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Monday, September 29, 2014

Holy Swoon!

Happy Monday, chickadees! Time to tackle that long to-do list that you put off over the weekend! First, take a look at what made me squeal, "Holy Swoon!" while perusing the web this weekend:

[Hello Goodbye T-Shirt]: I have been eyeing this darling t-shirt since it first came out.  I love the script font and Hugo Guinesss t-shirts always rock my world. This one is simple yet perfect. Wouldn't it look lovely under a blazer or long cardigan?

[Too Taboo Nail Polish]: It's been a hot second since I have purchased a new hue for my fancy fingers, gal pals. This one has been catching my eye as of late.  There is something swell about pairing hot pink with navy and camel that just makes me grin.  Hopefully I can get my hands on this one soon!

[Leopard Flats]: Leopard print lovers, rejoice! The print on this shoe is spot on [holler if you hear me!] and I am loving the sleek shape of these beauties.  After reading all of the fabulous reviews, I am totally considering purchasing these, gal pals.  The best part of these shoes? They come in a size 4 AND 4.5! Hip hip hooray! 

[Lullaby Rocking Chair]: My honeybee and I currently have this office chair in stripe that we absolutely adore. It has been one of my most favorite purchases that we have made for our little love nest. If you are looking for an office chair, look no further you lovely people because it is the bee's knees! I am absolutely smitten with this rocking chair, too. I would love to add it to our office. Add this chair and a cheeky pillow and we are good to go!

[Jeni's Ice Cream]: I have a weekly confession to make ladies and gents. When I have a craving, I have a craving. I get a craving for something specific and I don't stop thinking about it until I get my hands on it. Last week it was jam + toast. The week before that, it was a vegan dog with sauerkraut [who craves sauerkraut, seriously?].  Well, this week it just so happened to be Jeni's Ice Cream.  Not just any kind of ice cream, either. I was specifically craving their new Intelligentsia Espresso Ice Cream. My honeybee and I were totally smitten with Intelligentsia coffee while we were in Chicago so you can imagine my excitement when they started a new collaboration with Jeni's. Well, my pals, I got my hands on it and it was absolutely delicious. If you are a coffee lover, this one is for you! I couldn't get enough of the small specks of coffee beans in the ice cream.  I knew it was a total bad move immediately after eating it because this plant-based diet gal had not had any dairy for almost a year. I certainly enjoyed it but my poor tummy did not.  Someone please enjoy this ice cream for me. It's oh so very delectable! 

[Lypton Purse]: The color of this bag is totes amazing not to mention chic. I would love to add a red bag to my handbag collection. Perfect for days when a gal wants to add a little va-va-voom to her outfit. Wouldn't you agree?

[Half Moon Storage Basket]: Have you ever been on the hunt for something specific and search and search until you want to pull your hair out because you can't find exactly what you had in mind? That was me a few months ago when I was on the hunt for the perfect storage basket for my never ending stash of flats. I had found this lovely half moon storage basket but it was only available overseas. That was until about a week ago, when I spotted it on one of my favorite online shops! I squealed kicked my toesies up in the air and did a little victory dance! You can betcha that this little thing will make its way into our new home sooner rather than later!

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

Friday, September 26, 2014

Oh, Snap!


“Details Are In The Design”:  This has been my life motto for as far back as I can remember, ladies and gents.  There is no question that I am Type A. That's me to the core. I may be taking my favorite phrase to heart now that we have a new house to decorate. The details are everything. I have been hoppin' and boppin' between Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn for the past couple o'weeks. Thank goodness for Design Services because I have too many ideas and not enough space!  How can I be so Type A yet so indecisive all at the same time? Good thing I scheduled home styling appointments because I need someone to knock a little sense in me. 

Snail Mail + To-Do's: I must admit, it's been a little challenging keeping up with all of my snail mail pals. If you have reached out to me and I have yet to respond, please forgive this little gal. I can barely keep up with my caseload this year and it seems as if my personal life is taking the back burner for a little while. I don't think that I would be able to make it through the week these days without my to-do lists, planners, + snazzy pens. I am hoping to play a little catch up this weekend between all of the packing we are planning to do. Here's to getting my ducklings in order!

Video Phones + Shameless Selfies:  I cannot remember the last night that my honeybee and I have been home together.  Between jobs, opposite work schedules, and just life we haven't been able to spend a whole lot of TLC together, chickadees. iPhones have been our pals for the past couple of weeks.  As sad as it sounds, my honeybee and I have been communicating via text more than we have actually seen each other. Hopefully once we settle into our new home and our work schedules even out we will be able to be a little more adventurous.  Until then, shameless selfies and video chat will have to do. Gotta make the most of it + enjoy it for what it is!

