4.12.2015

Latest & Greatest // Volume One


Being fresh off a return from a blog conference, I am feeling the itch to post more words/ ideas/ things in this place. My terms. No pressure. Just for fun. I ran a "Best of the Week" series for a time on this blog (49 volumes in all!), so I'm resurrecting the feature in a slightly different format. So, without further ado...

LATEST (in which I share snippets of my life, obsessions, etc):

BooksAs in actual books with pages and no pictures. One of my "sort of" resolutions this year (like every year) is to read more, and I've been giving it a pretty good go. Some finished titles include: #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling, A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans, and Make It Happen by Lara Casey. Maybe I'll get around to writing some mini-reviews or you can just ask me in the comments what I thought of them.

ThriftingWait, I'm not into this all the time? Like all creative hobbies or endeavors, one can hit a block for a time. I had been having a bit of a secondhand lull lately. Blame it on winter or my lack or time or patience. But now that spring is in the air and people are purging through their closets, I've had not one, but TWO worthy thrift hauls this week alone! Shopping out of season is a great way to stock up on items you'll need in the future (i.e. cardigans, long sleeved tops, etc).

LobsI just recently cut my hair, like, a lot of it. I'm guessing a good 10 inches, maybe? It happened quite spontaneously, really. I found myself saying to the stylist, "you can cut a little more" a little more than I thought I would. What I walked out with actually has a namea lob, aka "long bob". It's as cute as it is difficult to style perfectly. I have been asked if it feels like a weight has been removed from my head which I have to answer "no" as my hair is so fine that it really made no difference at all.

GREATEST (in which I share links, inspiration, etc):

‌•One Mind-Blowing Way To Conserve Water. I hope everything feels the urge to drop a fat brick in their toilets after reading this article.

‌•Feeling inspired to do a huge volume of work after listening to Ira Glass on the Creative Process.

‌•The Science of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things. Because we are the sum total of our experiences.

There you have it! We shall see how many volumes this goes on for...

[Image credit: Stardust and Sequins.]

4.08.2015

GO BLOG SOCIAL CONFERENCE 2015


Hi, there. Been awhile. I can't say that this blog has been very high on my priority list lately, especially since much of my time is spent mom-ing and interneting for other people. But when a last minute opportunity to trek down to Kansas City for the Go Blog Social Conference with a friend, I figured--why not??


This gorgeously curated event was held at the Berg Event Space in downtown KC. There were INCREDIBLE swag bags, succulents, shiny garlands, a photo booth...no detail was left untouched. It truly wouldn't have been a lifestyle blogger conference without so many pretty things to photograph and post to Instagram.



Heads down, devices up. Welcome to the world of lady bloggers. 


My partner-in-con(ference), Kayla of Many Sparrows. We could pass for sisters, don't you think? 


Due to a parking lot fiasco involving faulty pay-by-smartphone apps & jacked voice recognition systems, I missed half of opener Alissa Circle's presentation. The silver lining to that cloud was finding a $100 bill in an alley on the way back in to the event space, which H&M later confirmed was NOT counterfeit. From the little I did catch of the Pollinate Media founder's talk, I was reminded to make time for myselfthat I can't fill another person's cup if mine isn't full.

Laurie Davis (pictured above) shared how she launched her business, eFlirt, with $50 and a Twitter account during the recession.


Additional #GBS2015 Gems:

Only good can come from supporting other people. @withgracegold

Your network is your net worth. @AleaLovely

Only 3% of people write down their goalsthat 3% accomplish more than than the 97% combined. @sugarbeecrafts




So many of the GBS speakers were just regular people who decided to make their dreams a reality by appointing themselves to the position they wanted to be in. They recognized gaps in the system that could only be filled by their authentic selves. They took huge risks and saw equally huge pay offs. It was inspiring. The opportunity to go to this conference couldn't have popped up a better time. I was fresh off a week of nursing sick kiddos, so I was definitely in need of a little pampering & refreshment. GBS delivered.

I would recommend Go Blog Social to anyone looking for encouragement in their blog journey. The internet is bursting with amazing blogs and there's not enough hours in a day to read even my favorite ones, let alone consistently maintain my own. But you shouldn't feel like there isn't enough room for you on the web if blogging is what you love to do. In the words of speaker Mandy Beyeler, "By being yourself, you put something wonderful into the world that wasn't there before."

1.04.2015

State of the Blog Address























Happy 2015! For some reason, I felt like writing. I have no goals or vision for this blog going forward, and that in itself feels good.

One thing I am "resolving" to do this year is read more books. Paper pages over digital ones. I sort of came to the realization in 2014 that I actually am a writer (most people are, but I'm getting paid to do it now) and in order to perfect my craft, it is essential that I pour over the words of others.

Maybe I'll write some reviews here. Maybe I'll post some more pictures. And maybe I won't. No need to write some big farewell blog post, but if things are quiet here, now you know.

Thanks to all who have encouraged me in my creative endeavors. xx

[Image via contemporist.]

