Style + Design

IMG_0572_2

I am not crafty. Like not at all. I can fake it alright – Kylin and I made these friendship bracelets, I knotted these awesome earbuds, and with Michelle’s support, I cut and sewed an old Phillies t-shirt into a cute top, however…each had their issues (bracelet won’t stay on, strings added on in the middle of the cord because I miscalculated the length, the shirt can’t be machine washed without completely falling apart) but one thing I rock at is collages.  It was always my go-to “alternative expressions” project in high school English and seemed to be a productive outlet for my habit of ripping pretty pictures out of magazines, and then last year, the blogging world seemed to be blowing up with the idea of “inspiration boards.”

Basically, inspiration boards are collages for grown-up dreamers – a place for you to collect images, quotes, ideas (you know, things that inspire you) and put them in a place where you can see them and hopefully visualize them becoming reality.  I made inspiration boards with the girls I worked with in Mexico, and it went really well – they collected all these things that reflected what they wanted their life to look like in the future and then hung it in their room to be reminded of the goals they were working towards.

The boards can come in a lot of different forms: traditional collages, bulletin boards, magnetic squares, or, for the more cyber-minded dreamers out there – pinterest, but they all serve the same purpose and can be really fun to make!  Below are some of my favorite to hopefully inspire you to make your own!

Images via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Post and Featured Images via Emma Dime (she does amazing mood boards!)

June 18, 2013

DIY Mood Boards

Life + Entertainment

7494191212_e1d716ab3e_o_f

When I was younger, every time I went on an adventure I would try to go somewhere a little off the main trail, telling myself that maybe, just maybe I was the first person ever to step on this particular piece of earth. Factually, I know now that that was highly unlikely – especially considering that my adventures most often took me to common vacation spots like the coast or Yosemite, not the Arctic or the Sahara Desert where there was a higher possibility of treading on previously untouched land – but now, so many years later, it’s almost like things have reversed. Instead of wanting to be the first, I’m fascinated by who has walked these streets before me, who else was here, what were they doing, what were they thinking, etc…

That’s probably why these “looking into the past” photos (cleverly done by photographers such as Jason Powell and Michael Hughes) resonate so much with me: such an interesting idea to bring together present and past to see how much things have changed, or sometimes even more surprisingly, how they haven’t. Might be a fun thing to do on your next vacation!

Below are some of my favorites:

Photos via Jason Powell, Michael HughesLisa, Hugo Cardoso, and this guy

May 28, 2013

Looking Into The Past

Style + Design

Home-Featured

I have always been a little curious about the world of interior design. For a brief time I considered becoming an interior designer. Until I took a class in it and realized I could care less about whether a room matched a painting perfectly…but I digress. Today my curiosity is aimed more towards my own home and of course Pinterest, because, let’s be honest, that is really where all of my times goes. So, for my home related post I give you some of my favorite rooms that use color in an interesting way. Enjoy!

Image Credits: Featured; Post: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10

May 15, 2013

Color Me Home

Style + Design

Mom_Featured

Mother’s Day is just around the corner (May 12th, folks!) and if you’re like us (confession: Kelly has this shit on lock, it’s Kylin who is woefully behind), you’re scrambling for a gift for your mama. Whether you’re making free foot rub coupons, giving the gift of a meal out, or buying something purty, you’re definitely looking for a way to show your mom that you love and appreciate her. Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite gift ideas for Mother’s Day, from handmade knick knacks to simply gorgeous Etsy finds (we want all the things). After reading this post, you will know what you must do. Mission accepted? Get on it!

1. What could be more perfect than a handmade lantern? Learn how to make one here.

2. Neon plate wear? Yes, please!

3. We couldn’t think of anything better for your feet than lamb wool slipper socks.

4. A beautiful screenprint for any space.

5. Make your mom a colorful bookmark for every occasion!

6. Tiny succulent cork planters. What else do we need to say?

7. Everyone needs a tote bag…especially one as beautiful as this.

8. We want this sisal purse, because it is just so cute!

9. A wrapping cloth to wrap, well, everything.

10. Tea towels for you?

11. The field bag is the perfect weekend bag.

12. This is a great how to for very cute neon fabric bowls.

13. How about some vouchers? Everyone loves multiple gifts!

What do you have planned for Mother’s Day this year?