Stripes, Stripes, + More Stripes: Oh, hey there stripes! We might as well call this the Month of the Stripes because that is all that this little body of mine wants to wear these days. They are the perfect transition piece, timeless, comfy, and just simply wonderful.  My wardrobe has kept it rather timeless and simple these days and I am smitten and totally content with that. The heart wants what the heart wants. If this big ol' heart of mine wants to wear stripes, that's what I am going to do! 

That's what's been happening in this world of mine these days! What about you, chickadees? Hope y'all enjoy your weekend! See you back here on Monday!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Animal House

photo credit: puppy pal

Well, the honeybee has jetted off for the next couple of days for a work trip so here I am holding down our little love nest while he is away, chickadees.  Just me, the cat, and our two pups. It sounds like complete and total freedom, right? Wrong. Oh, so very wrong.  Here I thought that I was going to hop to it and surprise my honeybee with a room full of packed boxes but instead what I got was a house full of animals that need to be watched closer than a baby who just learned that their feet were made for walkin'. Seriously, I live in an animal house.

I will admit, I am a little spoiled when it comes to contributing to daily to-dos around here. My honeybee is a charm! He packs my lunch, does the dishes, and gets the pups fed and ready before the sun comes up.  It sure makes my day start off rather smoothly on the daily but makes for an utter nightmare when he is not around.  

For instance, our oldest pup, Lucy, has select hearing. Yes, you read that correctly.  She clearly loathes the sound of my voice because no matter what I say, she tunes me out completely. The gal is on meds because she has separation anxiety from my honeybee. It sounds rather silly, but it is sad and true. She literally starves herself until my honeybee comes back.  Poor gal. Although she is a little older, she can't be trusted. Just last night, I had to zip off to my barre class when whoopsies [my mistake!], I forgot to put the baby gate up. You can just picture the look on my face when I walked into a house that was completely turned into shambles. Every trash can in our love nest was torn to shreds not only downstairs but upstairs, too. She ate through two pairs of my yoga pants, and completely chewed up my lunchbox that I ever so conveniently left on the kitchen table.  Meanwhile, our other pup barked so much while he was in his cage, he lost his dinner everywhere. If you know me gal pals, you are probably giggling at me by this point because you know that this is out of my element. Babies- no problem. Dogs- I just can't. Now do you understand me, ladies and gents, when I say I live in an animal house? Yikes! 

I figured the only way to calm these little rascals down was by braving a walk through the village, but I think I was a little bit of an over achiever at that point. Can you picture all 89 pounds of me walking two dogs twice the size of me on a walk? I was free entertainment for my fellow walkers last night because my puppy pals ended up walking me! Honeybee, if you are reading this, I think it's time for you to come home now! 

Take a look at some of my favorite puppy picks from Waggo + Charlie Be Good:

Keep your fingers and toes crossed that I can keep the fort down while my honeybee is away!  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Holy Swoon!

Happy Monday, chickadees! Hope you had a lovely weekend!  Take a look at what made me squeal, "Holy Swoon!" while perusing the web this weekend:

[Ceramic Jewelry Box]: This little jewelry box is the perfect size! I especially love the lid to hide those little earrings o'mine that my sneaky cat likes to swat right before my alarm is supposed to go off. Am I the only one who experiences this? 

[Double End Crystal Cuff]:  I have been swooning over this darling cuff from the moment I laid my pretty eyes on it. I finally got around to trying it on last week and I was super sad when my wrists were too tiny for it.  I just love the classic crystals on this one. It's a classic piece, gal pals! 

[Gold Dot Napkin]: Listen up ladies and gents, a gal needs to celebrate in style and these napkins are the bee's knees! Shades of pink + gold is a perfect color combo to celebrate those happy days that call for some adult beverages. Cheers! Salute!

[Printed Calf Hair Belt]:  My calf hair belt is in on my list of the top ten classic pieces that a gal must have in her wardrobe. Can I get an, Amen? It's classic, practical, and adds a little somethin'-somethin' to every outfit no matter how you style it. If you have yet to invest in a leopard belt, ladies, I suggest you move your tuchus and swoop this one up!  You won't regret it!

[Book Set]: I am not going to lie to you lovely people, I would [shamelessly] purchase this book set just for the simple fact that the covers are pretty hues of green.  I am all about using snazzy book covers as art in our little love nest and this would make a perfect addition! 

[Rotary Phone]: Have y'all ever heard of Dot & Bo? It's one of my favorite websites to peruse for one-of-a-kind pieces when it comes to home decor.  If you have yet to check it out, it's a must if your home decor style is anything like mine! I mean, this adorable Eames inspired rocker is a steal! If only there was a baby on board! Some day! 

