October 27, 2012

Hawaii Baby!

Well folks... we are leaving Monday for Hawaii... land of Pineapple, Coffee (yum!) and overpriced tourist attractions! No, seriously I am so excited...Seth and I have been trying to go on a "legit" vacation since we got married. And now here we are just days away from snorkeling, humid weather & most likely a sunburn for me, ahh... bliss. We received an offer that we couldn't refuse to take a vacation with my husband's side of the family, whom I love.. I must say, I am very lucky to love my in-laws so much!
We will be gone for 12 days, and packing for this adventure has been somewhat of an adventure in of it's self! 

Like usual, I think I've over packed, I am one of those people who HATES that feeling like an outfit would have been perfect if only I had brought that one specific item... so needless to say I like options. However with those pesky baggage fees, it really does help to keep thing into perspective! Thanks baggage fees, you rock! sarcasm... So here is what I compiled..

The packing list...
This will be separated between 1 checked bag and a carry on...
  • 1 pair of jeans (which I will wear on the plane)
  • 4 dresses, 3 casual & 1 wicked awesome... for a romantic dinner (just for the two of us)
  • 2 pairs of shorts, 1 black & 1 jean cutoffs... 
  • 2 skirts
  • Basics.. tanks for layering, etc..
  • 8 tops.. because a girl needs options!
  • 1 light sweatshirt (which I am sure I will never use)... 
  • 5 pairs of shoes, oh brother ..... 1 Nike's, 3 pairs of sandals & 1 wedge heel.. (which I will be wearing on the plane)
  • Swimwear
  • And last but not least... "the essentials" 

 Well believe it or not folks, this is an edited version! I had more... I must be the girl scout of packing "always be prepared".  In packing up all this greatness, I have not even mentioned that this doesn't include the hair stuff, makeup or  accessories which we all know how fond I am of those!  3 sunglasses may be a little excessive... but who cares right? Sunglasses are a MUST HAVE in my book... and you need different ones for different outfits...sigh.. I know... it's over the top. 

Well, this time, Seth and I are sharing the 1 checked bag, to cut down on those "baggage fees" aka... highway robbery. So I did what learned years ago, I started rolling my clothes... Yup.. it works folks I swear by this method.  and I did it smart this time, I rolled the outfits!!! the world is all "whoa, Hope we are not ready for your genius!" in Seth's words "brilliant".. yup pretty much.

See, whenever I travel, I like to just pack all of my favorite items and then "make" the outfit the day of, not a great plan. It inadvertently creates the apocalypse of the exploded suitcase and me frustrated that I have "nothing to wear"... not great when you are traveling. So this time around I purposed to do something different, make outfits ahead of time and roll them together!!! I mean... shaking my head in disbelief. Who could have known this could be so life changing? Well, time will tell.. but I am pretty stinking proud of myself, and whenever that happens it's always a good day!

I swear half of this is his...

October 24, 2012

Christmas Spirit...in October...

I am a sucker for Christmas... literally, I just wait to get through October and then mentally, I'm in the Holidays! I don't picture myself as someone who is a little holiday wacko, but if I was like 20 years older and just didn't know better (which I do know better, I promise I do!) I would probably be that lady in the grocery store humming a Christmas song that would be forever stuck in your brain. Wearing a horrible Christmas Sweater with Jingle Bells earrings, because I want to show my Christmas spirit! Haters don't hate...

Last night it was a chilly night, and I was feeling cold.. and like usual I was cooking dinner in my work clothes. So, Seth reminded me to change so I wouldn't ruin what I was wearing, always in the realm of possibility. So what do I do? I couldn't wear anything else and risk that item being ruined... What is a girl to do? yup.. you guessed it..  I wore my EPIC Christmas Sweatshirt, the one with a reindeer on it, woah folks totally reaching new levels!!  I'm awesome like that.. and I wore it the rest of the night... and really.. I didn't mind, it was cold people!

I must confess, I really can't wait for the season.. I have given myself guidelines (and for the sake of others around me) to not play Christmas music until Thanksgiving Day.. With the exception of Family Force 5's Christmas Pageant... that is always acceptable year round... but I digress.

