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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back To School Must-Haves

I can vividly remember dragging my parents to my school the first day that teacher class lists were posted on the doors in the summer because I was so excited to see who my teachers were. You can betcha that I already had my entire school supply list perfectly laid out in alphabetical order ready to hit the aisles of our local store, too. I have to admit that nothing has really changed since I was a little one either.  This upcoming Tuesday is my first day back to work! What the what? I cannot believe that this summer is almost over. An entire day of meetings and checklists will anxiously await me which means my teacher supplies must be packed nice and neat in my bag ready to go! 

Not sure if I have spilled the beans before chickadees, but I'm a speech therapist in the schools. I work with the itty bitty ones. They make my heart skip a beat and always keep me on my toes! To be quite honest, it's a dream! You just never know what my little friends might say or do. If only I could share the funny stories with y'all! I work in a number of classrooms which means that I am always on the go. I rarely make it to my office as I do all of my therapy within the classroom setting.  My nickname may or may not be The Bag Lady within my building because I carry my bag with me wherever I go. You just never know what tricks I may pull out of it. I literally keep everything in my bag. It must be neat, organized, and everything must be colorful! Who says that kiddos are the only ones that love school supplies? I think us educators enjoy them just as much, if not more, than they do! It's our guilty pleasure and often times the darling details are what personally get me through a rough day during the school year! Today I thought that I would share some of my personal favorite school [or office!] supplies just in case your own may need a little upgrade!

These school supplies have been tested + cherished by yours truly! Are there any must-haves that I am missing, my dears? Do tell! I can never have enough pretty supplies! To all of my teacher pals out there, happy end of summer!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cheers To Two Years!

My honeybee and I celebrated our second anniversary yesterday.  We dated for five years before we got married and every moment I spend with him feels like the beginning. It took a lot of hard work to get where we are now, and it makes it mean so much more. I can still remember the exact moment I laid eyes on him and how silly he was when he tried to impress me in front of all of his friends at his fraternity house.  We seemed like such little kids and here we are seven years later, still laughing and loving life together.  I hope that our marriage is always this way.  I love living life by his side.  He is always so positive when I am not, and he grounds me when I let excitement and crazy life plans float me away.

Favorite Memory:

To be completely honest with y'all, this year was a hard one for us and its been just as difficult for me to open up about. I can remember unexpectedly driving up to my childhood home in a panic last year on our first anniversary [literally that day]. That day we found out that my dad was admitted to the hospital and seriously ill.  For weeks, my sister and I spent the night in the ICU because we didn't know if we were going to see my dad again. It was terrible and no one should have to go through what we did, but at the same time, it was just as important that we were facing it together. I am convinced that it is the reason why my dad is still here and improving each and every day. 

We have all made a lot of sacrifices this past year. My sister moved back home to be his full-time caregiver and my honeybee and I drive up on the weekends to give her a break. It's a lot to take in but a lot of beautiful moments have come out of such an unfortunate situation.  I am not going to share all of the gritty details with you chickadees, but I will say that one of my most favorite memories this year is seeing my dad wake up, show improvement in rehab, walk again, and come home.  There is no better feeling than hearing someone's voice again when you thought that you wouldn't.

Although he is not in the clear, it has been a treat to drive home on the weekends to spend time with him and my sister. Something that I probably would not do as often if he were well. My honeybee and I sometimes will leave for our 2.5 hour trek home late in the night. We always made sure to stop at Starbucks to fuel up on caffeine and spend the entire drive home belting along with the American Country Countdown until the wee hours of the morning, only to get up early and head to work the next day.  He has heard me sing off-key, listen to my cry, and coached me to stay positive on those rides, even when I knew he was battling to do the same. I wouldn't trade those car rides for anything and wouldn't have been able to make each journey without him.

Lessons Learned:

A couple years ago, I had pinned a quote that I absolutely loved and kept coming back to this year: "Embrace the current season of your life." I cannot tell you how true this is or how many times I have said this to myself in the past year. What you think will never pass always will and you will come out a much different and better person for it. I have learned to find joy in EVERY day. Life might be hard, but there is always something that can bring you a little bit of joy.  Just because someone tells you that something cannot be done doesn't mean it's true: If you believe in your heart that something better can be done, do it anyways. Learn to live in the moment, let go of the past, and always put your family first.  You never know when life will slip out from under you and you never want to always wish you had done or said something differently. It's just not worth it. 