[Cleo Suede Loafers]: These loafers are quickly making their way to my closet in every single color.  What can I say, a gal loves her flats! They are totally adorbs and oh so very practical! When the Cece's were around, I somehow quickly manage to grab a plethora of happy hues in those as well [side note chickadees: word on the street is that they are bringing the Cece's back! Hip hip hooray!] I am all about colorful shoes, I just cannot help myself. My little preschoolers love to give me little compliments on my shoes, so that in itself totally makes my day when I slip 'em on! The Bright Plum color is currently in my shopping cart as we speak! I may have to close my eyes and press submit because I am just planning endless outfits with these pretties. Plum, Navy, and Gray! Holler if you hear me, sisters!  

[Minimalist East-West Tote]:  Let's just pretend that the price tag didn't exist on this tote for a hot second. Can we just admire it's beauty for what it's worth? Swoon! My stripe tote is infamous for catching all of my J.Crew receipts when I dash out of the store every week.  It's actually a running joke with my gal pals.  For being so Type-A, I somehow manage to stuff everything except the kitchen sink in my big tote bags. #canstopwontstop. I just love 'em!

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

Friday, September 19, 2014

Jazzed For J.Crew

It is no secret that I am jazzed about J.Crew.  From their snazzy button ups to their toe tappin' flats, I am [shamelessly] a lover of all things J.Crew. Stepping in to their doors no matter how recently I have visited makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I am not sure if I have ever shared with you chickadees, but I am a Very Personal Stylist at my local J.Crew. I have been stylin' guys and gals for the past three years and it has been a dream! I always tell my gal pals it's like getting dressed in the world's largest closet. I am one of those gals who is constantly shopping while working. Can anyone relate? I may be on a mission to find the perfect outfit for a client and then I see a shirt that I am just smitten with and need to try on immediately. I may or may not scoop up my size and stash it behind the counter to try on my break. Total retail problems. What can I say- I just cannot help myself.   Just last night, another VPS and I took part in Easton Fashion Night. We are based out of an outdoor mall and last night was a perfect night to celebrate! We joined other stores such as C.Wonder, Banana Republic, J.Jill, Kate Spade, and Athleta, just to name a few! Ladies and gents were modeling, the music was blaring, and photographers were getting snap happy. We set up a table, put outfits together, and spent the night chit chatting and offering styling tips to other fashionistas. We had a lovely time! 

With that said, I thought that I would share a few of my favorite pieces from Monday's new rollout, chickadees. It can be a little tricky to find happy hues [that I can't get enough of] in the fall. Pops of pink + poppy red always look great with neutral pieces. This season I am all about finding things that are functional but still totally adorbs!  

Take a peek. What do you think? J.Crew is offering 25% off your total purchase this weekend so if there is something that you have been eyeing, you may want to snatch it before it's too late!

That's it for now, you lovely people! Enjoy your weekend! See you back here on Monday for your weekly dose of Holy Swoon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hip Hip Hooray!


So you lovely people, I have some exciting news that I couldn’t wait to share with ya’ll! My honeybee and I are [almost] homeowners! Squeal! After a crazy and overly emotional week last week, we finally can say that we are purchasing our first home! You can cross that one off of our life list! Hip! Hip! Hooray! 

I should probably rewind to last week and fill you in on a few of the [emotional] deets, shouldn't I? Last week was a whirlwind of emotions after we put an offer on a house.  After viewing the house and immediately putting an offer in, we had to wait an entire 48 hours only to find out that we did not get the house. We were completely crushed, chickadees. Putting a bid in on a house is nerve-wracking in itself but it was our first house we had ever put an offer in on so I was completely sick to my stomach. I think I held my breath until our realtor got back to us and even then I was so devastated that I don't think I ate for two whole days. Talk about total buzz kill. Woof. We totally thought it was the one for us, ladies and gents. 

Of course I swore of home-buying for a total of two days when last Friday night my honeybee and I met up with our realtor [how is that for a hot date] to take a look at a couple of homes.  The first few were not to my liking so we dashed out the door quicker than you can say on to the next one [insert Jay-Z song here].  Not even kidding, I blasted this jam between home viewings in my honeybees ride. If you can't tell, this little gal is all about keepin' it real up in the 'burbs. 

I think the Big Guy upstairs was lookin' out for us, guys and gals, because when we walked into the fourth and final house, I knew we met our match. We quickly or should I say, impulsively, put another offer in and within twelve hours we found out that they accepted our offer and now we are in contract! Hip! Hip! Hooray! 