It got me thinking about my wish-list (honestly, seems like I'm always thinking about that), something that was a foreign concept to me but I adjusted quickly.  Here are just a few things I've decided I want, proof that I haven't lost my fashion mind!

These are just a few things that I've been keeping my eye on..  For more details on these items it's all on my Pinterest.. it's the newest and greatest way to waste time on the internet! Or at least that's what I do.. you should follow me!

October 22, 2012

Oh.. the power of shoes...

"A pair of shoes can change your life" -Cinderella 

What is it about a new pair of shoes that makes us feel so powerful? Seriously, don't mess with me, I've got a new pair of shoes and a new attitude! (not to mention a killer pedicure) It inspires all sorts of confidence, which is always the best fashion accessory! On a good day, I will walk around, strut my stuff, try not to fall, and feel like I can take on the world!
A few months back I was at work, and I was noticing how I felt so tall. Like I was holding my head high, nothing was going to hold me back, watch out world here I come! It was a brand new day and anything was possible! I was wondering what inspired this new feeling of confidence, this feeling that I was tall and I could handle it all. Then it hit me.... for about 2 weeks I'd been wearing nothing but flats and today was my first day in heels!
geez.. of course I feel tall... I was!
At 5'1" apparently you really notice when 3-4 inches have been added...
Oh.. a pair of shoes can really change a few things... but really, I think it just helped me realize what was there all along, I know right? so deep... Cinderella always knew she was made for more than just sleeping near the fireplace. And we are no different, we know deep down our awesomeness. The shoes are just the vehicle...I'll take it!
So for all you Cinderella's out there waiting for your dreams to come true, and your amazingness to be appreciated. Just remember, it's not the shoe that changes everything but the girl in the shoes. 
So go out in the world, armed with fabulous shoes and change a few things!

October 18, 2012

laundry, quarters and gluten free pizza...oh my...


The thought occurred to me at 3:30pm ..oh my goodness, I needed to do laundry on Saturday and it's Tuesday! So I went to the ATM, to pull out cash to exchange for quarters.. (the bane of my existence) An error message read on the ATM before I could even give it my card.. ugh... it was the end of a crappy day, and I didn't want to do laundry any ways, do I ever want to? 
So I go home, tell Seth about my crappy day, and proceed to get delivered a gluten free pizza,... hey folks, at least I was trying.. I forget all about laundry, all I am thinking about is I had a bad day and I want pizza , seriously if they made gluten free, sugar free, dairy free gummy worms I would buy them in bulk... so my evening was replaced with a late night walk and gluten free pizza.. (which were both glorious by the way)...


My alarm goes off, 6:45am..!!! ring ring ring!!! ... I never did laundry.. so then starts the dance of hitting snooze and trying to figure out what the heck am I going to wear??? "OK Hope, it's getting to the point of no return, get out of bed or else..." a little self motivational talk. It's like I'm digging for oil or something at the bottom of my drawer, maybe I'll find something???...it wasn't a complete success or disaster... black pants, white T-shirt, Denim jacket..Thanks trusty denim jacket you always come through.


Alarm goes off, 4:45am...ring ring ring!!! Seriously folks it's been that kind of week... "Babe, if you get up right now we'll have time for Starbucks"...Seth knows the only way to encourage me out of bed at that hour is Starbucks and it works. With the knowledge of my failed attempts to do laundry two days in a row, I kinda throw in the towel so to speak ..I know I know, don't judge me... it's jeans, white T-shirt and black flip flops kinda of day.. with my trusty blue scarf. Which serves a world of purposes... come on ladies, you know what I'm saying. Thanks trusty blue scarf, you've saved the day.. in so many ways, so many times.... 

Sometimes, it is a week where you aspire to get the laundry done, to clean the apartment not just before you have company. Sometimes, it's a day, where you feel like a rock star and your boss doesn't see it that way. Sometimes, it's been a week where you aspire to write and jaw dropping blog post about fashion and the world will be in awe of your "styleness", and you write about laundry instead. Sometimes you need to choose your attitude, no matter the day, no matter your failed plans or lofty aspirations. And choose, that even if it's a bad day it's not a bad life. And choosing happiness is so much better than the other option. So today, I choose happiness. And maybe.. eventually... the laundry will get done.