TV Obsessions:

Other than my trash TV on Bravo, I am not one to watch whole television series.  I'd rather be jammin' to tunes on my iPod while getting other things done [like m'blog!].  It's so hard for me to just sit and watch something when I am constantly going over my never-ending to-do lists between all of the jobs I have somehow acquired. However, this year was one for the books when it comes to TV shows because we sure watched our share of them.  Orange Is The New BlackBreaking Bad, and Lost were all watched religiously. All of them. Every single episode of every single season. I am not even going to begin to think about the amount of hours we spent in front of our TV, but I blame the Polar Vortex this past winter as the culprit for starting it all.  It was a treat to have something silly to look forward to. We never watched a single episode without each other. I can remember always swearing, "This is the last episode and then it's bed," only to stay up way past our bedtimes on work nights. Breaking Bad was just too good and a lot of ugly cries were spent on Lost.

Life Changes:

This year my honeybee and I made some bigger lifestyle changes. We've traded in happy hours and nights at the bar for hot dates [literally!] at some of our favorite yoga studios. We said goodbye to cheese, eggs, and all animal products in our diets by going plant-based. I never thought that my honeybee would agree to it but he did! He was tired of making two meals and wanted to improve his overall health. We also said goodbye to his high school/college ride and upgraded [oh hey, Beyonce!] both of our cars to something more fancy! Oh, and we added one more family member! Sorry ladies and gents- not a baby but another puppy! We took in my dad's dog when he got sick and he fits in here quite nicely! He has always had the hots for Lucy [our other pup] anyways so that made it easier.

Looking Forward To In Year 3: 

I feel like there is so much to look forward to for year number three with my honeybee! We have a lot of new adventures planned for ourselves.  In August, we are venturing off to Chicago for a little weekend getaway and heading to Aruba in March.  We will also finally get to visit my mom for the holidays in South Carolina.  Thanks to my honeybee keeping me in line for the past year, we will purchase our first home [that is, if my pickiness doesn't get in our way!]. Whatever life has in store for us this year, I feel so blessed to have him by my side. Life would not be the same without him. Cheers to two years!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Holy Swoon!

Happy Monday, chickadees! I'm back from Charleston, South Carolina and am feeling refreshed! I can't wait to share my lovely adventures with y'all but that is for another time!   Take a look at what made me squeal, "Holy Swoon!" while perusing the web this weekend!

[Custom Oversized Banner]: I actually discovered this tiny little shop when they started following me on Instagram and I am so glad I did! These adorable banners are customizable and the price is on point! I love that she uses colorful felt balls as a little detail on the banner. My mind is running with ideas on how I want to customize a banner! I cannot wait to get my hands on one of these!

[Stripes on Stripes Print]: I have ordered a couple of prints from Evelyn's shop and I just adore them! I love her choice of happy hues and cheeky prints.  This one was a must for my gallery wall in our office turned closet! I added it to my cart this weekend and pressed "purchase" without thinking twice! Whoopsies!

[Sleeveless Shift Dress]: If you think this dress is gorgeous online, wait until you see it in person! My honeybee and I were perusing C.Wonder last weekend and stumbled upon this dress.  I literally squealed when I saw it.  It is the perfect shade of pink and can be dressed up or down. So adorable!

[Tassel Trace Pillow]: So I should preface this by saying that I already own this pillow in orange.  My honeybee surprised me in the fall. I think he secretly got sick of me dropping not so casual hints about how perfect it would look on our chair in the living room. Either way, I still smile when I see it.  I am considering getting this pillow in navy because a gal can never have too many navy accents or tassels in my book! 

[This is Warhol]: This book caught my eye when I was wandering through downtown Charleston last week and I had to buy it as soon as I laid my bright green eyes on it.  It's the perfect book to add to my collection and it kept me entertained while I was at the pool last week. If you are an art lover like me, I totally recommend this one!

[Nike Racer Sneakers]: I actually had a chance to stop by the J.Crew in Charleston to take a quick peek of the new collection.  There were a few things that caught my eye but these sneakers top the cake! Chartreuse and teal? Holy swoon! I couldn't purchase them fast enough! They are currently somewhere on a UPS truck making their way to me.  Keep your fingers crossed that they fit! These baby feet could use some new adorable kicks when I am on the go! 

[Love You Like XO]: Please tell me you have heard John Mayer's cover of XO by Beyonce! I think I died and went to heaven when I heard it for the first time last week during yoga! Literally, it is one of the best covers I have ever heard! I am a huge John Mayer fan [can't help it!] and Beyonce is my gal so this one has been on non-stop repeat.  Not even kidding.  On my way home from Charleston, I was stuck in a 3.5 hour traffic jam in West Virginia [what the what?]. It was a hot mess. Being stuck in traffic with this song was like a breeze and I even got to work on my tan! Not so bad after all, right? Take a listen if you have yet to hear it. You are going to love it, my friends!

