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Friday, April 29, 2011

Marriage Advice For Wills & Kate, And A DIY Headpiece Project

I'm sitting on my couch watching the Royal Wedding (I DVRed it... I love the grandeur of it all, just not the hour it all started here in the States or all the commercials!) and I'm in love love love love love with all the hats and headpieces. Why aren't we this classy here in America? What I would have given to look out at a sea of big-brimmed hats and feather-adorned headpieces at our wedding...sigh.

Alas. I'll have to get my fix today and live vicariously through these lucky people at Westminster Abbey. Thankfully, however, my sis-in-law and bro-in-law are hosting a Royal Wedding party this evening and I've been dying to wear something on my head for the event. I found this DIY video and this is what I plan to do this afternoon after I get some work done:


Clever, right??

Also, my father-in-law gave us this on Easter:

I wish it were real!

And finally, as a someone who has been married for almost 9 months (I know! So long), I thought it would be appropriate to offer some marriage advice for the royal newlyweds. I'm sure they check this blog and I'm sure my advice will apply to their lives (humor me).

  • Take time away together. It's really easy as a newlywed couple with a new home and a new life to forget to take time to go away together for a day or two once in a while. Wills, instead of working on the garden every weekend, take that pretty wife of yours on a weekend getaway (we have a guest room, hint hint). 
  • Laugh! Everyone should do this. Smile, laugh, watch ridiculous videos online, tease each other. Find humor in the things that frustrate you. Know that you can turn to each other for not only support, but a laugh when you need it.
  • Treat each other like royalty. Uh... actually...I think they've got this one down.
You know what... they don't need my advice. They're a lovely couple, they look like they're crazy in love with each other, and I hope they have a long, healthy, love-filled marriage! 

image via Reuters.com
(By the way, I've been watching the wedding while I wrote this post, and I have no idea how Kate Catherine stays so composed and calm all the time. She really is stunning ). 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How To Have Style And Work From Home

As a freelance writer, I do most of my work at home. Occasionally, like today, I leave the house to cover a story or event, but most of the time I'm on my couch, out on my deck, or in my office tapping away on my laptop. I don't have coworkers. Clients don't pop in to say hi during lunch. My boss isn't scrutinizing my every move. It's great. I know there are a lot of people like myself (20-somethings with limited budgets but a sense of style) who work from home doing creative jobs like writing, graphic design, web design, editing, consulting, etc.

A big obstacle when you work from home can be getting yourself in the work mindset. When you leave the house to go to a job, you know how to dress for that environment. But when you work at home and your spouse and dog (in my case) and maybe the librarian and barista down the street are the only people on a given day who will see your clothes, how do you help yourself feel pulled together, professional, and comfortable?

  • Get yourself in the right frame of mind to work. I personally can't stay in pajamas all day, even if I'm not leaving the house. When I shower and get dressed (even in jeans and a tank top) I feel an automatic shift in how I perceive the day: I'm ready to work. Lounging time is over.
  • Organize your clothes. This is something I plan to do very soon because not having my clothing organized is proving to be a problem. When you can easily see what your options are, you can make faster choices and more creative choices when getting dressed.
  • On that note-- clean out your closet. Seriously. Another thing I'm doing ASAP. If you aren't in love with a piece, haven't worn it in ages, and can't picture it being worn 3 or 4 different ways, it might be time to say goodbye and make room for something new.
  • Add accessories. I used to think it was silly to wear accessories if I was just staying at home, but since I've started doing it, I feel more in that work mindset I talked about before. It's sometimes just the simple act of putting yourself together that helps push you in the right direction. I put a little bit of makeup on everyday, too. It takes me only a couple of minutes, but again, it's the act of getting myself ready that moves me into work mode.
  •  Schedule out-of-house appointments a few times a week. I'm a regular library visitor and errand runner, and my flexible schedule makes it easy for me to leave the house when others are working still. Knowing that I have somewhere to go a few days a week (work related or not) helps me dress with more purpose. Even a coffee date or a doctor's appointment does the trick.
  • Take yourself seriously. Sometimes when you work from home, others don't understand what you do. I don't sit around watching TV and painting my nails all day. I write (for pay), seek out new jobs and clients, read blogs and articles to learn how to expand my business, and I even took an 8 week magazine writing e-class. Just because other people don't understand what it's like to work from home doesn't mean you shouldn't take yourself seriously. Dress in a way that makes you feel confident about your work and yourself; it will show others that you're stylish, hard-working, and smart.
Do you work from home? If so, how do you dress?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Flop It Out, Girlfriend