Style + Design

color6_featured

There is something about this warmer weather that makes me want to host a backyard picnic style dinner. These images have me dreaming about and looking forward to warm nights under the stars with friends.

 

Column one: 1 / 2

Column two: 1 / 2 / 3

Column three: 1 / 2

 

One of my favorite things to do during the summer is collect glass jars of all shapes and sizes and put tea lights in them. You can set them up on a patio, stoop, or in a backyard to add an instant magical glow and twinkle to your evenings.

Image via Jessica Clifford on Flickr

 

Featured image via The Fresh Exchange

Style + Design

5427462054_33895f691a_b-F

It is officially spring in California and we are basking in the warm sunlit afternoons and the sweet smell of jasmine. We don’t mean to sound like a poem but, well, sometimes we can’t help it. When we are not enjoying the great outdoors (and by this we mean walking to the supermarket) we are trolling the internet (let’s be real, we mostly troll the internet). And while perusing this world wide web we came across these images. We swear if you squint hard enough, and imagine the light emanating from your computer is in fact real sunlight, you will feel like you are there.

Image Credits: 1/2/3/4/5/6

April 24, 2013

Squint and You are There

Life + Entertainment

Green-Your-Routine-featured

Growing up in Oregon, “being green” wasn’t so much a conscious decision as it was a societal norm.  Everyone reduced and reused and everywhere recycling bins were bigger than garbage cans.  I did my part, but living in such a place (or similarly intensely green cities like San Francisco), you can start to feel a little inadequate, you know? I, for example, do not have a bucket to collect the cold water from the shower as it’s warming up (I do in the kitchen sink though…) nor do I ever remember to bring reusable produce bags with me to the grocery store (gasp! I know…).  However, there are a few simple, more subtle things I’ve incorporated into my life that are easy ways to make your routine a little more green.

| Line Dry Your Laundry | Especially with the warmer weather coming, you can air-dry clothes no matter where you live – often cutting your energy bill, reducing your carbon footprint, and preserving your favorite clothing (you know all that lint in the lint trap? Yeah, that used to be part of your shirt…) all at the same time. And who doesn’t love that fresh-air smell? Plus, there’s some really great eco-detergents out there: Seventh Generation, Meyers, or my personal favorite, BioKleen, to make your laundry smell even better. (I do however stick with drying little things like socks and underwear in the dryer and use lavender dryer bags from Trader Joes…oh so good)

| Reusable Bags | Yes, everyone knows you’re supposed to use these bags, but it’s often so hard to remember!  I keep one of those little stuff sack bags in my purse at all times, which is good for quick stops at the grocery store or unexpected finds at thrift shops.  And, for the love of all that is clean, please remember to wash them!

| Buy Locally and in Season | Farmer’s markets or veggie boxes are the best for this kind of thing – but you can also do it in your local grocery store.  Checking to see where things are from and knowing what fruits and vegetables are in season is not only good for your local economy but also for you – things taste better when they’re fresher and don’t have to travel so far!

| Give Used Gifts | Thrift store finds and vintage clothes are so in right now – so you’re probably already doing this, but it’s always fun to go gift shopping at garage sales, second-hand stores, or even your own closet.  The presents make for good conversation plus you’re finding a great home for that used item.

| Put a Timer on Your Water Heater | This is a little bit more of a big ticket item, but I discovered this recently and love it!  Water heaters usually keep water hot 24-hours a day, but you really only use it in the morning and the evening if you’re working regular hours.  So some companies have this thing so you can set your hot water heater to turn off at night and during the day and then only turn on again during those hours you need it.  Genius right? (Same thing goes for your thermostat.) Saves money and energy…

| Repurpose Old Jars for Bulk Items  (Also, Buy Bulk Items) | Head for the bulk bins for spices, grains, granola, etc. and store your goods in non-toxic, stylish jars. They come in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors and can be found pretty much anywhere (I’d check your recycling bin first, and then head out to the flea markets)

| Grow Your Own Herb Garden | Herbs are a delicious way to spice up any dish, and they’re so easy to grow in something as simple as a window box.  Just reach over and clip a few sprigs before dinner!