Hope this lovely loot brought a smile to your face! Now get out there and show Monday what'cha got!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Paperless Post Picks

Last week, one of my best gal pals sent us a birthday invitation via Paperless Post and I was tickled pink when I opened it via email.  I am sure that most of you have heard of Paperless Post by now and if you haven't, you are missin' out! Paperless Post allows you to send birthday cards and party invites via email [or traditional paper if you choose to order them!].  These invites are not your average grocery store purchase either. Kate Spade, J.Crew, and Mr. Boddington designed  just a few of my personal favorites!

Let's be honest: I am a complete and utter lover of good 'ol fashion snail mail. Nothing tickles my fancy more than sending out a little piece of happy mail. I like to keep it traditional and mail out darling invitations for more formal gatherings.  It always makes it feel official and all kinds of fancy when I put the stamp of approval on it and send it on its merry way.  For larger parties, it can be slightly difficult to find mailing addresses if you don't keep an address book handy.  Oh, and if you are anything like me, I always run out of stamps. Paperless Post is the most efficient way to send an invite to all of the close ladies and gents in your life and still look darling while doing so!  Although not all are free, there are a handful that are if you are a gal on a budget.   Trust me when I say, I happily scouted out each and every invitation Paperless Post has to offer.  It was rather difficult but I thought that I would share with you a few of my personal picks for some of my favorite occasions. Anything that calls for a little celebration over a couple of adult beverages, am I right?

[Little One's Birthday] Karkuteilla by Marimekko

Happy weekend, chickadees! Whip out those sunnies, get out there, and enjoy the sunshine! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Style Me Smitten

My chambray is a definite must in my closet! Whenever I am working with clients and they are looking for basic staple pieces, this is the first little number that I suggest! I like to think of it as the modern day white button up [Don't you worry, I still love my white button ups!].  It's a neutral, looks fabulous on everyone, and it will get a lot of use. Take a look at how I paired it with gold accessories and a pop of color with this darling skirt! 

J.Crew's new collection came out this past Monday! I am just dying to see it in person but until next week, online perusing will have to do.  Call me crazy, but I am craving cozy sweaters and layering weather! For now, I'll enjoy the beach! 

Like my personal style or just need a little outfit inspiration? Find my personal style hashtag on Instagram: #stylemesmitten.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Holy Swoon!

Happy Monday, chickadees! Hope you had a lovely weekend!  Ours was filled with birthday celebrations and a lot of yoga! Speaking of yoga, we had a lovely yoga + brunch experience at The Kitchen (in German Village) this weekend that I must fill you in on sometime soon! Today I am jam packed in a car and zoomin' my way out of town! I hope to have blog posts for you this week but forgive me if I don't.  Sometimes a gals gotta live in the moment! In the meantime, take a look at what made me squeal, "Holy Swoon!" while perusing the web this weekend!

[Woven Bowl]: Can we please just take a moment and discuss how adorable this woven bowl is? Pink and gold make a pretty pair, wouldn't you agree? This bowl would be the perfect touch on the console table in our living room.  I have a terrible habit of ripping all of my pretty jewels off as soon as I walk in the door. I would love to add this to help collect my gems and it wouldn't even be an eye sore! 

[Leather Cardholder]: I have been on the hunt for the perfect business card holder and I think I found my match! I stumbled upon this polka dot leather one last week and I could not contain my excitement.  Holy swoon! It was made for me! I always carry my business cards for work in a larger pouch that I keep in my bag but it isn't always easy to find them. Half of the time my cards are bent because the pouch is too big.  This is one of the most darling business card holders I have ever seen and it's functional! 

[Captain Adorable Card]: ParrotDesignStudio is one of my most favorite card shops. I especially love the baby card selection and I just can't get over how adorable they are!  I snagged this one up the moment I laid eyes on it. You just never know when you need a baby card and this one is precious to boot! 

[Cashmere Pointelle Sweater]: I have loved pairing short sleeved sweaters with shorts this season.  This summer has been warm but there have some days that still feels quite chilly.  I love this cashmere version and the color is the bee's knees.  This would look darling paired with my navy and white striped shorts. 

[Hippo Plant Holder]: I realize that this planter is slightly ridiculous but I am smitten with it! I have the worst green thumb.  We now have one poor hanging plant that is so dead it's crispy and brown on our front porch.  One of these days I'll get the hang of it! Until then, I will imagine this adorable one on my desk at work! My little ones would love it and it would be quite the conversation piece.  How is that for eliciting language?

[Leather Key Cover]:  I am smitten with this yellow leather key cover! Add a monogram  and it's the perfect touch! It's all about the details, ladies and gents! 