Maybe some of of you already home owners or maybe you are just starting your home search. While everyone is different, I thought that I would share a few little tid-bits that my honeybee and I have personally learned recently when it comes to purchasing a home:

[Start Early]: Even if you are no where near purchasing your home, start early and look online. I think my honeybee and I were actively looking online for an entire year before we were ready to venture out into the real world and actually look at homes. We only physically looked at homes for a total of one week before we made an offer. I kept asking my honeybee if we were acting too impulsively but I had to stop and remind myself that we had been scoping the market for over a year. By the time we were out on the town and looking at homes, we knew exactly what we liked and what we didn't like. 

[Know Your Market]: This goes back to my first point, chickadees, know your market. In the area that we purchased our home, houses sell anywhere from within the first day to the first week. It's competitive, frustrating, and [can be] cut-throat.  Know where you want to be and stick to your guns. It's not something to take lightly, so do your research. Check out the schools, know the comps in the area that you are looking at. It's all about strategy and planning for what is best for your future.

[Be Willing To Compromise]:  I think this goes without saying. Especially if you have watched endless episodes of House Hunter marathons late on a Saturday night like we do [or maybe we are just that lame]. Either way, you are never going to find the perfect house, ladies and gents. Be willing to compromise on the little things but don't settle. If there is something that is a definite must, don't let the smaller needs on your list trump what is most important.

[Don't Take It Too Personally]: I think this is something that was the hardest for me to learn throughout this entire process.  To you, it's personal because you are envisioning yourself living in a space and making memories with your loved ones. For others, it's a business transaction. They aren't going to care that your table would fit perfectly in that dining room or that the back room would be the perfect [future] baby room. If it doesn't work in your favor, you gotta pick yourself up and start over, chickadees. May the best house, win! 

[Enjoy The Process]: Purchasing any home, whether it is your first or fifth, doesn't happen very often.  My honeybee is quick to get wrapped up in all of the numbers while I am too busy envisioning paint colors and home decor.  Really take time to enjoy the moment. You've worked hard to get that down payment and deserve to have a little fun. If you are anything like my honeybee and I, we enjoyed an adult beverage or two after our showings. Life is all about balance, lovely people!

So there you have it, our exciting news! Our realtor was the bee's knees and really listened to what we were looking for. If you have any tips, do share! In the meantime, you lovely people can find me packing boxes upon boxes for the next few weeks, thats for sure!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Holy Swoon!

Happy Monday, chickadees! Hope you had a lovely weekend!  I have some exciting news that I am just dying to spill the beans  about with y'all but that will have to wait until tomorrow! Take a look at what made me squeal, "Holy Swoon!" while perusing the web this weekend:

[Art Print]: Don't you just love the colors in this darling print? I am envisioning it hung on a dark navy blue gallery wall. It just screams happiness and you know that's what I am all about these days! Totally adorable.

[Polka Dot Leaf Bud Vase]: Is this tiny bud vase not the most adorable little thing you have ever seen? So simple yet so charming.  Pop a favorite bloom of yours in there and you are good to go! Those polka dot details on the vase are just spot on [if you know what I mean]! Holy swoon!

[Slippers]: These darling slippers have my name written all over them! Stripes, polka dots, and navy bows? They were made for me, chickadees! Can’t wait to hop on over to grab these this week after work! It may also justify me dashing home to change into my comfy clothes! Word to the wise: they were available online over the weekend but seem to have just sold out.  I know that my local store had them so if you are dreaming of slipping your toesies into these, I suggest checking your local store, too! 

[The Aldgate Dress]: Because I work with little ones on the daily, my wardrobe doesn’t always allow me to wear twirly skirts or fancy dresses [I save those for the weekends, of course!].  Most of my days are spent on my hands and knees playing cars or digging for treasure in the sensory table. I am not complaining though- it’s the bee’s knees! When I spotted this dress, I immediately started justifying this dress. Um, hello! It IS my favorite color combination after all! If only it came in my size [sometimes being so petite is not as cracked up as it is made out to be ladies]! The best part about this dress? It’s on sale!  Snatch it up, sisters! 

[Boss Bitch Print]: You may have recognized this little print from a couple of months back when I mentioned it as one of my favorite local shops here in Columbus, Ohio. I just couldn't help but bring it back and mention it to all of you lovely people again. Just looking at it makes me wanna cross things off of my to-do list and get 'em done! Wouldn't you agree, ladies and gents?

[Gramercy Grand Watch]: I have started my own personal Kate Spade watch collection through the years.  For some reason, I just cannot get enough of 'em, gal pals! I have tried other watches but they just don't scream "me". If you were ever wondering what designer mirrors my personality, Kate Spade is where it's at.  From it's colorful and whimsy bags to it's cheeky accessories, I truly feel like myself when I wear all of Kate Spade's products. What can I say- it's my jam! This Gramercy Grand Watch is a classic piece that you will have for years to come. If you are looking to invest in a timeless watch, look no further because this little lady will be your new favorite piece!

