WHOA! FOREVER 21 SHOWED UP THIS SEASON!

Hear me out- I was scrolling instagram and liked 3 posts of fashion bloggers with the dumb #liketoknowit blocker on there.

If you haven't succumbed to creating an account just to learn where they found the ADORABLE pineapple wedges- here's how it works:

After you create an account...

1. You like a photo on instagram

2. Liketoknowit emails you with a picture of the post you've liked and links to buy whatever the person is wearing in the photo.

Anywho.. all 3 of the photos I had liked had clothing from Forever 21! It's been a few seasons since I even glanced in that direction. My faves these days tend to be Everlane, Zara, Asos, and many more I'm not thinking of right now.

BUT FOREVER 21. OH MAN. This season is GOOD. A fact which I will extensively prove to you right now...

I'm right, right?

Dump the lot in my cart and I will be SET for the season.

Let's Make Mondays Interesting


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Happy MARCH!

This is the best/worst week because we FINALLY have sunshine past 5pm but MAN does my alarm clock go off extra early. I'll take the necessary evil if it means we're in SPRING.

Warren Buffett has a daily breakfast allowance.

These people had a photoshoot in Lowes and it looks awesome. 

Stacey London had a rough financial year... love the candor in this article. 

Just bought this jacket to celebrate spring and I LOVE IT. I got a small for size reference.

Phil made this sous vide corned beef recipe and it was INCREDIBLE. 

HAVE to see this movie in theaters.

The hunt for the adorable alarm clock

Who knew finding adorable digital alarm clocks was so hard?

We've renovated our basement (pictures coming soon) and I wanted to find a cute, adorable clock for the new guest room. HOLY SMOKES it was a challenge. Affordable was probably the biggest thing. Who are these people spending $60 on a digital clock?!

My criteria:

Not offensive to the eyes

Under $30

Visible with the lights off

 I found 5 after roughly 4 hours of searching (I need new hobbies). Am I missing something? A super clock store where everything isn't red or black? I've identified a market gap- get me on the phone with the patent office.

In the mean time...

Let's Make Mondays Interesting


  Florence, Italy at sunset. A shot from our vacation back in May.

Florence, Italy at sunset. A shot from our vacation back in May.

HAPPY MONDAY! 

Can you believe this week we pop into FEBRUARY! The month where I hear my 1st-grade teacher in my head EVERY time I write the month.. Feb-RU-ary. Yeesh.

Anywho..

Realistic birth announcements. I laughed out loud on a few of these.

MERYL STREEP will be on Big Little Lies- season 2!

I really want this new top for my spring wardrobe.

Inside America's last pencil factories. LOVE the photography in this article.

Famous women on their strangest habits. Makes me feel a little more normal...

Subtle way to get festive for v-day.

 

Have a wonderful week!

I'd like to sing the praises of eye lash primer..


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On a whim, I picked up some eyelash primer at Ulta the other day. I was lost in the world of brow mascara (a conversation for another time) and in Tarte's section, the two sit close together.

A few years ago I discovered the magic of lip primer. I've been a steadfast user of Mac's product for the last 3 years. While a little expensive, my first tube lasted me 2 years with use 1-2 times/week. I accidentally tried to replace it with something else when my first tube ran out and BOY was that a mistake. I didn't see any added benefit from using Two Faced, NYX, ELF, or Covergirl. By the time I tried all of those, I should have just bought my dang Mac one. Lesson learned.

ANYWAY- marketing has really been getting to me on the eyelash primer. An article in Man Repeller that I can't find after spending 5 minutes looking, talked about this mascara with built-in primer. The total combo is $9! I will obviously be trying this as soon as my others run out. Amelia (I think) said she was so happy with this mascara she stopped getting fake lashes. STOPPED. GETTING. FAKE. LASHES. It was enough to sell me. 

Soo, back in Ulta about 2 days after I had read about that, I picked up primer. Holy cow it makes a difference. When I blink, I can feel the tips of my lashes touch my browbone? Eyelid bone? Whatever that thing is called. They're so long! 