[Amazing Ideas Notebook]:  I am a paper and pencil type of gal.  I have tried so hard to use my phone to help me put together grocery lists and remember special events but there is just something about paper and a fancy pen that makes me feel accomplished.  Perhaps it's the satisfaction I get when I physically cross things off my list. Either way, this notebook could help do the trick.  Perfect for those moments when I have a lovely idea for work or my creative juices get flowin' and I want to come back to them! 

[Pom Pom Throw]: Pom-poms are one of my favorite details in clothing and home decor.  I love the playfulness of them and I just can't get enough!  This navy pom pom throw  is a definite must. Every time I tell my honeybee that I need a new throw he laughs because we've acquired quite the collection. I just cannot help myself. They are so cozy and can instantly jazz up any space.  Think about fall and snuggling up on the couch with a good book! I need this, right? Totally! 

Hope this lovely loot brought a smile to your face! Now get out there and show Monday what'cha got!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Art Inspired

I found this lovely painting by Jane Murdoch Adams a while back and keep coming back to it when I need a little color inspiration in our home.  She does beautiful work but the color combinations in this particular piece are fabulous and right up my alley! Pink, navy, and green? How perfect, right? Just glancing at it makes me chipper! I thought I would share a few pieces that this painting inspired me to keep in mind when searching for new home decor:

1. [Ikea] Hemnes Chest: When we moved into our current place, we purchased a longer dresser in a grayish-blue color. I am totally smitten with it! This art has inspired me to keep my eye out for the perfect navy finished dresser.  I know it's out there somewhere! 

2. [Pottery Barn] Cardiff Tufted Upholstered Chair: During my last trip to Pottery Barn, I saw this chair and instantly fell in love with it!  The oatmeal linen color was absolutely perfect although I have had an itch for darker colored furniture lately.  Bonus: it's super comfortable and I can betcha won't want to move once your tuchus [ahem, booty] plops into this thing! 

3.[HK Living] Lamp 'Factory': I am in love with pendant lighting!  We have an adorable one in vibrant flame that we placed above our desktop in our office.  This mint one is fresh and screams happiness. It would look adorable in a laundry room or even in a kitchen. 

4. [Kate Spade] Two of A Kind Doff Set: My honeybee and I have these and use them as our water glasses every night.  Just a little detail that makes me grin from ear to ear!

5. [Serena and Lily] Beach Striped Sheet Set: Pink and Red are one of my most favorite color pairings. It's so cheeky! I love these sheets and the fact that they have stripe detailing.  They would look darling with our linen tufted headboard and white duvet! 

Do you have any artists that inspire how you decorate or dress? There are so many different ways to be inspired and art has always been one of my favorites! Have a jazzy weekend, chickadees! I am skipping town early next week but don't you worry. I will have scheduled posts ready for your viewing pleasure! See you back here on Monday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Oh, Snap!

"Being Kind" via

"Being Kind Is Classy": I have met some lovely people these past couple of weeks and it makes my heart feel so full! With so much hatred, unhappiness, and competition in the world these days, a little bit of kindness truly goes a long way, chickadees! If I haven't thanked y'all before, thanks so much for following along! It means so much to read your comments and kind emails. I wish I could give each and every one of you hugs and endless piles of snail mail goodness because you all have made my world a happier place!

Shameless Selfie: This past Saturday, my honeybee and I had plans to attend the Midnight Market downtown.  Our little bags were set out and ready to go but our plans quickly flew out the window when my gal pal told us that it was Brew Week at our small town Alma Mater, Ohio University.  We hadn't visited since my younger sister graduated in 2011, so it was quite the treat! I've told y'all once, and I'll say it again: this little lady is not a beer gal but I would never pass up a quick stop to the "Promised Land." It sounds quite silly, but if you have ever visited Athens, you would understand.  We stopped for pizza and drinks at Courtside [I was the fancy old lady sippin' out of a martini glass among beer drinking college students], caught the tail end of Primetime at Pawpurrs, sipped on Gin + Tonics at The Pigskin, and wandered around campus to visit some of our favorite spots.  The best part of it all: I got double carded at one of our favorite bars.  The youngin' that checked my ID probably just turned twenty one, and here I am, almost thirty, and got double carded.  If you know me personally, you probably are not the slightest bit surprised but it made me giggle, that's for sure! Every time we visit, we stop for a shameless selfie in the same spot on College Green.  It's a tradition of my honeybee and mine!

Corn Anyone?: I just had to sneak this little photo in of my pops when he was chomping down on his corn on the Fourth of July.  It seems like it was forever ago, but we headed home to visit for the holiday and had a lovely picnic on the patio.  Thank you all for your prayers and good vibes for my pops. Although we aren't in the clear, we received good news this week! That in itself has made this week a good one in my book, if I do say so myself!