10.31.2014

Concluding Thoughts on the 31 Days...[31/31]


There are no awards distributed for completing this blog challenge. No virtual high-five from The Nester. Just the sheer satisfaction of a personal goal set & met. And I'm ok with that.

I didn't want to commit to the challenge this year without mapping my 31 days of topics in advance, which I did back in September. I also stayed on top of posts about 3 days ahead of schedule. I wouldn't recommend doing it any other way.

I'd like to do something more with the series as a whole, but until then, I plan on cleaning my house and catching up on my other writing jobs. Maybe you'll see a few of these features again on the blog in the future!

Here's a look back on the 31 Days of Thrifting...

[1/31] The 31 Days of Thrifting!
[2/31] Why Thrift?
[3/31] Thriftfix: Nicole
[4/31] My Fave Finds: The Mod Family Canvas
[5/31] Thrifty Print
[6/31] Before You Go Poppin' Tags...
[7/31] Tools of the Trade
[8/31] On Personal Style
[9/31] Thrifting a Capsule Wardrobe
[10/31] Thriftfix: Emily
[11/31] My Fave Finds: The Retro Shell Chair
[12/31] Thrifty Print
[13/31] Thrifting Geographically
[14/31] Too Good to Be True?
[15/31] Fashionably Thrifty DIY's
[16/31] Guest Post: Men's Thrifting Tips
[17/31] Thriftfix: Nicole S.
[18/31] My Fave Finds: The Modern Yellow Desk
[19/31] Thrifty Print
[20/31] Thrifting For & With Kids
[21/31] My Fully-Thrifted Fall Uniform
[22/31] D.I.Y. Thrifted Frame + Washi Tape
[23/31] D.I.Y. Home Decor Roundup
[24/31] Thriftfix: Mandy
[25/31] Fave Finds: The IKEA Round Mirror
[26/31] Thrifty Print
[27/31] Thrifting Vintage
[28/31] D.I.Y. Thrifty Gift Guide">
[29/31] The Minimalist Approach to Thrifting
[30/31] Skipping the Thrift + $20* Credit For You!
[31/31] Concluding Thoughts on the 31 Days

Did I miss anything? Did you learn anything new? Thank you for reading and for posting any encouraging comments! My readers are what make this extra fun for me:)

[Image via Dottie Angel.]


I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here

10.30.2014

Skipping the Thrift + $20* Credit for You! [30/31]

Maybe you've been sitting back this whole series thinking, "Ew. Thrift Stores are gross. Or smelly. Or unorganized." And to you, I would agree. Sometimes. I would also think that you don't have the good fortune of living within close proximity to a secondhand store that sorts their clothing by color and size.

Maybe you're intrigued by the thrift store prices more than you are the thought of actually having to step foot into a thrift store. For you I would say, "Welcome to the world of online consignment!"

Though there are scores of these type of sites across the web, I want to focus on one that I have some actual experience. One that I love. One called TWICE. Now, there's something in this for you, so keep reading;)

Twice is an online consignment shop stocked with the best, high-end brands. The clothing is sorted by your search criteria and is in impeccable condition (I speak from experience). As an aesthetic enthusiastic, I also appreciate the sleek, easy-to-navigate site.  

The prices aren't exactly thrift store cheap, but the savings are significant when compared to the original value. Some items go for up to 90% off the retail price, which is so fun to see how much you saved on your purchase invoice. The point is that you get what you want in the size you need, which is a little less off-the-cuff as thrifting. 


You can also sell you items to Twice for cash or shop credit, which I have yet to try but have my bag ready to submit. 

So...this shopping credit I have been dangling out for you? Simply sign up to Twice using my referral link for an automatic $10 shopping credit. Then download the Twice app to your smartphone for an additional $10 credit. It's that easy. That's *$20 right off to put toward something pretty for yourself:)

With my initial sign-up credits, I purchased this gorgeous, color-blocked J.Crew sweater (original retail price: $125). It fit like a glove and looked brand new. I was so pleased with it that I wore it for our family Christmas card photos!


I really hope you take advantage of this super, sweet deal from Twice! Let me know if you buy anything!!

*$20 total credit is for first time Twice users after signing up through my referral link AND downloading the app to your smartphone. Happy Shopping!

Disclaimer: Though I received a referral credit from Twice for sharing my link, this is not a sponsored blog post. The opinions expressed are completely my own.

10.29.2014

The Minimalist Approach to Thrifting [29/31]


When thrifting, there's a temptation to purchase everything in your cart because it's cheap and why not? This kind of reasoning has the likelihood to fuel some serious hoarding tendencies. Two dollars here and five dollars there may seem minuscule, but can certainly add up over time.

I recently listened to an episode of The Art of Simple podcast entitled "Freedom from Stuff". In the episode, host Tsh Oxenreider interviewed Joshua Becker, the blogger behind Becoming Minimalist. Becker shared a story about an entire day he spent cleaning out his garage when it was time he could have been spent with his kids. Of course, this hit home for me.

