Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hello Gorgeous: Free People

I got this in an email this morning and find myself at a loss for words. These ladies are so boho stylish I'm literally drooling. Free People is one of those brands I've always loved but could rarely afford (sad life..) It's the brand that pretty much describes my style in one brand name - some of their pieces are, no doubt, way too bohemian for me to rock day to day but let's just pretend that these dreamy looks will soon to be my closet ladies.

Dream on Nina, dream on....

okay, I love this - via
Is it Fall yet? - via
Cute Crochet - via
And for the over-the-top look of the day that we love.... (drumroll pleaseeee)

An amazing $900 fringe jacket - hello 1977- via
I just wanna throw it out there that if Free People ever needs another model, I could potentially stop eating and jump on that bandwagon. And to all you Judge Judys -

Ya, it could happen.

hippie hugs,

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend Fun: Sunburns & Ikea Benches

This weekend I went to the river and for those of you who have not experienced what is the white-trash circus that is "salt river tubing," I highly recommend it if you're in the area. Anywho, I haven't been down the river (a 3 hour float) in at least a few years. Basically, you tie together 10+ tubes with all your closest friends and cooler full of cool beer and coast it for a few hours in the piping hot sun.... fun right? Well there's a lot of interesting characters that happen to float the salt river so it's quite the entertainment. Needless to say - after hours in the sun, sunburnt legs, a sunburnt boyfriend and too many beers, my Saturday was overrrrrr. Ouch.

However, after a relaxing 13+ hours of sleep, I hopped up on my feet on Sunday ready to start my day. I headed to Ikea (bad idea on a SUNDAY...oye) and found this bench right near the check-out line marked half off. Yes, please!

This guy was perfect for my front porch. I got home, eager to put it together but was faced with what seemed like this:

pile of wood pieces, via


confusing directions, via

I was determined, especially with the slight laughter of my boyfriend in the corner as he heard me grunt in confusion. After a short 45 minutes or so, I did it! And it looks fabulous on my porch. Check it!

This week I'll show you how to make your own window cornices - easy as pie!

Happy Monday!


Friday, August 19, 2011

A Helping Hand: Tribal Baskets

Is just me or has the basket made a surprising comeback? Either way, I've been noticing them left and right. It all started with this great West Elm basket:

Being that I have that bohemian love inside of me - there's something about tribal prints and ikat's that just strikes me. I decided to dig deeper and this is what I found.


African Market Baskets, which is part of the Fair Trade Federation, sources baskets straight from villages in Ghana and delivers them right to your door. Proceeds from the baskets go to help feed, buy school supplies and support the village weavers and their families. The Fair Trade Federation is an organization that prides themselves on sustainable import practices in North America and bringing support to developing communities.

So in light of the fact that I would be helping support a community of weavers in Ghana with my purchase, I decided to get one. It came right to my door in about 3 days and is great quality. I was originally going to keep it outside to hold all my flip flops for the yard, but its just too cute so I'm finding it a home inside. Its big enough to hold magazines, children's toys and/or towels. Get yourself one, here!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Floating: In DIY Heaven

Okay kids, in light of my recent loss-of-shoe, I am grieving and in need of keeping busy. With that being said, Pinterest has got me hooked. It's like a global community to share amazing projects on..

I have been looking for new ways to jazz up my summer-stricken backyard (let's just say my baby plants met their match when the big bad heat came and stomped all over them) and not to mention little things to brighten the home here and there.

Check out what's on my DIY to-do (besides the CL wingback chair that needs to be re-upholstered anddd those two nightstands that need to be re-painted... oops.) Anywho, here she blows..

1. The DIY Necklace

This one may take quite a bit of time, but I need something to pull me away from the relentless trash TV I take in per week (ugh, I love ittt). This little necklace costs about $20 and its something I can proudly sport day and night and boast that it's "handmade." Lovely.


2. The knitted ottoman cover.

Where does one get giant knitting needles to even pull this off. More importantly, where do I learn to knit? Minor detail. (Mommmmmm?) You can tell that this unforgiving heat is making me yearn for those soft sweaters and cool breezes. I digress..

3. The Daybed.

What more can you say about this that isn't spoken in the title? The daybed is the epitome of a lazy Sunday. And this one happens to be made from a gross old palet and an old door in the back. Time to roll up my sleeves and get hunting because this one is just topping my list.

So many things to do, so little time. Has anyone had any experience with re-upholstery? The chair I bought is in great shape but has an absolutely grotesque fabric on it...