Images Courtesy of: Minna May

April 22, 2013

Green Your Routine

Life + Entertainment

garden_featured

My Oma and Opa emigrated from Germany after WWII. They settled in San Francisco, where my Opa started his own business as a carpenter. After many years in the bay, raising a family and maintaining a successful family business, they moved to a town about an hour north of the city. My Opa always dreamed of owning his own land and having a home where he could build his own garden and have chickens. On their little acre he did just that. He built every vegetable box himself and his garden was one of his favorite places in the world. When I was little, Opa’s garden was such a magical place to visit. There were raspberries and currents to pick (my favorites!), chickens to chase and the best walnut tree to climb. It holds so many special memories for me.

My Opa passed away in October of 2011 after struggling with Parkinson’s disease and dementia for many years. He couldn’t take care of the garden once he became sick, so it fell by the wayside. One evening, when I went to visit my Oma the following February, I decided to go back to the garden just to see what it looked like. The frames of the boxes were falling apart. There were discarded pieces of wood and wire fencing strewn throughout the beds. There were weeds everywhere. It hurt my heart. It felt hard to remember what a wonderful place it used to be when I looked at something that seemed so broken. But, I also saw that the framework and foundations were still there. I decided then that I wanted to revive the garden.

 

I had never been incredibly interested in gardening but before long I was knee-deep in it. Friends and family helped me repair the boxes, weed the beds, bring in new dirt, turn over the soil, and plant a variety of fruits and vegetables. I would stop by the garden after work everyday to water each plant by hand, and spend hours on the weekends weeding, watering, caring for the plants, and harvesting. Somewhere along the way I decided to create a blog on tumblr called Opa’s Garden. It was a way for me to visually document the revival of the garden from seed to harvest.

 

 

It was incredibly exciting to see what the garden could be again, and it was amazing to feel what the love of the garden could do for my soul. There is something so satisfying about being able to see and enjoy the products of your hard work. I finally understood why Opa loved his garden so much. By taking pictures of everything from the beginning to the very end of the season, I found myself becoming more and more appreciative of each detail.

 

 

Now it is spring once again. I’ve been spending time weeding the beds and starting to prep them for planting in a few weeks. I will be taking pictures and posting to Opa’s Garden again this year. If you are interested, I would love to have you follow along!

 

All photographs are property of Stephanie Pressler. You may only use the images with permission from the photographer.

March 19, 2013

My Opa’s Garden

Style + Design

dress_late_featured

Imagine you hit the snooze button a few more times than you meant to one morning. Once your eyes finally focus on the time, you gasp “It’s 8 already! How is it 8!?” Your bus comes in 15 minutes. You toss some poptarts into the toaster and take a lightning speed shower. You hop out and towel dry your hair as you shuffle to your closet. And there you stand. “What the heck should I wear?” When you have 9 minutes to get yourself to the bus stop there is no time to play that game.

A good friend in college gave me the best tip for dressing when you are running late: wear a dress.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

There are several reasons why a dress is your best bet:

1. Dresses are the easiest and fastest thing to put on. One piece. None of the “does this fit with that” shenanigans. One piece and you’re done.

2. Dresses look put together. Something about a gal in a dress makes her look like she has her shit together. (Thank goodness.)

3. Dresses work with the seasons. In spring and summer, wear your dress with a cardigan and wedges or flats. In the fall and winter, put your dress together with tights, boots, and a coat and you are good to go.