[The Marilyn Lounge Chair]: I have been on a complete and utter furniture kick lately. I am constantly swooning over new pieces of bold furniture to add a little za-za-zing to our cozy little space.  I just adore the color of this lounge chair. Oh, and how about we talk about the white piping details! So perfect, right? 

[Saw-Tooth Throw]: This fall weather has had me dreaming about lounging on the couch and throwing myself another movie marathon [Tom Hank's was fabulous; this time I am thinkin' Julia Roberts. What do you say?]. Our house is literally busting at the seams with cozy throws because every time I see a new one, I swear to my honeybee that it is absolutely the last one [who am I kidding?].  I am smitten with this saw-tooth throw and especially love the shade of navy.  So, who is in on my movie marathon? 

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

Let's Party

1 // 2

It's Friday! Heavens to Betsy! This week has been nothing short of a hot mess. Between puppy problems and house hunting, my honeybee and I could not catch a break, chickadees. I guess it's true when they say that sometimes a gal just needs to create her own sunshine. Can I get an "Amen" up in here? I may just need to turn the beat up today after school and have a little dance party with my gal pal, B [That's Beyonce in case you haven't caught on to my obsession just yet]. She can always cheer a sister up. Life is all about embracing the crazies and this week was one for the books! I hope to spill the beans with y'all soon.  In the meantime, take a peek at some of my favorite party supplies.  I am all about toasting to this week being O-V-E-R: 

Hope y'all have a magnificant weekend! Do you have any snazzy plans? This is the first weekend that it actually feels like fall here in the good 'ol state of Ohio! I may need to partake in some fun fall festivities! See you back here on Monday, you lovely people!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Style Me Smitten

I have a confession to make gal pals: when it comes to fashion "rules", you might as throw 'em out the window as far as I am concerned.  It's not uncommon to find me struttin' my little behind in white denim far into the winter months.  There is something so fresh in pairing crisp white with comfy sweaters in the cooler months.   I especially love pairing my white denim with my stripe boatneck t-shirt and wrapping my cable knit sweater around my neck while sippin' on warm coffee during a walk with my honeybee and the pups on Saturday mornings! Take a look at one of my go-to outfit in this little ladies wardrobe as we transition into fall!
Cable Knit Sweater
Clubmaster Sunglasses
The Zip Transport Tote

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

Monday, September 8, 2014

Holy Swoon!

Happy Monday, chickadees! Hope you had a lovely weekend!  Take a look at what made me squeal, "Holy Swoon!" while perusing the web this weekend:

[Striped Teepee]: This year one of the teachers in my building added an adorable teepee outside of her door. All of the little ones are able to sit inside the tent and read a book or engage with other children. Every time I walk past I can hear the children communicating with one another and it makes me instantly want one of my own. I think that this would be the perfect touch to any home or therapy room for little ones. What a great way to elicit language! This striped one is absolutely perfect! Huzzah!

[Metal Chairs]: I mentioned last week that my honeybee and I were able to munch on a lot of delectable food while we were visiting in Chicago. Big Star was one of our favorite places and we instantly fell in love with their yellow metal chairs outside on their patio. Project Home Renovate will be in full bloom once we purchase our new home within the next couple of weeks. These yellow metal chairs are on the top of my list to add to our dining room table.  

[Weekend Sweatshirt]: Pretty soon fall weather will mean cozy sweatshirts and warm socks [hello, Bean boots!].  Just this past weekend, I reached for one of my favorite fall sweaters as I was on my way out the door to yoga because it was just cool enough that I needed something warm. This weekend sweater would be the perfect piece to pull on during the weekends when you and your love bug are sharing secrets over a warm cup of coffee on a Sunday morning.  Let the cuddle fests begin!

[Scalloped Flats]:  Don't get me wrong, I love comfy kicks every now and then but what really tickles my fancy is a pretty pair of flats.  They are a little more difficult to come by these days if you ask me, but I jumped up and did a little kick when I spotted these pink ones last weekend. The detailing is on point with this pair.  What I wouldn't give to add these to my collection! 

[Britt Bass Print]: Listen you lovely people, I could swoon over Britt's work for hours on end.  She totally understands my love for all things color.  If you know me in the real world, you would know how much I loved her work even more when I found out she was in Atlanta, Georgia.  I die. If you are a happy hued lover like myself, you will certainly love her work. I am torn between the He & I or the Summer print. Help a sister out! What is your favorite, guys and gals?

