February 28th, 2014

internet inspiration

do you ever have those “blah” moments? i certainly have been experiencing one for a while now. sort of just…uninspired, for a lack of a better explanation. and when i feel this way i reach for inspiration wherever i can find it, because let’s be honest, it’s what adds a little extra “umph” to an otherwise ordinary day. so let me share with you some inspiration i have found this week broken in to three of my favorite categories: fashion, food, and decor. wishing you a lovely weekend full of laughter, love, and inspiring moments!

i love how soft and feminine rachel makes this outfit look despite the darker hues (fresh flowers never hurt!).

the combination of a bright-patterened blazer + a vintage inspired tee, makes julia’s look one of my favorites of the week.

anything neon just makes me happy, and i love the way bradley has styled it in an everyday look.

i was definitely surprised (and delighted) to find out that wendy’s dress was a peter pilotto for target number. in love.

i typically not big on flats, but grace’s new collaboration with matt bernson has me singing a different tune.

i mean….these pop-tarts. anyone who knows me at all, knows this just made my week.

i’ve recently begun to embrace avocado (it only took me eight years of living in texas…), but pair it with goat cheese and i am jumping in with both feet.

salted caramel anything just makes me happy.

three words: cream cheese wontons. enough said, enjoy.

brian has really been wanting to eat healthier lately, but thanks to gina, that does not mean sacrificing taste…helllllooo deliciousness.

not surprisingly, every time emily reveals a new part of her home renovation i fall in love with her taste + style all over again. the bold patterned powder room is no exception (see also: kitchen remodel).

loved this introduction to hunters alley courtesy of victoria. a little brass touch here and there adds so much to any space.

nicole’s fresh + bright bathroom remodel has me pinning monochromatic rooms on pinterest like crazy.

one of my favorite sites for home accessories is having a 20% off sale this weekend (also, happy anniversary, mackenzie!)

i simply can’t choose a favorite among the bedside decorating styles ashlina shared this week. i’ll take one of each…?

happy weekend!

images: {via, via, via}

February 14th, 2014

poppin pink

happy valentine’s day! i know it is cheesy, but i do love this day and all the red, pink, hearts, roses, candy and kisses it entails. call me romantic (i am), but i just can’t help but smile when this day rolls around on the calendar. tonight, brian and i will be celebrating with a home-cooked meal (wish me luck!), some prosecco + some chocolate covered strawberries. i am looking forward to a low-key night with my love.

and tomorrow we will be seeing some dear friends, so i thought it was the perfect excuse to try out a recipe that jacquelyn posted for pink popcorn (so festive, right?!). looking forward to passing out these popped treats tomorrow and in the meantime, wishing all of you a day full of love + happiness!

p.s. the bags and paper are from swoozies–it’s an awesome one stop shop for gifts and accessories; you should definitely check it out!

February 13th, 2014

color crush // mint

i love all things mint. from mint chocolate chip ice cream (my favorite ice cream flavor!) to a cozy mint sweater paired with winter white in the colder months, and everything in between. i have been seeing more mint popping up as a neutral lately and am loving how it adds a fresh, light and cheerful flavor to all aspects of design: from home decor (it pairs so well with whites and light tans, as well as dark woods), to fashion (i love it in combination with navy, maroon, yellow, or white). i have been adding mint items to my “favorites” on all my go-to shopping sites, and look forward to adding more mint to my closet and home soon. can you tell i have a major color crush?!

tell me, what colors are you loving right now?

my mint wish list: heels (on sale!), cross body bag, dress, jeans, desk chair, vase, print

 

images {one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight}

February 12th, 2014

on being productive

 

you know those days where life is a blur and the minutes tick by more quickly than the endless items on your to-do list? i love those days (i know…i am crazy). on those days i feel efficient, energized and ready to take on any challenge that comes my way.

it’s the days where the minutes feel like hours, and items to accomplish dwindle that i struggle to remain productive and focused. and to be honest, these days have been more common than the hectic ones in the past few weeks. so, i have tasked myself with determining how I am best motivated to remain productive. and i have come up with a few helpful tips that work for me:

 

