Saturday, 12 April 2014

Weekend Reading

Here are a few things I enjoyed over the past week:

What are you all up to this weekend? I'm looking forward to going to yoga and a concert today, and taking it easy tomorrow :)

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Packing a Week's Worth of Work, Play, and a Wedding in a Carryon

....And the kicker? The whole carryon wardrobe consists of 11 items. Eleven. INCLUDING SHOES.

So here's the backstory: In May I will be attending a work conference in Philadelphia, which happens to coincide with my boyfriend's family wedding that following weekend. I'll be arriving on Monday, work conference Tuesday/Wednesday, and time to play Thursday/Friday. Then it's dress-to-impress time with his cousin's wedding on Saturday and a family brunch/travel back home on Sunday.

Naturally, being type-A, I've already started plotting what I need to pack--that's a lot to fit in one weekend! Here's my plan:

Week-long carryon wardrobe for work, play, and a wedding

Keys to Packing Success:
  • Maxi dresses and traveling go hand-in-hand--they're so comfortable, yet look pulled together. Make sure you bring ones that don't wrinkle easy. Bonus points if they have a print so you don't need to bring jewelry.
  • Maxi dresses and weddings go hand-in-hand. I like the one shown because the high neck and busy pattern means no need for jewelry or fancy shoes. 
  • Bring one dressier blazer and one more casual jacket so you can dress your other items up or down. 
  • Pack patterned items that mix well so you have multiple options with minimal items. 
  • A blazer and pencil skirt are great go-tos. My work conference doesn't require us to dress up much, but if yours does, a pencil skirt and blazer are so versatile. After hours, dress down the pencil skirt with a graphic tee, and the blazer goes great with skinny jeans.
  • You don't need more than 3 pairs of shoes. I promise. If you're packing 4+ shoes, you're packing wrong.  I typically bring 1 pair of dress heels, one pair of comfortable shoes (here, the brown sandals, although sometimes I swap these out for some fun sneakers so I can sneak in a workout while away), and a pair of wedges for when you need to look nice but just. can't. take. another. high heel.
  • Take advantage of hotel amenities. Many hotels offer hot irons and laundry services. If you want to be real extreme, you could bring half the amount of clothing shown here (example: maxi dress, blazer, white pants, stripe top, floral skirt, wedges) and just get them washed and repeat outfits/items throughout the week.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Spring 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

I recently posted a series on how to create a capsule wardrobe, so in that spirit, I've decided to put together an example of a capsule wardrobe for spring.

There are many ways you can create a capsule wardrobe--some might decide on a number of tops, bottoms, and shoes, etc., or pick a specific color palette and work off of that. My theory is to start with staples, add in patterns and color, and figure out what I need to complete my outfit so:

Spring Capsule Wardrobe

  • Staples: I think that any wardrobe needs some variation of a blazer, denim top (whether that's a chambray buttonup or a denim jacket), a striped top, black skirt, jean skinnies, black heels, and black cigarette pants. 
  • Patterns: once you've established your basics, you need to add in patterns for interest. I like adding florals, stripes, and animal prints, because I think they can all mix together well.
  • Colors: most wardrobes benefit from a little color. For this one, I added a variety of colors, but you might choose to do just cool colors, or warm, or variations on pink/blue/purple etc.
  • Fill-ins: Every wardrobe needs a fun pair of patterned heels, casual sneakers, and black wedges, as well as a pair of silver and gold earrings, a funky scarf, and a statement necklace.
So how would I wear this wardrobe? See below:

Capsule Wardrobe: Outfit Options

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Weekly Wishlist

Every single time I post a Weekly Wishlist, I start out thinking that my style is all over the board and nothing I'm about to post has anything in common with the other items. Then I start putting them together and see that I'm wrong and completely, totally predictable.

This week? I'm loving interesting mirrors, kelly green errythang, my go-to neutrals (stripes are a neutral, people), and hot pink:

Weekly Wishlist: Green, Pink, and Neutrals

In my ideal world, here's how I'd use these items in my entryway....

Weekly Wishlist: Entryway

...In my living room.....

Weekly Wishlist: Living Room

...while wearing one of these outfits:

Weekly Wishlist outfits

What are you craving lately?