Bloody Mary's All Around: This Sunday we ventured off and tried a new spot, Due Amici, for brunch here in downtown Columbus.  We have ate there for dinner a couple of times, but this was our first time for brunch.  If you have yet to try it, don't walk - RUN! Can we just talk about the Bloody Mary's for a hot second? This cute little venue has a cart that comes to your table to make your Bloody Mary just how you like it. Extra spicy for me, please! I realize it appears that I have indulged in more than my share of adult beverages these days, but in this little one's defense, it's summer and once work starts back up on August 5th [SO early, I know!] a dry spell hits this household of ours!  Gotta live it up while we can, darlings!

Skirts and Sidewalks:  Just thought that I would share a little outfit of the day with y'all.  I have been quite busy with work these days but I manage to have one day off during the week. One day free of hospital scrubs is heaven, I tell you! I will typically make my way to barre class, take a walk in our cute little neighborhood [in skirts or dresses, of course!], head for coffee at our local shop, and end the night with hot yoga with my better half! It's the bee's knees! This summer has been a quiet one, but I sure do enjoy taking in these snazzy moments!

Where The Magic Started: Almost eight years ago, I met my honeybee at the smelliest fraternity house on campus.  It might look pretty now, but back in the day, it reeked of stale beer and was infested with bats. I was too smitten with him to care back then, but now his old house is owned by the university and has since been renovated.  We had to stop and take a peek and laughed for hours after sharing some of our favorite memories in that stinky place.  It made me smile from ear to ear when I thought of how much we have been through together since we were just young kids without a care in the world!

That's what has been happening in this wonderful world o'mine! What about you? Have you done anything wonderful lately? 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Holy Swoon!

Happy Monday, chickadees! Can you believe Monday is already here? I hope you had a marvelous weekend! Ours was filled with yoga and dear friends! Take a look at what made me squeal, "Holy Swoon!" while perusing the web this weekend!

[Well Hello There Doormat]: I just love this doormat from Wes Elm! I couldn't believe it when I was browsing their new arrivals.  Our current doormat is in need of a replacement so I have been on the hunt.  I have had my eye on a couple other doormats that I have seen online, but this one tops the cake! What makes it even better is the price! This one is a no-brainer for our household! Everyone needs to spread a little cheer on their doorstep.  I like to think that my mailman will appreciate it! 

[Cooking Utensils]: Most of our kitchen ware is from Anthropologie. Swoon! I just love the colors and overall feel of their home good section.  It's a miracle if I walk through that store and leave empty handed. I recently fell in love with these dipped kitchen utensils on Etsy.  They would fit in with our kitchen just perfectly! I also think they would make the cutest housewarming gift for a dear gal pal. A couple of utensils, a bottle of vino, and voila! 

[Tom Hanks]: How can you not smile from ear to ear when you see his lovely face? I just love that man. Too bad Tom and I can't share a couple of secrets over cocktails at happy hour! Confession: I have had the absolute worst sleeping patterns this summer.  When I say worst, I mean absolutely horrendous. As in, I am literally up and out of bed until 5:00 a.m. and waking up at 8:30 a.m.  It's awful, I tell you.  The only upside to last weeks insomnia was when I happened to stumble upon this darling photo of Tom himself! I was inspired to rank my favorite Tom Hank movies right then and there. My honeybee insists we have a Tom Hanks movie marathon for the legend himself! You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle are on my must-watch list for the week! Cue the popcorn!

[Printed Silk Snood]: It's no surprise that I have been on a scarf kick lately.  They are super easy to throw on when I am not digging the jewelry.  This snood is adorable and has two of my favorites in one piece: tassels and navy stripes! Yes, please!

[Suede Tassel Loafers]: I have to admit that I've been slightly unamused with the recent clothing selection among my favorite retailers lately.  At this point, many of the things I am smitten with are picked over and my sizes are nowhere to be found.  J.Crew has a new collection that is coming out on July 21st and I cannot wait!  I have been stalking the website to see if they release a few new items and I stumbled upon these loafers.  The red color is darling! I also spotted D'Orsay flats at my local J.Crew and you can bet your bottom dollar that they will make their way to my closet in the near future! 

[The Berkeley Tote]:  I love the infamous Transport Tote from Madewell but The Berkeley Tote has my name written all over it! I love that this tote has a little more detail including the adjustable strap.  My monogram would look just perfect on it! I need another bag like I need a new piece of stationery but a lady can dream, can't she?