I tried to get a picture of how long they are but the pictures are really terrible. I look cross-eyed and am so distracted by the fact,  I can't point your attention to the mascara. 

There we go, I've added a blue circle around the primed eye. That makes things SO MUCH better.

The eye withouth the circle doesn't have primer! Can you see the millimeter difference?

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You can?!? 

Me too.

Prime your eyelids ladies. It changes everything.

On The Nightstand: January


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Oh, we have some GOODIES this month. I've already gotten to 3 out of the 4 of these and I would recommend every. single. one. You'll also notice 2 of the 4 books are from Book of the Month. $15 hardcover new releases every month. I'm going 2 years strong on my subscription and have yet to be disappointed by a month's selection. I highly recommend it.


The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo: This one is a love story. I'm not always one for this genre but it hooked me right away.

" Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts."


Final Girls by Riley Sager: "Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.
 
That is until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit; and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished."

I really didn't see the killer coming in this one. Let me know if you do?


Goodbye Vitamin by Rachel Khong: I LOVED how this story was written. Really strong and relatable voice.

"Freshly disengaged from her fiancé and feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town and arrives at her parents’ home to find that situation more complicated than she'd realized. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid. Ruth’s mother, meanwhile, is lucidly erratic. But as Ruth's father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming her all her grief.

Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life."


The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs: After reading her 'Modern Love' column, I knew I had to get the book. Anticipating heartbreak and tears but also some bright spots along the way.

"Poet and essayist Nina Riggs was just thirty-seven years old when initially diagnosed with breast cancer—one small spot. Within a year, she received the devastating news that her cancer was terminal. 

How does a dying person learn to live each day “unattached to outcome”? How does one approach the moments, big and small, with both love and honesty? How does a young mother and wife prepare her two young children and adored husband for a loss that will shape the rest of their lives? How do we want to be remembered?

Exploring motherhood, marriage, friendship, and memory, Nina asks: What makes a meaningful life when one has limited time? “Profound and poignant” (O, The Oprah Magazine), The Bright Hour is about how to make the most of all the days, even the painful ones. It’s about the way literature, especially Nina’s direct ancestor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and her other muse, Montaigne, can be a balm and a form of prayer." 

 

Happy Reading Friends!

Coat + Key Rack DIY


Coat + key Rack DIY

Much to my chagrin, we don't have a mudroom/entryway in our house. It's #2 on my wishlist for our next place right behind a yard bigger than a postage stamp. 

When you come home, there isn't a great place to put bags/keys/purses/coats etc. SO I decided to create a makeshift one along the wall.

Jenny, from Little Green Notebook, posted this photo which had my heart fluttering.

  Photo from  her post here .

Photo from her post here.

I've held onto this image in the back of my brain and it seemed like the perfect solution for what we were working with.

Jenny's post has THE BEST instructions for how to make this beauty. I couldn't come up with a single missing piece in her tutorial. She's a genius folks.

It took about an hour to cut/assemble and then 3 coats of white oil-based paint.

When we screwed this into the wall, we made sure to hang it on 2 wall studs because we knew it would get some USE. We needed the shelf to be able to support 35+lbs. I believe Jenny recommends this practice as well but, I'll reiterate it :)

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I was having trouble finding hooks I loved that weren't $1,000,000. I ended up finding these beauties at Target that share a similar profile to my kitchen hardware. I unscrewed them from their plastic mount and installed them on my new beautiful shelf!

I'm really happy with it. It's been hanging now for almost 6 months and has withstood heavy daily usage.  

Go build yourself one!

Let's Make Mondays Interesting


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HAPPY MONDAY!

I've missed you! 

Even though I haven't been posting, I've been collecting things for Monday posts. Here are some of my favorites if you'd like to check them out..

A year of no shopping... could you do it?

Most underrated places in every state. I don't really agree with Missouri. On the flip side, I've never been to Colorado's call out.

I love me some royal family ( I really don't know why though.) Here are some bonkers rules they always have to follow.

Flat winter hair? This stuff has been SAVING me. 

What I've learned. I liked this one- "two ice cubes is the right amount to immediately bring a fresh cup of hot tea down to a more drinkable temp.

