October 28, 2013

Links I Love: Moving Edition

I have a new apartment! 

With many, many moves in my recent past (thank you, college dorm/apartment life), I might actually stay in one place for a whole year. As much as I love coming home to a friendly face, I decided to get a little place of my very own. After numerous roommates (of varying levels of cleanliness and sanity), I think I'm ready.

Obviously, I am SO excited about decorating! One of my 101 in 1001 goals is to edit my belongings to just those that are either necessary or that I absolutely love. Luckily, my teeny little apartment makes completing this goal a necessity. In the midst of the packing, donating items to Goodwill, carrying lots of heavy stuff, and organizing, I found some greatness:

1. Society Social
I'm basically in love with every piece of furniture here, especially the gorgeous bar carts.

2. How to Survive a trip to Ikea
It's funny because it's true. Please, please read this before journeying into the seemingly endless depths of your local Ikea.

3. How to Throw a Cocktail Party in Under an Hour
This is important information. Also, can we just take a moment to celebrate the return of Domino magazine?

4. Trotter the Hipster French Bulldog's Guide to Dressing Up for Halloween
This cutie has better costumes than I ever will. Her Instagram account is my daily dose of adorableness.


October 23, 2013

Definitely Not America's Next Top Model

Today I had a lot of fun taking some headshots for an exciting project I've been invited to participate in - more information soon!

The weather didn't cooperate with rain and grey skies all day, but I thought I'd share a few shots with you anyway. I had cute outfits picked out, but opted for a cozy sweater instead. Cincinnati skipped fall this week and went straight to winter weather!

Aaaaand an outtake. It's really such a challenge for me to be serious during these activities. If Tyra ever told me to be fierce, this would be my exact reaction:


October 22, 2013

Wanderlust: Exploring Amsterdam

Initially, I wasn't terribly excited about visiting Amsterdam. After all, the two activities the city is notorious for are not exactly hobbies of mine.

As it turned out, I loved Amsterdam. It was so charming, vegan-friendly, and full of new adventures - like staying on a boat instead of a traditional hotel!

A large portion of the visit was spent simply wandering around the canals and taking in the quiet beauty of the boats and buildings. Discovering hidden gardens was always a bonus!

Another really fun (and sometimes scary) thing about Amsterdam was the abundance of bicycles. There are so many chained EVERYWHERE, and the cyclists are fearless.

Have you ever been to Amsterdam?


(Photo credit: Jeff Steller)

October 18, 2013

Easy DIY Monogram Tutorial (No Photoshop Required!)

Creating your own monogram on your computer can be useful for all kinds of projects. You can print your own stationery, use it to design business cards, or just make an iPhone wallpaper. Most tutorials require Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. These programs can give you great versatility because you can make the image as large as you want without losing integrity (making the product look all pixelated). If you don't have access to those programs, however, you can use plain old Microsoft Word!

Once you open Microsoft Word, use the "View" tab to make sure the Gridlines box is selected. This will help you get the perfect alignment.

Next, create a text box for each of your initials. Remember, monograms are displayed in the order of first initial, last initial, and middle initial.  Make sure your text boxes have no line (border) and no fill selected. You can do this by right clicking the text box border and going to "Format shape."

Here's an example with lines, and it's obviously not the look you want:

You can create a monogram in any font you like, but I downloaded the free font "Monogram KK" here. I made my first and middle name initials ("R" and "E") 100 pt and my last name initial ("M") 175 pt. You can play with the size ratio until you achieve the desired look.

 The image below is what you get once you format your font size and text boxes. The grid really helps check your letter alignment!

After you're happy with the alignment, you can play around with font colors. I used Word's Insert > Shapes tool to create a circle around my letters. The potential combinations for shape outline, shape fill, and font color are pretty much endless, so you're sure to find a look that is perfect for your project.

Finally, I inserted a photo of a Lilly Pulitzer print to create the background. (The alignment is a little off here due to imprecise cropping, but you get the idea!)

To save the final product, I just took a screenshot of the Word screen and cropped the extra space out using Paint.

If you create a cute project, tag me so I can see!


Yoga to Brunch

I have become addicted to yoga classes, especially on the weekends. There is no better way to end a busy week than with an amazing and challenging class. I'm even working towards my goal of mastering a handstand! Obviously, there are other weekend activities I love as well - primarily brunch and shopping. Inspired by Styled Snapshots, I created this fall-appropriate transition look to go from yoga class to brunch in just a few minutes.