[Magazine Box]: Navy stripes have been my jam lately and I cannot help but swoon over these magazine boxes from Design Darling!  It's the perfect touch to any office space. I must say, my J.Crew catalog collection would fit quite nicely in a couple of these pretty little things. Wouldn't you agree? 

[Newgate Wall Clock]:  I have been smitten with this wall clock since I first laid my pretty eyes on it almost two years ago.  It just screams vintage to me! Our kitchen is a caboodle of Anthropologie favorites that I just could not live without.  Anthropologie always manages to suck me into their home section every time I step foot in the beloved store. I cherish each and every piece that I have purchased and can't help but grin ever so big whenever I use anything when I cook. I wouldn't mind adding this lovely clock on our kitchen wall.  Isn't it the bee's knees?

[Bite Beauty Lip Creme]: I tested this lovely lip creme over the weekend and I have to say, it felt like heaven on my lips! Heavens to Betsy, I am not even kidding.  Cashmere lip creme? Yes, please! It went on my lips like butter on toast. What I loved most about this creme was that it was not too shiny. It was a matte finish but was just the perfect consistency.  I put one coat on my pretty lips and the stain lasted the entire day. You can betcha that this product is being added to my makeup must-haves! 

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

Friday, September 5, 2014

Weekend Recap: Cha-Chaing Off To Chicago!

Last weekend my honeybee and I cha-chaed off to Chicago for a much needed weekend getaway. The trip could not have started off any better than a three hour plane delay [so predictable, right?] so we celebrated the best way our little hearts could-endless drinks at the airport bar, of course! Thanks to our delightful bartender supplying the bottomless cocktails, I was not even mad one bit! By the time our plane arrived, we quickly jetted off to Chi-town just in time to snag a view of the sunset mid-flight. We eventually made our way to our hotel downtown via the train but that was after my honeybee so smoothly dragged us twelve blocks in the wrong direction, luggage and all.  Yikes!  By the time we got to our hotel, my buzz was wearing off and I was ready to refuel on the booze. Hotel bars are the bee's knees when you have the travel woos, chickadees! 

We celebrated this weekend the best way we know how: shopping, sight-seeing, relaxing, eating, and a LOT of walking. 

[Relaxing]: On Saturday, my honeybee surprised me with a day at the spa.  It was nice to be pampered for the day and freshen up after a week back to work! I was tickled when the salon only carried Essie nail polish and I knew that we were off to a wonderful start to my day.   I was totally smitten with my new color- Fifth Avenue. I think it might become a new favorite of mine! Originally when I checked the weather, it said that it was going to rain so you can imagine my excitement when we put our feet up at the beach on Sunday afternoon to soak up the sun! This little lady did not go in the water- it was way too cold! 

[Shopping]: I felt like a little girl at Disney World when we made our way to Michigan Avenue.  Bugged eyed and all, I quickly zipped and zoomed in between the crowds of people to inch closer to my favorite stores.  Good thing my honeybee could keep up because at the rate I was movin', I would have been long gone without him otherwise! I couldn't wait to explore in all of my favorite stores that we don't have here in good 'ol Columbus like Zara, Top Shop, + Club Monaco. I was able to grab a few great pieces including the most comfortable wrap, top, and blouse.  I even snagged this men's cable knit sweater in an extra small and plan to wear it oversized this fall with my leggings, vest, and riding boots. Hello fall wardrobe!
[Food]:  Big cities always have such great food to choose from that I can never make a decision. My honeybee and I usually end up in a silent death glare because neither of us can ever decide where we want to go.  It is not uncommon for him to finally give in to make a suggestion and I am oh so quick to say "no." I know it sounds terrible guys and gals but by that time, I am so incredibly hungry I don't even want to eat anymore. I guess it's true when people say they get "hangry"- it'll get ya! With that said, we did end up eating at a lot of great places. The best part that we were able to stick with our plant based diet at just about everywhere we went! Some of our favorite places that we stopped at this weekend were: The Chicago Diner [all vegan, and oh so delish!], Le Colonial [cutest date spot!], and Bistrot Zinc [the best crepes!].  Big Star in Wicker Park had a snazzy outdoor patio and the most authentic potato tacos I have ever tasted.  For a hot second, I felt like I was transported to somewhere in the heart of Texas! It was the perfect spot to grab margaritas + snack on a few tacos for our Sunday afternoon. So delightful!  

[Sight Seeing]: A weekend trip to Chicago would not be complete without a day's worth of sight seeing! We spent Monday eating brunch at The Gage [The pancakes were DELISH!] before we ventured over to the Bean + eventually the Field Museum. My honeybee and I have a slight obsession with The Vow [it's a guilty pleasure], so we may or may not have spent the afternoon spotting our favorite places from the movie and secretly reenacting them when no one was looking. What can I say lovely people, we are kind of smitten with each other.