Fun personality test- which animal did you see first? I saw #5 ( I don't want to tell you the animal in case that sways what you see!) I don't know that I agree with it, but fun all the same.

 

HAVE A FANTASTIC WEEK!

 

Dreaming of a Fall Wardrobe

Much to my chagrin, it would seem the first day of fall is today. Harumph. It's not fall so much that I mind. It's more the end of summer. My beloved, favorite season.

To get over my grump, I've rounded up my shopping escapades in the hopes that they cheer you up as well. 

 Everlane Suede Heel Bootie

Everlane Suede Heel Bootie

 J.Crew Sweater Blazer

J.Crew Sweater Blazer

 Draped Mock Neck Blouse

Draped Mock Neck Blouse

 Taupe Long Cut Blazer

Taupe Long Cut Blazer

 Wrap front top

Wrap front top

 Paige Hoxton Denim

Paige Hoxton Denim

 Amazon Plaid Blanket Scarf ($12!!!)

Amazon Plaid Blanket Scarf ($12!!!)

 Mini Dotted Dress

Mini Dotted Dress

 Printed Slides

Printed Slides

What have you found to drown your summer's ending sorrows? Share with me!

A Hidden Swan: Dresser Rehab


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I'm really proud of this gal. I was late night craigslisting and saw it. I'm kicking myself now but I don't have any 'before' pictures. :( It's a pine dresser and its original state was yellow and glossy. Very cabin-esque with wooden knobs on it. The closest I can find online that looks similar is here:

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Not my taste. But I really loved the lines of the dresser I found and it was an affordable $60!

The day we brought it home, I started to sand it. And sand, and sand and sand. I spent some time googling how to get a professional finish. In the past, i've found my DIY wood projects still look very homemade. Turns out its all in the sanding. I used 80, 100, 150, 220, and 320 on every part of the dresser. It equated to about two weeks of sanding after work. I'm pretty sick of it.

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I would do it again though. 

After sanding, I used wood conditioner. I've never used it before but I think it really made a difference in how smooth the stain went on the wood. I'd recommend it. 

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The conditioner only sets for 10 minutes before its ready for stain. I used Minwax Early American and REALLY love the color. Even on pine, it does a great job of giving the woodgrain depth.

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I found new knobs at CB2, which could be my second soul sister behind West Elm. I think they could pair well on bedside tables as well..just need to figure out where/what those will be. 

I'm SO happy with the end product. It turned out better than I thought it could WITH the added bonus of extra storage that my previous dresser didn't offer.

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I think the moral of this story is, if you see a dresser with good bones for under 100 bones, go for it.

Also, it could have been by addled sanding mind but doesn't this woodgrain on the side of my dresser look like an elephant profile? Tell me you can see it?

Also the cactus on my dresser is FAKE! FAUX! PLASTIC! Hobby Lobby for the win there.

We built a lofted upholstered bed.


Ohhh my goodness, do I love this thing. We've never had a bed frame before.  I love how it makes the room feel more pulled together. We still need to sort out nightstands and bedside sconces but I was too excited about the bed to wait to share. 

It's hard for me to get the color captured in the photos, but the fabric is a navy twill. It's a nice deep true blue. 

You might also notice the mattress comes up to my waist. We lofted it for our dogs. If you would have told me I'd do something like that a few years ago, I would have thought you were nuts. But it's us. We're nuts.

Since getting Pippin, our second dog, our bedroom started to feel crowded at night. They sleep on two big dog beds on the floor that take up most of the walking room. We noticed that some nights, they would squeeze themselves underneath our bed. Both of them were just barely able to fit under there and more recently had been getting stuck when they tried to leave.

When I decided we should build ourselves a frame, we talked a lot about what we could do to help our space situation and came up with a lofted bed. It's really not hard to get into. It takes a little hop to pop up there- nothing more. 

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Building the bed was pretty straightforward. We used a tutorial by Jenny from Little Green Notebook to construct the base.