  • find a place that inspires you, and make it your own. for me, this has been our spare bedroom. i have repurposed my childhood desk (similar here) as my workspace, decorated with whimsical art (my go-to shop), fun candles, and a desk lamp for when the natural light begins to fade (windows are my favorite and my desk is nestled between two).
  • make a list, and check it twice. ohh the list. i am such a list girl: i put “make a list” on my list (ha!). for me, seeing goals listed out helps in prioritizing tasks and managing my time well. plus, there is nothing quite like the feeling of checking things off (or scratching them out like i do), when a task is completed. also, i have this notepad (thanks, mom!), and can’t help but look at it all day–perfect for my list!
  • reward yourself, but sparingly and only for a job well done. i am definitely not above bribing myself to get things done. but two things about bribes: make sure the goal and the reward are attainable. for instance, don’t set a goal that you have no control over (ex: i will go on six interviews this week); this will end up discouraging you, when really, the goal was out of your hands from the beginning. similarly, don’t set unrealistic rewards (ex: i will apply for six jobs than buy a purse). um, no. you have to make your time/task worthy of a reward; and one that matches the task completed. the point is motivation, and for me, all it takes is a bargain (ex: for every hour i spend job-hunting, i get fifteen minutes to peruse bloglovin). done and done.
  • give yourself a break, literally and figuratively. so maybe there are times where i will watch just one more show on netflix as opposed to vacuuming the house. and that is ok. i don’t know about you, but i tend to be so hard on myself that every time i mess up, i get discouraged about how bad i failed. um, no again. there are days where you feel productive, efficient, on top of the world…and there are days that are, simply put, blah. let yourself be ok with both days. and also, let yourself have a lazy couch day once in a blue moon; life goes on.

in the end, what i have found, is that like much of life, busyness ebbs and flows. it’s not so much about “getting things done” as it is about managing your time, resources, and stress well. learning to motivate yourself when times are slow; learning to lean on others when the weight of what bears down on you is just too much. productivity comes when you hit your stride–figure out what works for you–during both of these seasons of life.

image {via}

February 11th, 2014

hello again

 

oh, hi blog world. it has been WAY too long and i have missed you, it’s true. my disappearance was actually (embarrassingly) due to some technical issues with my site. add in a healthy dose of procrastination on figuring out the issue and you have yourself one very long, unnecessary absence. #oops

but let’s let the past be the past (by the way, can i get an AMEN to 2013 being over?!), and now it’s time for a new year (albeit six weeks in), and new inspiration. i am so ready, are you?!

i’m still working on some creative updates to my layout (stay tuned), but am excited to start sharing a small piece of me on this little space again. be looking for some fun fashion inspo (my favorite!), tales and recipes from the kitchen (my new year’s resolution: cook MORE), as well as some more personal updates and musings. i hope you enjoy reading along, and thank you for stopping by!

image {via}

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December 16th, 2013

california dreaming

this past week brian started his new job (!!!) in l.a. i am so incredibly proud of him and all of the hard work, long hours, blood sweat + tears (kidding about that last bit…kinda) that he has put in to get to where he is. way to go, b!!! and considering i had a week of vacation to use before leaving my job i decided to hop on a plane with him and (literally) see him off for his first day in the office.

what a week.

as i’ve alluded to (+ even shared a bit of detail), it’s been one tough year, and i was very excited to spend a week reflecting, praying, job-hunting + indulging in a few cupcakes. i have never spent any time in l.a. (less than one day prior to this trip) and really had no idea what to expect. i love, love, love new york and frankly expected this city to let me down in comparison. i am happy to report i was oh so wrong. first and foremost the weather truly can’t be beat. i mean, come on, it was 75* on a daily basis and the sunshine was so cheerful + constantly beckoning me to spend my afternoons basking in it (and i did not mind one bit). another thing that i learned to love about l.a. is the many neighborhoods that are incredibly diverse and offer so many different experiences. our hotel was in beverly hills close to brian’s office, so i spent a lot of time exploring that area–beautiful and entirely reminiscent of highland park. hollywood was also within (a long) walking distance, and while i did not venture as far as sunset boulevard (the one place brian + i hit last time along with the hollywood sign hike), there was some fun shops to step in to + lots of sites to see. over the weekend, we drove up the coast grabbing brunch in malibu + hitting up the santa monica and venice beaches/boardwalks; i loved how each beach town had an entirely different flavor. the final thing i ended up (surprisingly) enjoying about l.a. were the people. like any big city, there is such a mixture of natives + people from all over the country (a large midwest contingent for sure), as well as people from all over the world. it’s so fascinating to me to get to know their stories, and more often than not, they were friendly, welcoming + helpful.

and if someone happens to be planning a trip to the city of angels any time soon, there are a couple of things i would highly recommend adding to your to-do list. one, even though it’s not new york, try walking as much as possible. exploring on foot is the best way (in my opinion) to get a taste of the different areas; one street corner to the next can make all the difference. for instance, i loved exploring a local farmer’s market i stumbled upon in west hollywood and had no idea it existed before seeing it hidden behind a shopping center.