Until next time


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Adventures in raising a puppy..or 2

A case of the Monday's is an understatement for the perpetual cloud that hung over me all day yesterday, choosing to storm every few hours with some new craptastic situation. After a long weekend and an even longer day at work, I figured to myself It's 5, time to go home and rest and relax. I came home, put on my sweats and popped on Sunday's recorded episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians (lethal addiction). To my dismay, as I oogled into the TV, my PRECIOUS dogs manage to do this.

via my iPhone
In case you can't make that out due to the sudden pain in your eyes, its my gorgeous, one of a kind, anthropologie wedge. I found these beauties looking lonely in the sale section and quickly snatched them up for a mere $70.00. They were perfect and my favorite pair of shoes. As I saw my lifeless shoe being chewed on like some stuffed bunny, I paused in utter shock. Then, I cried.

I cried over a pair of perfect wedge heels.

Pathetic? yes. But rightfully so. I don't really know how to give these a proper goodbye - I can't imagine throwing them away but what more can these be used for? Until I find a way to part with my pretty shoes, they will wait in my garage, probably very mad at me for ruining them. This is what these beauties originally looked like.

Must find them.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

On my soapbox: poor and happy

At 23, moving into a brand new home wasn't the most "money-saving" decision. It's almost been a year now since I discovered my quaint little neighborhood, tucked behind old Tempe farms who had to have been there for at least 30 years. Looking back on the last year and where I was a year ago today, I must say I find myself smiling more and more these days. I can't say that my savings account has grown (more like stayed quite empty) but at least I'm happy.

I'm not one to really reflect, but after finishing school, starting my career and buying a house (leaping into adulthood) there's actually quite a bit to reflect on. Having more free time has made me realize what happiness is. When I started college I imagined my post-school life to be dedicated to the job - working for the man. I really wanted to make a name for myself so I could make a bunch of money. Although I am very dedicated to my work and am happy with the work I do, that isn't where most happiness comes from. Coming from a European background, we are about the term "working to live" versus "living to work." I work so that I can live: travel, spend time with my loved ones... make memories. Growth and reflection during this time for me has led to personal growth. I want everyone to who's stressed out with work and to sit back and think 'is this worth getting stressed out over?' It's not. Because when you get home, you're home. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Home isn't a place, its more of a state of mind.  I feel at home snuggled in my bed with my dogs. I feel at home with my family. I feel at home on the beach with my guy. Home is a state of happiness and we should all strive to find our own homes to escape to after long work days. Because it's home that will make you realize that all that stress at work isn't worth it. Right?


Monday, July 18, 2011

Looking Up: Lighting

When I bought my house back in October, it came with some very basic, but doable lighting. Over the last few months, I've been adding artwork to my walls and (for lack of better words) making my house a home. My lighting seems to be less fitting more and more daily. Remember this little guy?

Mi Casa #boringlamp

Well it's still here, hanging above me as I type. It's rather bland to be honest, but until now it didn't really bother me. However, I've been seeing affordable pendants and DIY lighting that makes me think this update might be an easy one. Check these out.


This lamp, believe it or not (!) is made from those paint stirring sticks that are free at Home Depot. Are you kidding me? People are so smart. 


This weaved lamp is actually made from a flower basket (upside down) then weaved with a sisal rope that can be found at none other than... your local Home Depot. 
This lamp would probably cost me about $20.00 to make. Tops. You likey?
But then I think, "I love DIY, but do I want to add yet another project to my DIY list?" 

-"Yes, probably."

But these West Elm lamps have really got me asking that same question over and over. 

Ah, the classic drum pendant. This guy would offset my square table with its soft chic look. 

Well hello there pretty. I love this. With an awesome Edison bulb to pair, this one is just lovely. But I wonder, would I need two? This one seems sort of small. If that's the case, how does the electrical work?  I think the last thing I can afford is an electrician (note to self: I gotta befriend one of those). Have any of you had experience with updating and adjusting your lighting? 


Friday, July 15, 2011

The girl who was afraid to over-accessorize

Coco Chanel always said "put on all your accessories then take one off" ...... meaning less is more.

I have always been somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to accessorizing - making sure that what I'm seen as is me versus all the bright knick-knacks I've dressed myself up in. I've seen so many women over do themselves in rings, bracelts, necklaces and on top of that tons of make-up - that's just not me. However, lately I've been seeing amazing bold jewelry take way to even the most casual outfits and frankly, I'm crying out for help!

I recently discovered Kendi Everyday, where Kendi is now doing the 30 for 30 challenge. She took 30 articles of clothing/shoes and is mixing and matching just those pieces for 30 days (I'm dying to try this). She has the most adorable (and affordable) accessories that turn her fun outfits to a complete fashion statement.  These days I rock 1 of my 3 watches, a pair of silver hoops or some gold, beaded teardrop earrings depending on my metal-of-the-day (Kinda boring....). Check out a few of Kendi's outfits that inspire me to delve into accessorizing a little better.