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We didn't know what to do about our box springs. Keeping them in one piece would have made the bed WAY too tall and so we would have had to cut down the legs which really defeats the purpose of a lofted bed. 

We ended up cutting apart the box spring and keeping the structured surface it sat on. I wish I would have taken pictures of what it looked like while we were deconstructing it but, alas, I seemed to have skipped doing that.

Upholstering the head and footboard went quickly as well. I watched this tutorial by Design Sponge to get an idea of the process. All in all, I ended up using 12 yards of fabric between the head and foot board and wrapping the sides.

The tutorial suggests using upholstery foam. That stuff is EXPENSIVE. So, instead, I used egg carton bed foam from Walmart. I used two per head/foot board and flipped them so the bumpy sides faced each other. 

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I am really happy with the result. In a previous headboard I made, I used upholstery foam and I truly can't tell the difference between this implementation and that one.

With such a dark frame, I wanted to make sure everything else in the room felt lighter. 

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I made a body pillow out of fabric I had been hoarding for a long time. We're not big decorative pillow fans so anything more than one pillow would just sit and collect dust. I think it could still use some tassels on the corners...

The duvet is from my dear love Schoolhouse Electric. I pine for most things in that store. Everything is all so beautiful.

The dogs love the bed too! As I was shooting this, they snoozed beneath.

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I'm so happy. 

But now the questions keep coming-

Sconces or lamps?

Dark or light nightstands? Wood or paint?

I just redid a dresser for this room that I found on craigslist for $65. That's coming tomorrow!

Let's Make Mondays Interesting


 Our eclipse viewing spot during the eclipse last Monday in our friend's beautiful backyard.

Our eclipse viewing spot during the eclipse last Monday in our friend's beautiful backyard.

Happy Monday friends! Let's kick the last week of August off right!

Tricks for starting conversations. I'm the worst at coming up with conversations at networking events and typically default to blurting out weird things...these are better.

Bodies on Mt. Everest are used as landmarks.

My favorite online shop, Everlane, is opening up a flagship store! YAHOO!

CVS is carrying Korean beauty products! Give me all of the face masks.

A writer answers questions about dying.

If you didn't see this Pixar film short, you're missing out.

Amazing, Incredible Pickle Dip


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Hollllllllly cow is this stuff delicious. The stuff dreams are made of in my personal opinion. It takes about 10 minutes to whip up...and that could be because I'm a slow pickle cutter. The darn things are so slippery.

YOU NEED:

1 package 8oz cream cheese

1 16oz tub sour cream

12 petite pickles

3 sprigs of dill

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Corn Chips

Ok....ready for the instructions?

1. Chop up your pickles into small pieces- not so fine that you would lose them in the dip but small enough to be bite size.

2. Dump everything listed above, including your chopped pickles into a mixing bowl and stir

3. Eat and eat until you have to switch to elastic pants.

On second thought, start with wearing stretchy pants. It elimintes a whole step!

Let's Make Mondays Interesting


 A Red Rocks sunset before the Avett Brothers a couple of weeks ago.

A Red Rocks sunset before the Avett Brothers a couple of weeks ago.

Man oh man is this summer killing my poor little blog. So many weeks apart! Ive built a bed, sewed a quilt, refashioned a dress and have yet to talk about them here. It's coming!

In the mean time, have a WONDERFUL Monday!

Things designers never put in their homes.

Upgrade your lager with this PICKLE TRICK! Genius.

Trick to decluttering that doesn't involve that magical method.

Addicting series covering both sides of a breakup.

Is it a trip or a vacation? I don't have kids but still laughed so hard I cried.

A list of underrated books.

Have you bought your eclipse glasses?

Grown Up Keychains


I hold on to weird keychain attachments. Right now, I still have a rubber bracelet on one set of my keys that says 'Patriot Pride'. That in itself is fine...but I got the bracelet in high school. It's over a decade old. 

It's terribly mundane to want to upgrade your keyring but summer always reminds me what a pain it is to carry around big keyrings. Just this morning, I tore half of my nail off trying to pop my car key off of the spiral ring. The easy solution to this is a valet key ring. I'm in the market for a cute one. Here's what i've found so far:

And this is literally IT for cute valet keychains. Where am I missing? Someone else has to have this problem and be upset that most of the options on the market are ugly. Right? If you have a suggestion, help a girl out!