4. You’ll feel ready for anything. When you throw on wrinkled pants and a shirt that you’ve already worn twice, that “running late” feeling will be stuck with you all day. You’ll feel frumpy, which will probably affect your mood. When you put on something that you know looks good, you will feel good too. So, if your boss calls a last minute meeting or your cute coworker flashes a smile your way, you can be sure to feel confident in your dress look. (And no one will know you thew it on in 2 minutes!)

 

1 / 2

 

Featured image via The Sartorialist

Style + Design

SpreingCleaning_F

Spring Cleaning is not always fun and games…

All drawings are property of Orlie Kapitulnik and Beginners Magazine. You may only use the images with permission from the artist.

People + Places

organized4-f

There are few things as exciting as taking a break from your daily life in exchange for a weekend away, a foreign getaway, or a much needed vacation.  Yet sometimes the build up for such a trip: the planning, the preparing, the packing, can be a challenge not all of us are ready to face.

I’ve been lucky enough to be graced with the gift of packing: I can have everything I need for an overnighter in my purse, a weekend getaway in a backpack, and a three month trip to Europe in a small carry-on duffel. Unroll the pieces and they’re wrinkle-free and ready to wear!  However, what I’m still in the process of perfecting is how to make these basic pieces fashionable as well. While most of what I packed for Europe was great! and useful! and travel-ready! I cannot tell you how many times I yearned for a little black dress and some strappy heels.

There are tons of packing tips for traveling out there, some that seem to boil the process down to an exact science, and advice from seasoned travel veterans really does make for easy-stress free packing.

| Color-Schemes | Both J. Crew creative director, Jenna Lyons, and Glamour fashion development director, Susan Cernek, swear by packing in a pre-determined color scheme.  By packing a suitcase full of navies and creams (for example), you can be sure that you’re shoes, purse, jewelry, etc. will always match your outfit.  Bonus Tip: Pack a red dress or a bright scarf to add some color to your outfits and/or trip photos!

| Textiles | Ah, the wrinkled traveler.  An iconic image as old as travel itself, but you do not need to continue the pattern.  Make sure that whatever clothes you pack are wrinkle-free (sometimes things with a little synthetic thread help as well as choosing cotton over linen), don’t stretch out easily (I’m looking at you jeans that grow two sizes when I wear you more than two days in a row!), can hold their shape (no baggy sweaters allowed), and dry fast (you never know what might happen out there).

| Day-to-Night | These kind of outfits are talked about all the time on morning t.v. and fashion shows (believe me, I watch) but they really are important.  After a day exploring Grecian ruins or shopping along the Champs-Élysées, you might not have time to go back to your hostel before dinner.  So it’s nice to be able to run a damp cloth over your face, take off your sweater, and be ready to roll.  Alternatively, if you do have time to go back and change, it’s nice to have a LBD (that rolls up small and is wrinkle free because, let’s be honest, you may only use it once during the whole trip) and some nice flats (that aren’t the chacos you’ve been roaming around in all day) and actually look somewhat presentable to society.

| The Sarong | I know, I know, nobody ever talks about sarongs anymore unless you’re hanging out on the beaches of Maui, but when I was traveling, this was the one thing (alright, the one other thing, because I already mentioned the LBD) that I wished I had.  A sarong works as a towel after the shower if you’re hostel doesn’t provide one, something to lie on at the beach, a quick cover-up, and, if it rolls up small enough, can be used to cover your head/shoulders when going into churches.  It’s perfect.

| The Staples | Invest in a nice suitcase/duffel/roll-behind.  I personally like clam-shell designs because they keep things separate, but anything with good compartments works well.  I also pack my underwear/socks/accessories/etc in small dryer bags (but zip-lock bags work just as well with the added benefit that you can see what’s inside!) Also, an extra canvas bag is always a good idea.  You can use it for grocery shopping during your trip, and later to carry home all your extra goodies! Additionals: Waterbottle, flashlight, bold jewelry for a night out, a watch for those cell-phone-less days, and a purse that zips closed to make pick-pocketing more difficult.