[Walking]:  I should preface this by saying that the fashionista in me did the absolute best that I could do to not overpack for a four day getaway. I thought I was doing my best when I only packed three pairs of shoes. My honeybee was not impressed when we got to the hotel and he found out that I didn't pack a single pair of kicks.  Whoopsies! By the second day, my feet were exploding with blisters. What's a gal to do? We quickly became friends with the local clerks at the corner CVS.  Everything was going swell until we had to stumble back in to CVS on our way back to the airport because I came down with the absolute worst  timing to get two ear infections right before we had to hop on the plane.  Let me tell ya, traveling with two ear infections and flying on a plane is a nightmare and incredibly painful! You can bet that I have been keeping it low-key this week and trying to recover the best way that I know how- a lot of shut eye! 

Enjoy your weekend, chickadees! Do you have anything snazzy planned? See you back here Monday for your weekly dose of Holy Swoon! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Shop Spotlight: Puddleduck Paper Co.

As we all know, great brands not only create great products, they create a great experience, and Mattie of Puddleduck Paper Co. has done exactly that. Puddleduck is a snail mail shop based out of Athens, Georgia that I have been secretly in love with for a while now. I can't remember exactly, but I am pretty sure that I found this gem of a shop via Instagram and I am so glad I did! I have purchased quite a few pieces from Puddleduck and each time I get a piece of mail from them, I fall in love even more. From the perfect packaging to quality products, Mattie's shop is a go-to when I am in need of a pretty paper parcel.  I recently had a chance to chat with the lovely owner, Mattie, to get to know this shop a little better. Here is a little bit from our conversation about Puddleduck and how it has come to be one the most beautiful stationary shops around:

Describe your brand in 7 words or less.
Fresh, modern, fun, simple, cheerful

Where did the name for your shop come from?
As a child, my favorite books were from the Peter Rabbit series by Beatrix Potter. My favorite character was Jemima Puddleduck, which turned into my household nickname. When I opened the shop in college, my mom suggested the name and 9 years later, it still stands!

Why did you decide to open a shop?
I have always been a "maker". I'd rather get my hands dirty and create something than watch TV or read a book. I opened Puddleduck as a way to share these creations with other people and hopefully spread a little joy.

What or who inspires you?
I feel most creative and clear-minded when I'm in the mountains. My husband and I love to hike and camp with our pups and I so hope our dream of owning a little mountain house becomes a reality one day. I am also so inspired by my creative friends. Watching people you love do what fires them up is beautiful. I am so blessed to be surrounded by passionate and wildly-talented women. 

What's one thing that no one knows about your shop?
Hmm. I try to be very transparent about my journey, in hopes that it can help other creatives. But, I guess something that no one knows is that this whole adventure stemmed from scrapbooking. I never planned on it becoming anything more than a hobby and would just spend my spare time making memory books and cards with ribbons and stickers. You know, it was a thing back then. I always loved the patterned paper the most. Puddleduck was born when I began creating my own patterns.

What's a typical day for you like?
Working from home is a bear. I think it's what most working adults view as ideal, but it's hard! Separating work life and home life is no easy feat - for me, anyway. Last year, I moved my home office to a shared studio space a few miles away and it has been so wonderful. I try to get out of the house by 8:30 each morning and spend intentional time in the car preparing my mind for the day. I spend the first hour or so answering emails and then work on commissioned projects until lunch. I keep tabs on my to-do list so I don't get caught up in one task all day. I also try to take time each day to create something just for fun.

What have you learned about yourself since starting your business?
I was just thinking about this the other day. I've learned (among a zillion other things) that I was made for this. I so enjoy weekends with my husband and family/friends, but I am always itching to get back to work on Mondays. I love what I do because it's mine. I have worked in several different realms and I have never felt more alive in my job than I do now. I think that's what we're all striving for, right?

What is your favorite product in your shop?
Probably the You're So Hot Greeting Card. Half of the cards in our collection are those I originally made for my husband and later realized that people loved them. This one makes me smile every time I look at it.

What has been your greatest success so far?
This whole thing, really. I still don't quite believe I do this for a living. My friends and I talk a lot about how we define success. We all agree that no one 'successful' event defines our businesses and that we hope we never 'arrive' at success - if that's even possible. This mindset allows me to maintain a grateful heart and still push myself creatively.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering opening up their own small business (of any kind)?
Jump in! You don't know what you don't know and you won't know until you try. I learned 90% of what I know now by trial and error. You can totally do it. And, if you want it bad enough you'll make it happen. I get lots of questions about starting a creative business and always felt like I was giving blanket answers to very detailed questions. So, a few months ago, I put together a super detailed e-course called Strong Shop with resources, advice and action steps on everything from branding, legalities, and photography to accounting, Etsy shops, and marketing. 