[Cake Topper]:  When I saw this little cake topper, I got all happy inside! Bright colors and polka dots make having my age announced on a birthday cake seem like a fabulous idea! How perfect would this be for a little one's birthday?  You can even customize them! 

[Abba Earrings]: Large statement earrings are generally not my cup of tea.   My ears are so tiny and I am always worried that they are going to look too big and rip my ears.  However, these fancy ones from Loren Hope just might make me change my mind.  The colors together are spot on!

Hope this lovely loot brought a smile to your face! Now get out there and show Monday what'cha got!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Feel Good Friday

Yes, yes, y'all!  It's Friday! Time to start the countdown to 5:00 when you can bolt out the door, head to happy hour, and celebrate the weekend over cocktails and tortilla chips!  I hope you all had a fabulous week! Nothing new has really happened in this little world o'mine but sometimes I like it that way! 

In case any of you were keeping up with my obsession with Lost, I must tell you that we finally finished.  I put it off as long as humanly possible, but my honeybee put his foot down.  We finished it last week and I ugly cried for almost three days.  I think it is probably my favorite T.V. show [although you can't forget my favorite trash T.V. on Bravo! Desperate Housewives, anyone?]. I have so many unanswered questions with the show that I won't bore y'all with but it really made me think about life, destiny, and the choices we make.  If you haven't already, you must see it!

Here are my top four must-do's for this weeks Feel Good Friday:

1. Make This:  Don't ask why, but this little lady has been on a DIY kick lately. Not just any DIY kick, a jewelry making kick.  I would like to think that I have always been a creative type of gal.  My mama got me interested in sewing when I was a youngin' and I haven't stopped creating since then! My honeybee bought me a new sewing machine a few years ago but it hasn't gotten much love from me since our wedding.  By the time the wedding came, I wanted to chuck that puppy out the window [that is an entirely different story] but since then, my love for my machine has come back around.  Last week I made this one but my heart skipped a beat when I stumbled upon this DIY.  Let's be honest: This girl loves a happy hued tassel! I ran out and bought the supplies the day I found this pretty number so I can't wait to make it this weekend! Good news: No sewing machine needed! Wish me luck! 

2. Get Organized:  You might as well call me a housewife because that's what I felt like this week! Crafting, cooking, cleaning: Who am I? I usually don't have time for all of this goodness at once, but this week my schedule was wide open for the most part. I went into full on crazy mode and starting throwing things out left and right.  It was all about deep cleaning and organizing for this household.  Let me tell you, I never felt better!  Like my mama says, less clutter equals more life.  With this snazzy summer weather we have been having, staying in to clean is probably last on our list. Sometimes just fifteen minutes of clean-up can make your life that much happier! 

3. Read This:  I don't get leisure reading in as much as I would like, but I recently stopped by my downtown public library to pick up The Creative Habit by Twlya Tharp. For those of you who are not familiar, Twlya Tharp was a choreographer for a number of Broadway Shows including Movin' Out. This is a great book for anyone looking to gain more insight on personal creativity and how to deal with our self-doubts and obstacles to help foster creative habit.  For me, this book has hit way too close to home.  If you enjoy these types of reads, I definitely recommend picking it up this weekend! I have found myself writing down so many points from her book. If I had purchased this one, I am sure most of it would be underlined, highlighted, and marked with washi tape for me to reference back to! I thought I would share a couple of my favorite quotes from this book so far:

“When you’re in a rut, you have to question everything except your ability to get out of it.”
“Reading, conversation, environment, culture, heroes, mentors, nature – all are lottery tickets for creativity. Scratch away at them and you’ll find out how big a prize you’ve won.” 

Pretty good, right? You can read more of her quotes from this book here. 

4. Shop Local: This Saturday is the Moonlight Market here in Columbus, Ohio and I could not be more excited! From 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. local businesses, food trucks, and artists set up shop right in the heart of downtown! The street is blocked off and we all join in to shop and experience this lovely part of city living!   If you live in the area, you must make your way downtown! You can read more about it here.  If not, shop local this weekend! You better believe I will be strutting around with my market tote! 

What are your plans this weekend, ladies and gents? I would love to hear all about it! See you back here on Monday! Enjoy the sunshine!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Beauty Basics

During the school year, my mornings start off before the sun comes up! I balance between yoga and barre classes and they start at either 5:45 or 6:30 a.m. Most nights I don't get to bed before 11:00 due to work commitments so little shut eye comes my way.  It may sound like a drag but this is were my Type A-ness proudly peeks in! What's a gal to do when she needs to leave the house with one eye open? Get it together the night before, of course!