October 13, 2012

To a Swedish Meatball Heaven... Part 2

As promised, I said I would show you the "after" pictures of my latest project... Well here it is!

This cute little cabin is dark... and even with ALL the lights on, it feels dim.. so I went with a natural colored curtain to help lighten up but still provide privacy, No one likes a fishbowl!

This window is quite large and I was needing at least 6 panels for the front window, at $30 per panel at the "going" rate. I was looking at spending at least $180 just for the front window! Fortunately, Ikea sells them as a pair for $20 per pair, Hallelujah! I spent $80 and change for all 4 pairs.... And looking at all the window space I needed to cover, you can see why I'm such and advocate of the Scandinavian "Target". 

 New throw pillows....
 New reading light... 

I wish I could have shown you the picture of the shower curtain that I replaced. Wow, it was not my style, just imagine that is was flowery and not awesome.  But here is what I did in there,

 Who has time to water plants? not me... this is silk... this creates a little life on the vanity.. Green is magic!
This really is the worlds tinniest shower and bathroom (I was standing at the door to take this picture).. so something simple, that could washed, not too busy but creates some interest was needed, this shower curtain completely fit the bill, speaking of, it only cost $9.99... Actually the liner cost more than the curtain! WOWZA!

 Well that's it...
... I am like a proud parent! Let me know what you think!

October 11, 2012

To a Swedish Meatball Heaven... Part 1....

I love Ikea... it's like heaven mixed with the smell of cinnamon buns.. I mean inexpensive decor mixed with LOADS of inspiration and Swedish meatballs? What could be better?! (I think I am a little excited... )

I  was asked by my job to help "spruce" up one of the cottages that they use for guest lodging... which was DIVINE news for me, since I've been itching to hang new curtains (to say the least) in there since first seeing the horrible blue picnic table cloth curtains, 3 years ago... shudder.... little known fact this cottage was our first place... here is a pic from when we moved in... (not our furniture or curtains, thank God...)

Please ignore the mess, this picture is 3 years old and we were moving in... but you get the idea... horrid.... over the last 2 years I have been slowly making improvements to the cottage (we only lived there 6 months, now it is guest lodging for our work). So I have put 2 new couches in earlier this year and a new bed linens but until yesterday, those horrible blue checkered curtains remained... The cottage in general is dark, with the wood paneling and being in a redwood forest it doesn't have a chance. So my plan was to lighten it up inside, which is not an easy feat since my budget was $500... but I think I achieved it!

And that is why I love Ikea... it makes amazing decor on a low budget possible!

For about $400 this is what I did...
  • New curtains... did I mention a 12' window? 4 pairs...
  • Loads of silk plants (green is the magic for an dark/empty space)
  • New throw pillows... 4 new
  • New shower curtain & liner* Bed Bath & Beyond...mildew resistant....
  • A few extra decor pieces
  • New floor lamp.. can never have too much lighting..

I love Ikea, and I think it gets a bad rap because somehow it is associated with poor quality.. and your right some of the things are less than awesome when it comes to quality... but I find that you get what you pay for at Ikea... and their quality to price ratio is outstanding because even their highest price items are extremely reasonable... compare to other decor and and you are saving HUGE....

It's the things that won't get heavy wear, like curtains... or decor.. or lighting... you cannot not beat the price. Hello, did you know that Ikea is one of the FEW places that sells curtains in a PAIR???? Yeah, most places will make you buy each panel individually, which really boils me because tell me.. "who puts 1 curtain panel on a window!!??" phew... I need to settle down..