If you are looking for a good advice site, Travel Fashion Girl is on of my favorites. Check it out for more tips and ideas!

Images Above from Things Organized Neatly (an awesome tumblr)

February 21, 2013

Pack Like a Pro

Life + Entertainment

Spice-Girls-Featured

We all know that fashion is sometimes very stupid on the runway.  But some of this craziness ends up mainstream, haunting department stores and boutiques for MONTHS to YEARS and taking up space that could have been reserved for clothing that actually flatters people’s bodies.  These are a few things that should never be allowed to take up space again because the human race should be able to start learning from its mistakes now that everybody’s whole damn life is apparently mapped out on Facebook timeline.

1. Extra, Super Duper Low Jeans

Yeah, short legs and ass crack are NEVER flattering. Full stop, no debate.

Perhaps this will be the most contentious item on the list, perhaps my perspective comes from my height and proportions never working in mass-produced clothing based on average measurements which only actually fit 1% of the population without modification. Whatever…all I know is I find it sick that while super low rise denim was/is rabidly popular, that shirt lengths were not increased to match up.  Perhaps it’s only for us poor chicks over 5’5” but with even the slightest shrug of my shoulders, the shirt glides over my boobs and stays there and I look like I’m sporting a belly shirt because my damn pants are so low.

Screw that.  Hey, I know I’m not the only one who has these minor outfit malfunctions with regularity – I’ve seen more people’s happy trails than I ever cared to.

So I can’t imagine what possesses people to buy pants that are even lower than low and feel them grip with all their tensile strength in the middle of your butt.

I’m not hating on all hip riders.  I too prefer my waistline to not be swaddled in the bulky fabric of Mom jeans.  I’m talking about the jeans that are so low they’ve caused women to get more extreme bikini waxes.  I’m talking jeans that require special underwear.   I’m talking jeans so low that if a girl wants to make a flirty glance behind her when she’s standing at the bar, and tilts her pelvis forward to take pressure off the lower back, she runs the risk to gliding her mons out of her intentionally ill-fitting skinny jeans.  That’s the species of super low riders that need to be gone forever.

Don’t confuse this for puritanical modesty; I own crop tops, strapless tops, booty shorts, thigh high socks and I rock that shit.  But no standing ass crack for me, thank you.  It’s not right. It’s not cool.  It’s just not sexy.  (Anybody seen Boogie Nights?  No?  Moving on.)

 

2. Overalls

I’m all about being comfortable enough and confident enough in your clothes to go about your business and feel damn good about it.  Overalls accomplish none of this.

First hand experience: when overalls were kind of hot in the 90s, I convinced my mother to buy me one or two at sharp discounts at the Gap Outlet we used to frequent.  My mother was extremely opposed to the purchase; she wanted to see me in sequins and floral print and pastels and gold hoops.  I felt way too androgynous to pull off this ultra fem frill and wanted to look less like I was pretending to be “womanly.”  With my boyish, prepubescent thinness it felt so tacked on and mismatched.  So she got these overalls for me after I hunted through the clearance rack.

I only wore them maybe a dozen times.  And I don’t think I ever actually wore them out.  They made my skinny upper body look a whole new level of emaciated as the lower ¾ of my body was swaddled in loose-fitting light tan cloth.  And they weren’t even comfy.  You don’t entirely realize this until you’ve already cut the tags off, but sitting or moving the wrong way for the un-brassiered is painful in overalls.  Metal rivets perfectly aligned to slam into sensitive, budding nipples.  I avoided hugs at all cost in them.

Seriously, next time you want to buy something, think about your nipples.  Show some conscientiousness.  They deserve it.

 

3. Platform Sneakers

 

I also begged my Mom for these and got them, much to her chagrin.  What could I do: I was a girl in the throws of puberty, Spice Girls, girl power, and Sketchers, which were growing in popularity at an absurd speed amongst my 5th grade girlfriends.  I got a pair of drool-worthy (well, at the time) silver Sketchers with a ~3 inch platform.  They were flashy and rad in the box.  On my feet….they were…well, I could barely walk in them.  Coming out of my rail-like legs, my small feet appeared enormous in these monsters – giving me the look of a big lollipop that fell on the floor and stuck.  And, of course, I was too bashful to wear anything flashy out.