two, l.a. has some amazing museums (not normally my thing, but i was in the mood to appreciate art, ha!). i loved exploring the los angeles county museum of art (lacma) + the getty center was just about the best thing i found. the museum was huge and the views of the city were unbeatable–i can’t say enough good things about the getty and (here’s a tip!) next time i am going back with a bottle of wine, some picnic essentials + a blanket to relax on the rolling green lawn between the buildings.

three, not surprisingly, l.a. has some great eats. among my favorites of the week were cuvee (best salad i have ever tasted!), the farm in beverly hills and geoffrey’s in malibu (awesome brunch spots), + crustacean (amazing for dinner + drinks).

four, if you are “in to” the celebrity thing, there were several tours recommended to me that would take you to all the hot spots celebrities are spotted in and around the city. this is not really my thing, but i still wanted a taste of hollywood (the history fascinates me), so decided on a paramount pictures studio tour. it was so interesting + really fun and i highly recommend the experience. spoiler alert: hollywood is complete smoke and mirrors and it is amazing how much they can do + how real they can make a movie or show look.

lastly, if you stay inland like we did (about 15 minutes east of the coastline), you have to get out to see the ocean and drive up the PCH. this, more than anything else, sold me on the california lifestyle. brian and i rented a car for the weekend and had an amazing time beachtown-hopping, soaking up some rays,  and taking in the beautiful scenery all the while. we hit malibu for brunch and a cruise through the canyons, and then the santa monica pier and venice beach for some excellent people watching + to get a little sand in our toes. i could not have asked for more.

we topped off a wonderful week with a christmas party for brian’s new company + had the time of our lives dancing the night away. i am thankful for the last-minute getaway we had and am feeling refreshed + ready to face the world. hope you had a wonderful week + weekend!

until next time california, i’ll be dreaming of you…

December 6th, 2013

at the heart of it

 

>> brrr dallas, it’s cold outside! this city simply makes me smile. every year we have one or two major ice storms (the south does not do true snow storms), and each time, the city absolutely shuts down. i kind of love the drastic halt on everyday life, especially during the holiday season: it’s such a great excuse to stay warm + close to home with those you love. happy snow sleet day, dallasites!

>> in other related news, i am supposed to be running in my second half marathon on sunday, and am crossing my fingers that they do not cancel it due to our icy conditions. but man oh man will it be a cold one. #pumped

>> brian and i are also looking forward to kicking off some christmas celebrating tonight with some favorite friends in town from london! we have rented a party bus to drive around highland park to look at christmas lights (no one does them quite like hp), and there is sure to be many festive drinks + lots of laughter along the way. so excited!

>> speaking of excited, i just have to say: go green! i am really looking forward to the big ten championship tomorrow night and definitely hoping for a spartan win! i am so ready for bowl season (and crossing my fingers for a trip to the rose bowl for those spartans!).

>> i have to take a quick minute and say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who reached out in response to my recent post about life updates. every email, text, phone call, note and comment meant so much: to know that i have the support of family + friends, but also to know that some have been there, too, and get it, means the world to me. thank you all!

>> this week i had fun taking this quiz that emily added to her link round up. unfortunately, it seems i have some brushing up to do on american history + government…

>> i also have loved seeing some very wintry looks pop up on some of my favorite blogs: between rachel’s blog revamp + winter wonderland outfit posts this week, jacey’s twelve days of christmas, + julia’s holiday beauty tips, i am felling very festive and full of inspiration.

>> i have whole-heartedly been enjoying this book, and while i am not quite finished yet, i am already day-dreaming about trying some of the highlighted dishes on a future trip to france (a girl can dream, right?!).

>> this video is explanation enough as to why penguins are my favorite animal. i mean, really?! just try not smiling. too. good.