If you need a motivational kick in the pants to get rid of some things or prevent you from even bringing those unnecessary things into your home, do yourself a favor and listen to that podcast episode.

I am also going to refer back to Tsh regarding another potentially life-changing thought: Think of the thrift store as a storage unit with a small, pay-per-use fee.

Consider it. How often do you hold on to an item "just in case" when it is something you could easily find on any given day at a charity shop? The best example of this for me would be serving trays & platters. They take up a lot of cupboard space and I almost always see them (nice ones, actually) at Goodwill.

One small rule I've tried to implement is to get rid of an item in exchange for buying a new one. This especially helps keep my closet in check, which is why I love the idea of capsule wardrobes so much.

Keep a list of the items you are looking out for. This can save you time you would spend scavenging aimlessly and money you would spend on thoughtless purchases.

Truly, these rules don't just apply to thrifting. But life is short. Don't waste your time being a Stuff Manager.

[Image credit: Elisabeth Heier]

I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.

10.28.2014

D.I.Y. Thrifty Gift Guide [28/31]

With Christmas just around the corner, I've whipped together this guide to some D.I.Y. projects you can assemble with thrifted goods. Honestly, I see almost every one of these items whenever I go thrifting. Even if you can't bring yourself to gift a secondhand prezzie, these are some great projects to practice on!





I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here

10.27.2014

Thrifting Vintage [27/31]


Several years ago, I made a small side-business out of buying & selling vintage home decor items. I bought gilded frames and sconces and revamped them for the 21st century. My "shop" did well at it's height, but ultimately wasn't sustainable. It wasn't too long after that I noticed Hobby Lobby selling similar products. 

I have a love/hate relationship with vintage. The word vintage, anyway. It's buzzy, worn out, and too often slapped on a piece of junk unworthy of the title.

"Vintage denotes something special—that an item has stood the test of time and has proven to remain relevant for any number of reasons—timelessness of style, [quality], historical or cultural significance or interesting provenance.” - Doris Raymond, Vintage Seller

Thrifting vintage, at least quality vintage, can be challenge as you are up against collectors & sellers alike. It's not impossible, but the effort can feel like a true treasure hunt at times. Here are a few thoughts consider in your search:

Know Your Personal Eras - This one saves me from bringing home a lot of potential clutter. There's a temptation to snatch up that kitschy owl cookie jar, but let's be serious. It doesn't go with my aesthetic and I don't have the time to attempt to market it online. I'm more of a mid-century, modern girl anyway.

Check Labels/ Stamps - This one is important for signifying value to an item. American-made items often indicate a pre-1980's creation date, especially in regards to clothing. This guide to identifying vintage clothing labels is like a history lesson in fashion.

Embossed labels beneath breakable wares can be a sign if an item is collectible. Put that smartphone to use and Google those manufacturer names! 

Don't Read Into Sizes - Don't let an ill-fitting vintage dress that is 6 sizes larger than your "regular" size kill your joy. Not only have sizing charts shifted over the years, but there was a completely different set of undergarments in place to be worn with those clothes. Nothing that a set of Spanx and a corset couldn't solve today, surely.

Know What Can Be Fixed - Basically, what imperfections are you ok with? Is it a garment that can be altered or repaired? If resale value isn't important to you, are chips and cracks a deal breaker for decor pieces? 

If you have specific items in mind (i.e. any of the above images), you may have better luck at flea markets or estate sales. Vintage resale shops & antique malls tend to price things a little higher. Etsy & Ebay are some other great places to start. Happy Hunting!

[Images: 1.Frame 2. Thermoses 3. Dress 4. Camera 5. Pyrex 6. Milk glass]

I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here

10.26.2014

Thrifty Print [26/31]


Happy Sunday! Can you believe we're in the final stretch of this 31 days series?! This week, we'll talk about vintage, thrifting online, and include some gift ideas with thrifted pieces.

[Image via Good.]
I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here

10.25.2014

My Fave Finds: The Round IKEA Mirror


Ok, so maybe this isn't the most unique of finds, but when it is something on your wishlist (not actually expecting to find at a thrift store), then obviously, FAVORITE. I had been wanting a sizable, round mirror for our house for some time now. It wasn't quite as high on the list as a new rug or lighting fixture, but something I'd keep my eye out for if I ever found the perfect one.

I came across this Vanna style IKEA mirror at a local Goodwill for $9.99 (Original price: $39.99). I think it's actually supposed to have some black detailing, but I'm really fine with it as is.


My decorating journey has been full of baby steps. (Does anyone else default to Bill Murray in What About Bob? upon hearing that term?) It doesn't help that hanging anything on our plaster walls requires a drill and a real sense of commitment.

Mounting this baby (today) has spurred me to get cracking (literally) on all the other bare walls in our place. It has also inspired my husband to seriously get started on his men's style blog. You know, now that he has an acceptable mirror to take selfies in. Will update here when that comes into fruition.

I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here
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