These are the items that I found...all from Ikea... land of amazing prices and hard to push carts... (my one complaint)

And I am sure you are wondering, how does someone spend almost $400 on just that?? well, there is a VERY large window... and most of my budget went to the curtains, 4 pairs, to be exact and then the floor lamp.. well that's is such a beauty and it was $50 alone... it's the little things that all add up... and then when you put it all together the end product is pretty great if I do say so myself and you'll just have to wait and see... (cue evil laugh)

This post will be a 2 part... next post will have pictures... of the finished product! Stay tuned!

October 8, 2012

Happy Hunting

Fall is officially here... crisp leaves, pumpkins out... Apple cider.. thick socks (usually my husband's) and flannel!!! If you haven't heard, flannel is HUGE this fall... and why wouldn't it be? It brings images of cozy nights in with the husband next to our (pretend) fireplace..aka the TV.. sipping hot apple cider and watching Casablanca...(greatest movie of all time.. just sayin)
I am now on the hunt... (because it is hunting season) for some awesome flannel... and no not just any old flannel, as in... should never ever be worn, ever.. never ever... nightgown.
I am talking about a awesome, feels like fall, don't you look amazing button down flannel.. and there are some guidelines... MUST be flattering... (if it don't help, don't wear it. Period.) MUST fit (moo moos are not a good look)... again this really should be under the whole flattering category...but you get the idea... and you MUST layer... it is essential for not looking like a bum (you know what I mean...)
I suggest a white tank and infinity scarf, leggings (because they're awesome!) and non UGG boots... repeat after me "I will not look like a 16 year old shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch", the end. No offense to all you die hard UGG lovers out there, they have their place, just in the right outfit.. (I know.. I am so controversial)
Anyway...I digress... this is a look I created and now I am gonna go hunting, for something like this!
Happy Hunting
No animals were harmed in the making of this collection...

October 4, 2012

Thermostat Wars...

I work in a office, and there is always some sort of debate on what the most comfortable temp should be for the office. Well, I tend to always be cold, so even in like 90 degree weather I am having to wear a sweater in the office...  Which makes it a challenge to get dressed in the morning.. Do I dress for "ice box office" or the "real weather"?? Such a dilemma...

Here is what I came up with- LAYERS! (I know... brilliant!) I am loving the cardigan options right now... super great  for fall, (Which can come any day now, in my opinion) and spring! Which will be here before you know it!

Here's how I do it-
Apparently it's hard to pose..

Start with the summer piece... mine is the racer back geometric print top...and I paired it with black leggings & knee high boots, (another fashion must)... and when you put it all together, not much contrast. I added a red cardigan and voila! An outfit that can transition from freezing cold, to wicked hot was born!

Here is a cardigan that I'm wanting... (you can never have too many)...
Can't you just imagine this with a teal tank top, leggings, boots & scarf! OMG... I want it... 

October 2, 2012

Road Tested Tried & True.. A product review...

So apparently I have greasy eyelids... whoa.. gross.. I mean what kind of images does that bring up?? I've had this problem with my eyeliner moving to the corners of my eye or worse... sliding right off! I've tried everything...  or at least it feels like it... then I walked into Sephora and you could hear the angels sing... (whenever I go shopping I hear the angels sing)

I hear about this Eye Lid Primer by Urban Decay and I'm skeptical because so many others have promised to be awesome and they have failed, again this is like therapy, time to trust again...
... OMG... it is amazing!!!
Buy it here...
The nice thing about this primer is that act like a base, and then attracts the shadow and liner to it, so you can use less! I use this everyday, I can't imagine going back!!  One quick tip, I do recommend using a long wear eyeliner and mascara... I found that a cheap eyeliner pencil wont stay on my "greasy" eyelids even with the primer.. but with the liquid liner, it is on there!

Many times I wonder if something is all it is cracked up to be... well folks, this is! And for me it is totally worth the money. I know we are all trying to save wherever we can but really beauty shouldn't be one of them! I would cut out Starbucks before this! (well maybe, lets hope we never have to talk about that )..

Something magical happens when you feel you look your best, you feel like you can conquer the world.. and you can!

If you're wondering about which eyeliner & mascara I use, just let me know! I would love to pass on more tips, and more product reviews will be coming since this will be a reoccurring post! (I know right? so awesome...)