>> in case you missed it, this week i shared some holiday decorating ideas +  favorite picks for cozy winter sweaters. thank you, as always, for following along and i hope you have a wonderful, wintry weekend!

image: {via}

December 4th, 2013

the coziest time of the year

though my fashion loyalty lies with feminine dresses, there is nothing i love more in the winter than a chunky, cozy sweater. my go-to winter uniform is a simple sweater (either gray or a soft color), skinny jeans, and riding boots. i can’t go wrong with this outfit as it can stand alone on warmer winter days (dallas is set to hit 80 degrees today…i know, so weird), but can also easily be paired with a vest or a warm coat when the temperatures turn bitter (dallas is going to be a high of thirties over the weekend…again, so weird). and because i have just a few go-to options for soft sweaters and “perfectly fit” jeans, i try to mix up my look with accessories: a patterned headband, bright + fun earrings, or a statement watch are my favorites. however, if you are on the look out for some new sweaters to cozy up in this winter, see my picks below for bright looks, fun patterns and go-with-everything neutrals. happy hunting!

 diane von furstenberg  // isabel marant etoile // sophie hulme

tory burch // alice + olivia // dorothy perkins

joie // mango // phillip lim

 image: {via}

December 3rd, 2013

christmas at home

hello blog world! it has been a few days, hasn’t it? i hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving! mine was filled with toddler laughter (the best sound in the world), pumpkin bread + sweet memories made with those i hold dearest. thankful for so many things, but particularly in this crazy + unpredictable world: for family. in every shape and form.

now i am happy to welcome the christmas season! this year will be a first for brian and i: we are hosting his parents for the holiday! i am excited for this new adventure, and trying my best to think of everything before they come in to town so we can have lots of fun while they are here. we have never spent christmas in dallas before, so i welcome any locals’ suggestions of “must-do” christmas experiences around town. bring ‘em!

and while i truly love all of the gift guides floating around my favorite blogs lately (really: they have helped me snag a couple of gifts already!), i decided to not do that here. this year, i want to focus on simplicity; less is more, right?! this idea rings so true to me–especially in decorating for the holiday. i’ve decided to focus on a few items for our home, and let the christmas music and scented candles do the rest of the work. what will be in our home this year for christmas?

our christmas tree, of course! and…it’s fake. i grew up with real trees and absolutely relish the warm and familiar scent they bring the whole home, but because of our hectic lives/travel schedule, a real tree is not very practical. i have learned to embrace the easy-breezy way of the fake tree (no needles to vacuum, lights pre-strung + perfectly shaped tree every year) and light those candles i was referring to!

wreaths for the front windows and door! this is where i can justify fresh firs. it would be such a great way to welcome guests to our home with woodsy smell of christmas. i think i may add a bright red bow to each wreath as well!

mistletoe. i have never participated in the whimsical tradition that mistletoe inspires, but why not start now? i think our first christmas in our home is the perfect time to create new traditions together.

stockings. perhaps my favorite part of christmas morning is giving + receiving stocking stuffers. it was always the most memorable + cozy time of the day with my family: spent in our festive christmas pj’s and hot cocoa (or coffee as we got older) in our christmas mugs.

ornaments. who says ornaments need to solely adorn the tree? i have already pulled out some of my favorites to accent a christmas tray with candles on it, and am thinking of adding some to my table’s centerpiece as well. i love the look of mixing and matching ornaments by shape, size and color throughout the home.

i am busily decorating this week in prepartion for my parents to visit over the weekend, and will take some pictures for the blog as i add touches here and there. but in the meantime, i would love to know how you decorate! do you go all out, or do you let small details create that christmas feel for the home? happy decorating + celebrating!

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November 22nd, 2013

at the heart of it

my favorite thanksgiving tradition is going around the table and having each person share what they are most thankful for. this is often poignant; always special.  and with thanksgiving next week (how did that happen?!), i thought i would take a pause and consider the things i am most thankful for this year.

>> my faith. the rock that i can lean on when everything else falls apart.

>> my family. the people that love and support me unconditionally. brian. my parents and parents-in-law. my siblings. my extended family. i love you all so.

>> my friends. going through hard times you truly see who your real friends are. and my goodness do i have some great ones.

>> my freedom. i do not take for granted the liberties i have as an american, and the men and women who continue to ensure it’s safety each day.

>> my health, my family’s health. i have learned to never take this for granted.

>> laughter. it is my favorite thing to share with those i love.

>> frogdog. silly, but so true. i just l.o.v.e. that pup.

>> clear blue skies and bright warm sunshine.

>> hope.

>> adventures. whether traveling far, or exploring our neighborhood, i love adventures with brian.

>> memories.

>> hard times. good times.

there is so much to be thankful for, and i feel overwhelmingly blessed as i even begin to count the ways. i love this time of year where being thankful is at the forefront my thoughts, but my goal is to make this a more consistent theme throughout the entire year. i do not know what tomorrow holds, the joys or trials it may bring, but i do know that there is always something to be thankful for, however small or inconsequential it may seem.

happy weekend!

image: {via}


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