Yesterday a friend texted me. She had gone shopping for an upcoming trip to Jamaica and bought a floppy hat (for $13, no less! Go her!) Anyway, she said she thought of me when she bought said floppy hat because last summer we were on the hunt for the perfect one for me to take on my honeymoon.

Here we are in Bar Harbor, Maine, floppy hat and camera  ready to go.
Well now it appears that the flops are everywhere!

I had a hard time finding one last summer believe it or not, and ended up getting one at J.Crew. As much as I love J.Crew's stuff, it's definitely not a place I shop often. Too expensive. Although I love finding J.Crew pieces at secondhand stores. Score.

In honor of the floppy hat, I'd like to share a few reasons why I love mine so much and can't wait for it to get really warm out so I can wear it. Spring in New England just isn't conducive to floppy hat wearing.

1. Floppy hats are classic. This is one reason I love my hat and also the reason I was so surprised that it was hard to find a good one last year. It seems like the quintessential summer staple, especially if you're going to spend time in a sunny place. And really, don't a lot of people do that in the summer?
2. Floppy hats are kind of glamorous. Ok, not kind of. They're really glamorous. And for a person like me who doesn't shoot for glamour on a daily basis (give me jeans, a cute t-shirt and a great cardigan and I'm happy), this hat was a small way for me to feel a little fancy on our honeymoon.
3. Floppy hats are actually very practical, too. Wear it gardening, on a walk to the park, at the beach, on a sailboat, sitting outside in the backyard reading a book.... doesn't matter, it actually serves a purpose. I don't like a sunburned nose, and I know you probably don't either. Hooray for sun protection that isn't in the form of weird and questionable chemicals!
4. Floppy hats look good on everyone. Let me tell you something: I look stupid in hats 99% of the time. I don't know why. I just wasn't born a hat-person. Even my mother agrees, and you know if your mom is telling you something looks weird on you, she's being honest. Not so with the floppy, though. Do you know how happy I was to find a hat that actually looked good on me? And I firmly believe that they can look good on anyone. Sometimes it's a matter of finding the right one (material, color, brim-size, etc), but if you want to flop it out this summer, start hunting. There are plenty of floppy options out there this year!

Sporting my new floppy find last summer on Cape Cod.

Do you like floppy hats? Or are you hat-a-phobic like I was? Tell me in the comments. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Easy, Awesome DIY Picture Project

The other day I discovered Adriana Willsie's awesome blog and business. I found this super easy and really adorable DIY project on her blog and, since I'm a sucker for my pup, I decided to make one featuring my lovely little miss Mia.

Here's my baby:

 And here's what I did with the help of Adriana's step-by-step guide:

Cute, huh?? It didn't take long to make and once it was done, I was really happy with it. It's bold, graphic, and unique. Plus it's my baby! My mom's birthday is this weekend and I think I might make one for her using a picture of her dog, Coco (my first dog-child).

I have to thank Adriana for inspiring me and helping me get back into creating things!

Do you guys have any fun projects that you personalize like this?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

List-It Tuesday

Tuesday is list day for this blog series. I don't know about you guys, but I'm a huge fan of lists. I find old ones crumpled up in the bottom of my purse or wedged into books I'm reading all the time. I love lists because my brain is sometimes a place of little organization and I need to pour out the contents of said unorganized brain onto paper to keep myself from going nuts.

Tuesdays will be list days and each week will be a different prompt. If you'd like to participate, please leave a comment with a link to your blog post list!

Today's prompt: a list of wardrobe essentials.