 I wear a watch everyday, unless I'm at the gym. Adding in cute bangles is such a good idea and I'm so nervous to take this plunge without feeling like those gaudy women that Coco told us never to be. PS that belt is so adorable.

This outfit inspires me in so many ways. It's the perfect example that you can take two naturally opposing patterns, pair them together to make an adorable summery outfit. Note the cute long necklace and simple bangles to tie it all together. I die..

This is by far my hardest but most well-loved combo: the necklace duo. So many mornings I try this but feel as if it just doesn't go together. I think I'm going to try and stop buying so many clothes (my guy will love this) and try and start making my outfits look different by mixing and matching. I'm definitely considering doing a 30 for 30 challenge because I think it will teach me to appreciate what I have in my closet and take that step to accessorize my outfit to switch it up a bit. Happy Friday!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How To: Rock the Boyfriend Jean

The boyfriend cut. So slub chic its not even funny. This is one particular cut, however, has been toying with me for the last few months. How do I make these work without making myself look like a shapeless soccer mom or just plain old frumpy? I purchased myself a pair of cuffed boyfriend cut jeans and have been desperate to find a cute way to mix and match them. Here's what I've discovered thus far.

1. Dress 'em up

We can't be looking like our boyfriends ladies (see point #2) but we can rock this comfortable look with a sleek blazer or flowy dressy top.

2. Do not literally wear your boyfriends jeans - no matter how skinny cute you are. (sorry Katie Holmes - you kind of look like a dude...)


3. Tuck it in.. with a belt

She looks so adorable in her distressed boyfriends with that tiny cute yellow belt peeping out of her shirt.
Definitely digging the color combination. Check out Bex's adorable blog here. Whatta babe. 


 4. Be confident. (my biggest problem)

Such great looks, I'm taking notes!



These two ladies are following the rules at their finest! Defintely going to dress to impress tomorrow (maybe post a little pic just to let you know how I did)

Do you have a pair of boyfriend jeans? How do you wear them? I'd love to hear your input!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Living in: A Haboob

Feels like Arizona summers are a hot topic for me these days. This morning I had the pleasure of waking up to a yard covered in a thick layer of brown dust - so thick that my dogs footprints were visible. Last night, Phoenix experienced what may have been the largest Haboob in years. What is a Haboob? you ask. Let me explain.

A "Haboob" which originates from Arabic, is defined as: a type of intense sandstorm commonly observed in arid regions throughout the world.

Picture this:

all pictures via azcentral

A mile-high cloud of dust. Gross. Today we are left with the remnants of dust in the air, debris on the ground and thousands of black swimming pools. Never in my twenty something years of life have I experienced anything of such epic proportions. So who wants to move to Phoenix? It's only 109 today!

Catch you on the otherside of the Haboob


Friday, July 1, 2011

Picking my brain: the travel bug

I love to travel. It's something that's been passed down to me from my parents, who are world travelers themselves. I as a young child, I became accustomed to traveling a lot to visit my family in Europe for various holidays (although getting older I tend to get a bit of airplane anxiety, but that's another story for another time). Transitioning to adulthood, I realized the benefit travelling has on our perspective of life. I'd like to take credit for passing along the travel bug to my guy, who is by farrr my favorite travel companion. After seeing some of the world, I feel that I've become more open-minded to different mannerisms we inherit from our culture and I appreciate my way of life so much more (a little 4th of July patriotism). Other cultures and how we evolved to act the way we do is so fascinating. Our societal behaviors are on a constant strain of evolution, changing practically day-by-day. However, with media and the introduction of the internet, we have all become so close together. I can now see someone on the other side of the planet with the right software and a click of my mouse and yet we still hold on to those deeply rooted cultural values and norms (seriously, you'd think I was a sociology major!) 

Working in an office all day my inbox gets flooded with amazing travel deals from websites like living socialtravel zoo, and Jetsetter. So many deals, so little vacation time... oh yah and money (that funny little thing)

My dream job (I tell my boyfriend this on a weekly basis) is to move to some exotic place and work in the tourism industry - beaches, fruity drinks, sun-kissed skin... I digress. Check out these amazing places that are currently topping my list of go-to's...

If you've read back a few months, you may have seen me mention my liking for Eastern/Buddhist culture art. PS - I'm addicted to Thai food. Plus, it's beautiful there! Yes pleaseee!


History, art, architecture, delicious food... there are no words.
(oh and soccer!)
Just a hop skip and a jump away compared to the two destinations above! And yet, I yearn to go. Northern California has amazing food, wineries and let's not forget the Redwood Forest.
Ah so beautiful... Can't wait to blog about these places when I actually visit them.

Happy 4th of July!