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree: A Reformed Black Thumb's Guide to Not Killing It


Never in my life have I kept a plant alive as long as I've kept my fiddle leaf fig tree thriving. I am SO PROUD of it. Every new leaf that sprouts is a personal victory. I've kept it going for 2.5 YEARS! YEARS! So, I wanted to quickly share a few things I've learned so that you too can have this wild sense of accomplishment.

I ordered my tree on Amazon. Yup. It was $18 and came in a little box. These trees can get pricey in big box stores so I figured worst case scenario I was out the cost of lunch.

(It's up to $35 right now, but I believe it fluctuates.)

I was pretty surprised when it showed up intact. I was half expecting to get shipped a twig.

Things I've learned while caring for my tree:

- Put it in a bright spot- but not too much sun so the leaves don't cook

- Spin your tree around when you see all of the leaves tilt toward the sunlight (every 3 weeksish?)

- Only water it when the soil is dry to the first knuckle of your pointer finger. Basically, for me, this means I water my tree once a week. 

- Dust the leaves every so often...they collect dust just like shelves do.

- WHEN YOU WANT BRANCHES, chop the top of your tree off. YES! Chop it OFF! I recently learned this trick from my mom, plant goddess, and it worked! My tree did nothing for about 3 weeks and I was convinced I killed it. But then! Just on Monday...

I count 4! 4 new branches! So now, instead of my tree growing straight up with one long trunk, it will stem out and begin growing multiple branches. 

Before getting this plant, I heard they were notoriously hard to care for. I really haven't found that to be the case...and this is coming from a girl that just killed her mint plant. (Mint is notoriously hard to kill. No idea why mine died. Story for another day?)

Go forth and Fiddle Leaf! I believe in you!

SALES! SALES! SALES!


EVERYTHING IS ON SALE!

Handbags:

Henri Bendel: Classic wardrobe addition.

Rebecca Minkoff: I've always wanted one of these.

Kate Spade: I love the buckle on this one!

Michael Kors: Work tote WITH a shoulder strap?!

Marc Jacobs: THIS. and THIS.

Clothing:

J.Crew: They still have Liberty collabs in stock.

Zara: This is a fun twist on a skirt. Pull off leather in the summer. This with some black skinny jeans could be wonderful.

Banana Republic: I want someone to pull this off at a wedding. And I want this one for daywear.

We can't forget about my new favorite store: Abercrombie + Fitch. We haven't talked about this yet- and in fact, a whole post could be devoted to my rediscovery of them. They're different now. Probably not ethically which is a bummer, but their inventory! They have SALES! Right now I love this, this, this, this, and this.

Shoes:

Anthropologie: Really love these. 

Steve Madden: I've been wanting platforms. Perfect for weddings.

Nordstrom: Love these. These would go with everything.

 

What am I missing? HAPPY SHOPPING!

Floating Shelves Next To the Fireplace


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A few weeks ago, while Phil was out of town, I built us some floating shelves next to the fireplace. It was a real girl power moment for me- which is why i'm taking a moment to gloat here. 

I'm done now :)

Above, you see where we started. Beige, arches, and a weird narrow wall next to the fireplace.

Todayyyyy......

We built a tube in the fireplace to run all of our TV and device chords through. They had been sitting in a jumble on a cheap target bookshelf since we built up the fireplace and I was sick of looking at them.

fireplace after

Beauty and the beast right here.

The final product is much better. But I'm still stuck- I still have some ugly chords and devices to hide. Right now I'm working with a foam board hut I fashioned to get them out of sight. It kinddd of works but then again, I feel like I'm lying to myself.

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Finding a solution to hide everything is probably top of the list project wise. Maybe a breadbox looking thing could work? The shelf is pretty narrow to follow the contours of the fireplace. 

Stay tuned!


All art by allieschmidt.com, vases from Target, frame from Target, pillows self sewn.