It sounds a little ridiculous, but I typically do my makeup in the car between my morning workout and my job. Let's just say it takes talent to do it in the winter when it is freezing cold and the sun doesn't come up until after I made it to work!  My job is less than ten minutes away from where I work out and it just doesn't make any sense for me to drive all the way home to get ready in the morning only for me to turn right back around. At one point, I was working out thirty minutes from where we lived and I needed to find an efficient way to put myself together in the morning and still look professional. 

When it comes to makeup products, I keep it fairly simple.  I hate spending a ton of money testing out different products that I may or may not love.   Over the years, I have tried a couple products that I have surprising kept up with and love: 

[BB Cream via Bobbi Brown]: I started using Bobbi Brown's BB Cream this past spring. Prior to using this product, I never used any type of liquid foundation on my face.  I always felt like it was too heavy and didn't look natural.  Of course the lady at Nordstrom sucked me in when I was perusing the Bobbi Brown counter but now I am so happy she did! I don't use very much of it, just enough to brighten my face.  I know some ladies are not fans of the dewey look, but this is just enough.  My face doesn't feel heavy and has yet to break out since using it.  It's a must-use in my book! 

[Creme Cheek Color via Laura Mercier]: Laura Mercier's products were introduced to me this past winter when I partnered with a makeup specialist at our local Nordstrom for an event with J.Crew.  I styled my clients and he brought the makeup and gave my gal pals a complete facial makeover. It was the bees knees! Of course I had to get my makeup done, too! He used this cheek color on me and I had to get some of my own.  There are a couple other products from Laura Mercier that I fell in love with but this one was at the top of my list. 

[Diorshow- Black Out via Dior]:  I have been using Diorshow since college and it is a guilty pleasure of mine when it comes to makeup.  It makes my lashes look super long and doesn't clump up like other mascaras I have used in the past.  I tend to stock up on this one during Nordstrom's mascara sale every year. 

[All Over Face Cover in Warmth via BareMinerals]: I use a tiny dash of this on my cheeks and across my forehead after applying my BB cream to add a slight bronzed look to my face.  Just a tad is all you need! 

[Rouge Cream Lipstick in Hot Tango via Sephora]:  Lipstick is not something that  I wear every day, but when I do,  I usually grab this particular color from Sephora.  I like to add Smith's Minted Rose lip balm prior to adding this lip color.  This shade is the perfect mix for my skin tone- it's not too red but not too orange. It's great when I want to add a pop of color.

Brush On Cream Eyeliner via Clinique: During my freshman year of college, a friend of mine was using a liquid eyeliner similar to this one by Clinique.  I searched and searched and finally found this eyeliner.  Since I started using this one many years ago, I have yet to try anything else.  If you are an eyeliner gal, I cannot recommend this particular eyeliner enough.  This cream eyeliner goes on your eyes so smoothly and lasts the entire day.  If you are on the hunt for a new eyeliner, you must try this one! 

[Makeup Applicator via Beauty Blender]:  This is another product that was recently introduced to me by a friend.  She mentioned how much better her foundation looked when she used it so I had to give it a whirl before purchasing my own.  Let's just say that I rushed to get one of my own after trying hers. It makes my foundation look so much more natural and flawless than when I used a makeup brush to apply my BB cream.  It's super easy to clean and has held up fairly well since I started using mine.  

[Luminizer via RMS Beauty]:  J. Crew started carrying this particular product in their stores, so naturally I had to try it since they gave their personal stamp of approval.  I put it in the corner of my eyes and under my nose right after my foundation is applied.  It adds a glow to my face that looks fresh and natural.  Since I have a tan for the summer, I have hardly put on any makeup other than mascara.  This one looks great on natural skin and makes me feel like I just stepped of a fancy photo shoot! 

I know that it may seem like I use a lot of makeup products, but trust me when I say, it takes me ten minutes at the most to do my makeup in the morning.  These products are fabulous, easy to apply, and look natural enough that I don't need to waste my time blending them in to make sure that I don't look like a bronzed clown who did their makeup in the dark.  We all have different skin types and colors but trust me when I say, these products will make your life much easier when you need to get ready in a flash! What products do you use and love? While I am pretty smitten with these products, I am always open to suggestions! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Finding Your Personal Style

"You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning.  It's a way of life. Without it you're nobody. And I'm not talking about a lot of clothes." - Diana Vreeland 

Here is the scoop: I love clothes. They are kind of my happy place.  When I get overwhelmed or have too much on my infamous to-do list, I sometimes ditch it all and shop.  I know some ladies hate to shop, but for me, it’s the bee's knees.  Of course I don’t always come home with a jazzy new outfit.  My honeybee might hit the fan if that happened all the time!