1. Easy, breezy sun dresses
2. Comfortable dress pants
3. A white button-up shirt
4. Heels that make you feel like a goddess
5. Flats that make you feel like Audrey Hepburn
6. A party dress you can move in
7. Go-to jeans
8. Wellies
9. A trench coat
10. A variety of scarves to take you from winter into spring then into summer and fall
11. Pieces to layer: tanks, cardigans, light sweaters, t's.
12. A statement ring or necklace that's casual enough to wear to grab coffee
13. Confidence & no reservations

The last one is a given, right? I'm still trying to figure out how to own my style without reservations, but it gets easier when you know what you like, don't you think?

What are you wardrobe essentials?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Something Sunny Monday

I was off to a great start this morning and in the middle of writing this post, I got a phone call about the job I had been offered on Friday. They rescinded the offer because they apparently aren't set up in my state tax-wise for remote workers. I don't know how or why they missed this important detail and only caught it after they hired me, but it was pretty devastating. I had spent the weekend telling family and friends about my great new job, how excited I was, all that jazz. My husband and I started reconfiguring our finances so we could begin putting more into savings. I was thrilled to be contributing so much to our income since I've spent the past few years in grad school and doing part-time freelance writing.

Well, today TripAdvisor crushed me pretty bad. I'm going to go ahead and publish this post, anyway. I spent the morning crying. I couldn't even finish this blog because there wasn't a happy bone in my body, but I have to move forward now. My hubby reminded me how a year ago we lost an offer on a house we wanted so so so much. That was the last time I felt this crushed and devastated at losing something so promising. But, as he pointed out, it fell through so we could find our perfect house, which we did find a month or two later.

Original post, pre-heartbreak:

Since this blog is still so new, I'm going to try out series writing for a few weeks. I think it will give the posts some direction and will help me build a concrete collection of images, ideas, projects, etc that define my style. Hopefully these posts will inspire your style, too!.

Mondays will from now on be dubbed Something Sunny Monday. Why? Because it's Monday! Even when the sun is shining, Mondays can be slow-going. We're still feeling the effects of a fun or busy weekend and for some people, Mondays are the least emotionally sunny day of the week. I think Mondays are great, though; they're a fresh start, the beginning of a new week where so many unseen possibilities exist. I think starting the week with a sunny disposition can change everything.

So to kick off my first ever Something Sunny Monday (ironically, it's overcast and rainy today), I want to introduce you to a piece on etsy.com that I just discovered and fell in love with immediately. I've been browsing etsy in search for some interesting art work to display in our bedroom. We have a small room and can't fit much more furniture than our queen bed and two nightstands, so we're turning to wall art as a way to liven up the space. Yesterday we put up white sheers on the windows (the perk of this small room is that we have 3 big windows and get lots of beautiful natural light!) and were amazed at how they made the space look bigger. Next we need to add some creative energy to the walls.

There's a lot of great stuff on etsy, obviously, but this Daydream List by illustrator Katie of thewheatfield shop really caught my attention:
Click the link and go check it out on her etsy page to really get a sense of how beautiful it is. At least from here you can see the faded, delicate colors, the natural elements and the list format. The list actually reads like a poem. I think I have to own this gem.

I love when art and words are combined, so most of the pieces in thewheatfield's shop really make me happy. Plus, the best thing about etsy is that the money you spend on the site goes right to the artist. Nothing better than directly supporting the person making the art/jewelry/clothes/etc that you fall in love with. That is a sunny way to start the week, my friends. 

What was something sunny that happened on your Monday? Tell me in the comments! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Freakin' Funny Friday

I don't know about you guys, but I'm definitely in need of some humor today. It snowed a little last night (gag, gag, gag). And I had the longest week in the history of long weeks (probably a slight exaggeration...). So today, to wrap up the week and kick off the weekend, we must laugh!

I'm sure by now you've all seen that adorable and hilarious video of those twin baby boys having a conversation in their kitchen in baby-speak. But have you seen this subtitled version? I cracked up watching it. Hope this puts a smile on your face! Have a fabulous weekend, blogosphere!