Monday, 31 March 2014

Year-Long Clothing Budget Update: March Purchases

Recently I outlined my new clothing budget plan for the rest of the year. As a quick refresher, I put together a list of items I need to help fill in the holes in my closet and assigned each item to a particular month of the year, capping each month's budget at $200 total. Here's what my calendar looks like:

Year-long Closet Budget

As you can see, March's budget, called for white skinny jeans, a statement necklace, and a striped top. Here's what I ended up with:

White Skinny Jeans:

LOFT curvy skinny jeans in white
Price: $59.50; on sale for 40% off = $38 after tax
Notes: the 'curvy skinny' line at LOFT is perfect for girls with my body type, meaning generally slim girls with small waists but athletic hips and booties. These fit in both the waist and thighs (gasp!) and are not suuuuuper skinny at the ankle, which is more flattering on my body to help balance out my hips. I'm 5'4" and buy the regular version, although they come in tall and petite too.

Statement Necklace:

Stripe rope knot necklace from Etsy shop Homako
Price after tax/shipping: $50
Notes: I already gushed about this necklace here, and my love hasn't wavered in the multiple times I've worn it since then. I'm also eyeing this beautiful origami necklace!

Black and White Striped Top:

This item ended up being the toughest for me to decide on. I tried the J Crew Factory Ponte Peplum Top, but it fit me really boxy and was not flattering. I also tried their J Crew Factory Printed Racerback Cami, but again the fit was off for me.  I ended up ordering this top and am eagerly awaiting its arrival!

Price: Originally $148, on sale for $82 plus a 15% off code = $69
Notes: I like that this is your basic stripe tank but dressed up a bit. I'm a little nervous about the fit since I've never worn this designer before, so if it doesn't work out I'm also eyeing this Theory top or perhaps this LAmade tank--I like the slight peplum of both of them. 

March Budget Total: 
$38 + $50 + $69 = $157 (for $257.50 worth of items)
Over/under on March $200 budget: -$43
Over/under for the year since March: -$43

Here are a few ways I plan to incorporate these items into my wardrobe!

How I'm Wearing It

Other posts in this series:

Friday, 21 March 2014

Etsy Reviews: Items I've Purchased and Loved

Whenever possible, I like to support small (preferably local) business. Naturally Etsy has become of favorite shopping spot for me, and today I'd like to share some of my favorite finds!

Starting with my most recent purchase, but in no other particular order: 

photo: my own

photo: my own

Price: $45
Notes: I'm in love with my new statement necklaces! It's a bit daintier than I was expecting and so, so lovely--I wore it the day I received it! Shipping was really quick, the necklace is well-made, and the packaging is so cute! Two thumbs up--I have my eye on this origami necklace next!

Price: $65
Notes:  I am SO not the skulls-as-decor type, nor do I typically decorate with what is essentially just a knick-knack, but when I saw this I couldn't resist! It is made via 3D printing, and it's so light but tough. The details on this are AMAZING. Funny story--I actually lost this for a bit during our bathroom renovation and my wonderful boyfriend found it in our garage in a bucket full of renovation supplies, without a single scratch, dent, or tear! Pretty resilient piece :)  While it was lost, I found myself missing it regularly so I was overjoyed when it was found! Awesome shop, awesome piece. Now I'm on the search for a tiny bell jar/glass cloche to display it in.

Price: $12
Notes: These hand-carved stamps are works of art in and of themselves. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and quick shipping (from Canada!) of this product. I'm using this for some pillow cases but plan to frame it in a shadow box after--it's too pretty to just put away in a drawer! Right now I have my eye on this border stamp to add some pizazz to the edges of plain sheets and pillowcases in our bedroom!

Price: $29.99
Notes: Our puppy outgrew her old collar, so we were on the hunt for a new one. This one is awesome! It's heavy-duty with multiple color options and styles.  You can personalize the metal buckle however you wish with up to three lines of text and multiple font options. We added our dog's name, my phone number, and our address, but if we had more space we would've noted that she's microchipped. I'd buy from here again!

Price: $22
Notes:  The above link goes to the Kids version of the tee; I bought this one but it says "home" (as pictured) instead of "native." The shop has expanded since I bought mine--mine is listed as a unisex shirt, so it's a bit boxy, but they also have women's versions in multiple colors that are probably a bit more fitted. Personally I like the boxiness of mine--it's suuuuuper soft and comfortable and just slouchy enough without being sloppy. I love to tuck mine into a leather skirt with sneakers for a casual going-out look. 

