the green pillows and added some aqua:

Living room ideas

Points to consider:

  • I recently discovered a great website, The Design Confidential, that has tonnnnns of free building plans to create pieces similar to what you see in stores. I've always thought this west elm coffee table with cushion was a great idea but didn't particularly like the looks of their version. So this weekend, my man and I picked up the goods to create our own
  • I've had my eye on that west elm buffet for months now. There's a local discount furniture store that frequently stocks scratch-and-dent west elm pieces, so I'm hoping I'll get lucky! In the meantime, I'm trolling KSL (local classifieds) and Craigslist for a buffet I can paint white with wood accents to serve as a media/TV console. Alternatively, I could use these plans to craft it myself--depending on how well the coffee table turns out!
  • I ordered some of this dark grey fabric and am nervously awaiting its arrival--there wasn't an option to order a swatch, so I'm hoping the computer image is true to color and it's thick enough for upholstery! I plan to get our custom slipcover made out of it, and when it's all done it should look similar to the sofa pictured.
  • I'm also keeping my eye out for cheap loveseats or extra-wide chairs on Craigslist with the idea that we'd slipcover it in the same grey fabric as the sofa (assuming the custom slipcover works as well as I'm hoping!). Then we'd have a matched-but-not-too-matchy set.
  • I want to do some pattern mixing with fun, bright-colored pillows, as shown.
  • I'd like to DIY a striped rug, like I said in my last post, although I may have to rethink this since the rug shown above is not my boyfriend's favorite.
  • I own a lamp similar (but way more amazing!) than the one shown, and I spray-painted a thrift-store vase so it looks almost identical to the black Dwell Studio one shown.
  • Not sure where I want to go with the curtains...any ideas?
Plans are coming along! Anything you particularly like in this moodboard? Anything you'd change?