It also didn’t help that whenever I put them on my Dad would giggle and call them “Frankenstein shoes.”  Yeah.  Great.

I am a fan of platforms as they take some of the strain off of the front of the foot in high heels.  I am a fan of sneakers because they get the job done.  Never the two shall meet.  I have already decided that if I want to get my Spice Girls on again, I’m searching for a Union Jack dress.

Who am I kidding…I googled that last week. 

GET OUT OF MY DREAMS AND INTO MY LAUNDRY BIN

 

4. Bell-Bottoms

Allow me to clarify a bit.  Not talking about boot cut.  Not talking about the occasional hippie pair of bell-bottoms or flares you have in your closet if you want to mix up your look with a 70s vibe.  I’m talking about back in the early 2000s when they were SO “hot” that you could NOT find a pair of pants as a young girl that weren’t flared.  We need options, damn it.  Literally, you were either wearing bell-bottoms or mini skirts ten years ago.  Or no bottoms at all.  The girls who chose the latter were the most popular girls in middle school.

Looking back, this is genius from the seller/supplier’s standpoint.  Young girls are growing out of pants all the damn time and it’s even harder to get away with wearing a pair that are an inch too short if they’re bell bottoms because the curvature makes it 2000x more obvious.  Goddamnit.

Why is January Jones wearing the flares she had when she was 12?

All I can say is thank the Lord that online shopping is taking over as far as clothing is concerned.  If you don’t like what’s popular, you can easily seek your tried and true cuts and shapes online until the next big trend sweeps the stores clean and renders whatever schlock didn’t work for you as dated.

Buy what works for you.  Learn from your regretful purchases.  That advice is NEVER dated.

And if you don’t have a good eye for what flatters your figure or coloring – listen to the advice of a few trusted friends (especially your slightly older friends) and your parents.  If they’re ALL remaining very quiet and awkward when you model a green tube dress or dark purple lipstick, it might not be the right look for you.

Photo Cred: Featured 1  2  3  4

Style + Design

cobalt_featured

 

1. Via The Simply Luxurious Life

2. Via Pinterest

3. Via A {LITTLE} DASH OF ASH

4.  Rivulets Quilt in Cobalt from Anthropologie

5. Via A {LITTLE} DASH OF ASH

6. Blouse from Revolve Clothing

7. Via hopeful realist

 

Some cobalt colored items to add to your closet:

 

1. T-strap mini wedge from Madewell

2. Aqua Liner from Sephora

3. Essie in Mezmerised

4. Essential long-sleeve V-neck T from Gap

 

Featured image via Pinterest

February 19, 2013

Liking the Looks of: Cobalt

Style + Design

il_fullxfull

Love is in the air. For some, the emotion is only enhanced by this outrageously commercialized holiday. For others, it’s a thick looming cloud that threatens to suffocate you like your grandmothers perfume. And then there are the few, like me, who are indifferent. Cupid’s arrow has no effect on me! After all, I am the girl who celebrates her birthday for an entire month…hell I celebrate the whole damn year! But we’ll get into that another time. I choose to celebrate this holiday regardless of my relationship status. I see it as an opportunity to craft, make cards, and get glitter all over the house in the name of love! Despite the glue/glitter wreckage I leave in my wake, my housemates and friends find it somewhat endearing when I present them with my homemade love creations. I say don’t fight it; Valentines Day will happen whether you like it or not. Paint your nails pink, treat yourself to some new lingerie, and pop some bubbly! To be clear, in case my subtle message is missed by some, stop bitching. Today’s just like any other day. With a little more champagne.

Or if you aren’t so crafty, purchase one of these awesome hand crafted banners, such as the one seen above, from michiemay!

February 14, 2013

A Valentine Solution

123