Price: $25.95
Notes: I bought this set as a Christmas gift to my parents and had each snowflake made with the first letter in the name of each member of my family. They arrived exactly as pictured and are really lovely--a nice sentimental gift. 


Price: $4
Notes: I love this little card shop--all of her cards are really clever. I got this for my boyfriend but there are tons of other options I'd buy as well!

Price: $16
Notes: I stumbled on this shop when they had a two-for-one deal going on, so I also scored their The Smallest Ocean print. I love this All the Cool Kids print for my gallery wall, and the Smallest Ocean print works nicely with my Claire Elsaesser prints in our bathroom! Now I have my eye on some of her newest releases, including The Smallest Oceans No. 2. Her work is so lovely and has this hazy, romantic quality that I'm obsessed with. 

Price: $20 for 8x10; other sizes and colors available
Notes: I bought this for my ski-bunny friend for Christmas, and it was so pretty! She also has cards, phone covers, etc. I want to frame this postcard for my gallery wall!

Please click through the links to the stores themselves, as they each offer tons of other products that I'd love to own as well. And hook a girl up--what are some of your favorite Etsy shops?

Unless otherwise noted, all photos courtesy of the respective shops I've linked to. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

A bit about me, plus a lovely neutral boho home tour!

So have you guys noticed that I've been blogging up a storm lately? That's because I'm trying to fight cabin fever as I'm finishing up three weeks off work to recover from a hip surgery.

I've always been a really active person, and last October my hip started hurting every time I exercised (hiking, rock climbing, running, yoga, etc). I eventually went through a couple of months of physical therapy and finally got referred to orthopedic surgery, where I was told that I have femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). That's basically a fancy way of saying that extra bone has developed on my femur and hip socket, so that the long bone of my leg no longer fit smoothly into the hip socket (basically the two bones would grind against each other with movement). 

The good doc says that FAI is most common in active young people and is a newly-identified cause of hip pain in these individuals (apparently a lot of pro hockey players have had the same problem). 

Anyway, long story short, I had surgery on March 4th to shave down the excess bone, and I have been off work ever since. It's been tough to sit (well, lay, actually) still and not work, exercise, cook, etc. I go back to work on Monday part-time. 

I bring all of this up because the time off of work has allowed me space to reflect on lots of things in my life, including this blog. I'm realizing that although I've been posting since 2009 (!!!), I haven't really shared much of myself. The blogs I love to read are the ones that give a glimpse into the blogger's life and personality, rather than just essentially a catalogue of pretty items, outfits, and homes (although I love that part too!). So going forward, I'm going to try to share more of myself in my posts. Sound good? Good.

Hopefully I haven't bored you to tears and you're still reading; therefore, you should be rewarded for your good behavior! ;) Here's my newest idea of a home I'd like to move into as-is

The home of watchmaker Kelsi Vande Velden, this small property on Maui is bursting with texture and interesting objects. 

Don't you feel relaxed just looking at these images? I sure do. 

Takeaways from this tour:
  • If your home is entirely neutral, make sure to incorporate many textures and varying shades of the same color palette (here, it's white, cream, tan, ivory, beige, grey, and mixed metals). This provides interest for the eye in a space that could otherwise be pretty boring.
  • I love three things about her coffee table: the beautiful grains of the wood, the organic shape of the piece, and the gorgeous terrariums adorning the surface. 
  • Although there are many things in this small apartment, it doesn't feel cluttered or cramped to me because of the way they are styled and that there is a consistent soothing color palette. Think how chaotic her wood shelves with the ram's head would be if each of those pieces was a different color! When trying to make spaces feel larger, limit your color palette and be selective about how you style your objects. 
  • Pick one statement piece, much like in fashion, to focus attention on--this allows everything else to be much simpler. For example, the ornate headboard in her bedroom draws your eye immediately, so it's perfectly lovely instead of boring that she has very simple white bed linens. 
For a few more images of this lovely abode plus a fun Q&A session with the homeowner, please head on over to PopSugar!

All image credits: PopSugar