It makes me giggle to think of different types of pieces that I have acquired throughout the years and how much my personal style has changed.   As my personal style has changed, I have learned that it is just as important to look my best as it is to feel comfortable and true to who I am.  My philosophy has always been that “when you dress better, you feel better, and when you feel better, you do better.”  It sounds a little dramatic yet overly simple, but I really do believe in the importance of personal style. Personal style is just that: Personal. Others can influence or inspire your style, but at the end of the day you are the one dishing out the money and choosing which clothes to wear. Can I get an amen? Maybe you are a lover of bright, fun, and patterned clothing just like me. Or maybe you are not. Either way, I'd like to share a few tips I've learned on defining your own personal style. Let’s hop to it!

1. How Do You Perceive Your Style?

This is a question I think we can all ask ourselves from time to time.  Gotta keep ourselves in check, gal pals!  For me, I would say that my style is generally Classic.  While I love a few trendy pieces here and there, my style is turning in to more of a Classic look. Being petite means that I must know how to dress my body and look age appropriate. I can't even tell you how many times this little lady has been mistaken for underage. Oy vey!  I appreciate tailored clothing with clean lines [hello beautiful button ups!] and a dash of whimsy. This is where my accessories come in to play.  I am a fan of pairing neutral colors [think navy] with brights [think chartreuse, yellow, hot pink, and poppy red].  I feel that I am an energetic, cheeky, and friendly person and I find that my style and what I wear is the best way to express my personality. How would you describe your personality? Does it match your style?

2. Who Inspires You? 

We are typically drawn to others whose style we are inspired by or that we feel mirrors our own.  Looking toward our personal style icons is a perfect way to generate ideas and inspiration on how we can take what works for them and build it into our own wardrobe.  Although it was a little tricky for me to choose, I must admit that I am constantly smitten by the style of the following ladies [in no particular order, of course!]: Jenna Lyons, Iris Apfel, Kate Middleton, Olivia Palermo,  and the late Diana Vreeland.  While I love a classic look, sometimes a gal needs a little "bad" taste.  Classy with a twist if you will! I feel that these lovely ladies all encompass a small part of my own personal fashion sense.

3. What Inspires You?

Often I feel like I am in a fashion rut.  Maybe it seems that I wear the same thing all of the time [uh, hello polka-dot button-up shirt]. Or things just aren’t looking the way I thought they did in my head [why did I buy those pants again?].  This is when I happily turn to catalogs, magazines, Pinterest, and personal shoppers at retail locations. Did you know that many retailers now offer free styling appointments? Bring in your favorite pieces you already own and they will help you style them with what you have or may even entice you to add a few new things to spice it up! Don’t be afraid to look for other resources even if it is just the Internet for a little inspiration. This includes brands.  Kate Spade and J.Crew are my go-to brands when I need a little inspiration. I [shamefully] save all of my old J.Crew catalogs. They are like hitting the jackpot in this household.  I typically turn to my catalogs when I'm needing a little bit of a fashion pick-me-up. They are especially fabulous at giving me color pairing ideas! If we always had to rely on our own fashion advice, where would the fun be in all of that? Personal style should be something that is an exciting confidence builder and helps you feel true to you. 

4. Find A Signature Piece

I personally like pieces that are timeless but still fun. I love a darling button-up or a brightly colored sweater because it means that I can make a number of outfits out of four or five pieces.  Stripes are a quickly growing signature piece in my closet as well [you can never go wrong with ‘em in my book!] Let’s not even talk about my love for ballet flats in all colors!  Switch to a different colored pair and hello colorful and snazzy new look! I am a fan of jewelry but I realize that large pieces are not always practical for my daily lifestyle. My Kate Spade watches are a signature accessory of mine although I never leave the house without my gold pave studded earrings.  Without them, I feel absolutely naked, chickadees. Whatever your signature piece may be, use it toward your advantage! Build off of that one piece using different pieces whether it is a scarf, piece of bling, or different type of kicks!

5. Be Open But Stay True

When searching for your personal style, it is important to keep your inspiration in mind. Maybe you love a new trend but don’t think that it will look good on YOUR body. The important thing to remember is: TRY IT. If it isn’t you, then at least you gave it a shot and leave no doubt in your mind.  The most important thing about personal style is that what you have on makes you feel perfectly and beautifully you! 

At the end of the day, having personal style is all about defining you as an individual.  Personal style isn’t about breaking the bank and going out to buy every new piece of clothing that catches your eye.  You don’t need to dress fancy, you just need to stay true to you! It is not about focusing on what we don’t have. It is about having confidence and accepting yourself for who you are. Flaws. And. All.  Now let’s get out there and have a little fun!  

Like my personal style or just need a little outfit inspiration? Find my personal style hashtag on Instagram: #stylemesmitten.