Isn't Maddie just so adorable? She seems like the perfect gal to grab a cup of coffee with and just chat about life! Be sure to check out her snazzy products on her website and follow her on Instagram! Her pretty pictures always brighten my day!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Holy Swoon!

Happy Monday, chickadees! Hopefully you have the day off and are able to kick back and put your feet up because you deserve it! Take a look at what made me squeal, "Holy Swoon!" while perusing the web this weekend:

[Reusable Shopping Tote]: I have quite the collection of Baggu bags that I keep stashed in my car for when I am on grocery duty. Thankfully, my honeybee usually does the grocery shopping but I tend to chip in on this daunting task every now and then. My happy hued bags always make my shopping experience just slightly more enjoyable than me lugging plastic bags around.  This Kate Spade one is super adorable and would fit in with my other bags just perfectly!  I wouldn't mind volunteering to go grocery shopping after work with this pretty thing as long as I can sneak a bouquet of flowers or a bar of dark chocolate inside!

[Bee Happy Smoking Slipper]: I was totally bummed when I missed out on a similar version of these pretty shoes last year. You can imagine how tickled I was when I happened to spot them at my local C. Wonder last week. I can just seem myself grinning from ear to ear when wearing this pair.  Wouldn't they be quite the conversation piece? Holy swoon!

[Stationary Set]: Mara Mi always carries the prettiest paper parcels and this one is no exception. It's so simple but so darling. I wouldn't mind sending these out to my snail mail pals!

[Anchor Bottle Opener]: Summer may be over soon but that will not stop my love for all things anchor! That includes this snazzy bottle opener I spotted! Mark & Graham has been a favorite online shop of mine for quite some time. Although they are more of a quiet member of the William Sonoma family, it doesn't make me adore them any less. I am completely swooning over all of their bags and the fact that they offer free monogramming. Can you believe it? It's too good to be true, I tell ya! It may be a little out of my price range these days but  I absolutely love this Weekender Bag. A gal can dream!

[Oh Darling Print]: This print takes me back to our trip for our honeymoon and all of the adventures my honeybee and I got into while making our way across the country in Italy.  This weekend we hopped on a plane and headed to Chicago for a little getaway. Nothing makes me more excited than getting lost in a city with someone I love. I am not talking exploring via Google Maps either.  I secretly hope that our cell phones die so that we can just find the best hidden gems together completely unexpected. It's the little things, my dears!

[Canvas Overnight Bag]: This crewcuts bag is way too cute to only be used by little ones.  A hot pink and white color block bag would make for the perfect gym bag! How can I resist its happy hues and free shipping? Crewcuts wins my heart every single time. I may need an intervention when I have kiddos of my own because I don't think I can resist  all of crewcuts and J.Crew baby's adorableness. 

[Things We Love Keychain]: Snazzy keychains are hard to come by these days. This one has the perfect touch of gold + pink [a personal color combination favorite of mine!]! 

[Quilted Vest]: I don't know about you lovely people, but I cannot wait until fall weather arrives.  Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year because there are so many wonderful things to do outside.  Apple picking, pumpkin carvings, and crisp nights are just some of my favorite parts about fall.  I get giddy just thinking about it!  My quilted vest is a staple piece in my closet for nights when the weather can change like the drop of a hat. If you have been eyeing a vest for a while you may want to order it sooner rather than later. Before you know it, those pretties will be gone! I have been contemplating adding the cream color to my wardrobe this year. I just love my navy vest!

[Cocktails Extra Large Matchbox]: Oh hey, pretty matchbox! How fabulous would this be on your coffee table or desk? It's the perfect touch to add a little detail into your darling space! Like I always say- it's all in the details, chickadees! I plan on picking a few of these up as part of housewarming gifts for my gal pals who recently purchased new homes. Cocktails for everyone!

[Loren Hope Zoe Studs]:  It is a well known fact that this little lady does not leave the house without my pave stud earrings. I just cannot do it.  Without them, I feel completely naked. I have been known from time to time to make a pit stop and purchase a replacement pair while I am out if I happen to forget to put them in before I leave the house. I am crazy, I know.  I have been eyeing these pretty Lore Hope studs for a while now.  I think that they would make a lovely every day pair that I could just slip on and go. Not too much going on, but just the right amount to jazz it up a bit. Wouldn't you agree?

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