Yoga to Brunch

I am loving Essie's "miss fancy pants" on my nails lately. It's edgy and versatile without being super dark and dramatic. I think lululemon offers the best fabrics and styles for yoga wear, especially this Ebb to Street bra. It's totally seamless and made of moisture-wicking fabric. I don't normally wear TOMS, but I swear every girl in yoga class comes to the studio in these. I might have to get a pair!

For the brunch look, I love this sweater from J. Crew. It's a little longer in the back, so if you aren't into wearing yoga pants out in public, it has got you covered. Add some Tory Burch riding boots and jewelry from C. Wonder and Kate Spade and you're ready to go. Happy brunching/shopping/sweating!


October 16, 2013

Halloween Chic

This will be my first post-college Halloween, and quite honestly...I have no idea what psuedo-adults do on this holiday. I'm past the point where dodging drunk freshmen sounds even remotely fun, and not yet at the stage where you stay home and pass out candy. I might never be ready for that dull of a holiday evening, actually.

If you happen to be attending a party, do yourself a favor and bypass the highly flammable and unflattering costume choices provided by mega-stores. Other retailers also get in the Halloween spirit, and know how to celebrate with a lot more style. Case in point: BCBG Maxazria. They're featuring fun accessories and gorgeous clothing that works perfectly for costumes.

I love this chic take on a goddess:

If a pirate is more your style, this fun accessory can dress up pieces you already own:

And finally, if you just want to drink the questionably colored punch and have fun with your friends....you can always be an animal:

Do you have plans for a costume?


October 15, 2013

My Guilty Pleasure TV...

Let me preface this by telling you I typically do not enjoy reality TV. Really. I am proud to say I've never watched a single episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and I don't easily get sucked into any of the other nonsense programs inundating virtually every channel.

But I really, really like The Biggest Loser. I mean, amazing stories of transformation? Check. Jillian Michaels pushing people until they vomit? Awesome. Hot vegan trainer Bob Harper? Score. I love seeing people fight for their health. I know the show isn't perfect, but I always find myself getting inspired.

As a bonus, this is one of the few times you will watch TV and have zero urge to snack. In fact, I try to watch the show at the gym whenever my schedule allows so that I don't feel horrendously lazy while watching the contestants sweat.

But seriously, I need someone to make this face at me while I'm cycling...

Do you watch The Biggest Loser, or am I alone in this guilty pleasure? The latest season (#15 I think?) premiers tonight!


October 8, 2013

J. Crew Weekend Look + Sale!

With chilly weather approaching, I am loving this weekend look from J. Crew:

J. Crew is also offering an amazing deal - an extra 40% off sale items! It is pretty rare I find pieces I like in the sale section, but I adore these:

1. How cute is this iPhone 5 case?! 
2. I love pajamas. Vow to ditch the sweatpants in favor of something cuter. 
3. Every girl needs a basic peplum top. This one comes in ivory and navy.
4. Cozy socks are a must for fall and winter

What are you favorite pieces from the sale?


October 7, 2013

Crafting for Winos

Lately I've been learning more about (and tasting...) wine whenever I can. While I don't really aspire to reach a sommelier's level of understanding, it would be nice to have a more developed wine palate and truly appreciate what I'm drinking.

With all this wine comes a lot of corks. I always save them...but for what? Pinterest to the rescue! Here are some of my favorite repurposed wine cork ideas:

1. Wine cork holder
Corny? Maybe. Adorable? Definitely. Every now and then, it's probably good to remind yourself not to drink alone. I like the idea of the cork collection doubling as decoration. This one can be purchased on Etsy, but I'm confident I could make my own.

 Personalized Wine Cork Holder

2. Wine cork initial
I love this one, especially with the tinted ends of the corks facing out. The letters can be used as wall art or made into a wreath. You can find instructions here.

Wine Cork Letters - charming, unique & fun on Etsy, $22.50

3.  Wine cork board
There are a lot of wine cork board images out there, but this one is my absolute favorite. It would be so easy to customize the frame to your decor.

4. Wine cork magnets
I love the idea of using them on your fridge for a super simple but personalized look.

Wine Cork Magnets

Have you ever successfully re-purposed wine corks? Any tips?