Saturday, June 30, 2012

Talk on Soulmates, Shopping, and a Trip to Rome

You know when you go shopping for a VERY specific item and you just can't seem to find it?  For example, a few months ago I was going to a wedding and had the perfect dress, shoes, and jewelry for it.  I needed a clutch or handbag of some sort, but kept putting off looking for one until the day of the wedding.  I had a vision of what I wanted, and I KNEW I'd be able to find it.  Well, you see where this is going.  Of course I was frantically running around the Houston galleria for hours to no avail.  My vision of what I wanted was so specific that my tunnel vision kept me from considering other handbags, just as cute, but not what I originally envisioned.


A few summers ago I was studying abroad in Spain and a few friends and I went to Rome for a weekend.  I needed a little time to myself, (I'm sure you can imagine what living and spending time with 4 other girls for weeks can do to a girl) so I decided to go shopping alone.  I didn't really have anything conjured up in my mind that I wanted to buy, I was just open to what I might find.  So off I went wandering down Via Condotti, in and out of shops, just blissful to be in Rome.  And about mid-afternoon, I walked in to this vintage store and spotted this pink dress, and I just knew it was meant to be.  It was the most beautiful item of clothing I had ever seen.  It was sort of like a shift dress, made of silk, just hanging on the rack waiting for me to come find it.  Of course, it fit perfectly (despite not being my usual size).

These stories are perfect examples of what I think we do too often (myself included).  In high school and college I had a few boyfriends that just weren't the perfect fit.  I had always envisioned dating guys like them, so I wore the dress despite it being a little too tight around the hips.  Of course it never really worked out, much to my dismay.  And once I got out of college it felt like everyone was settling down and getting married (I am from the midwest) so I too tried to find the right person for me, looking a bit too hard.  And that guy always seemed to elude me.... I'd go on dates with guys who had a good job, good morals, and a nice smile, but it never felt like a perfect fit.  So finally I just stopped caring so much.  I stopped looking.  I started living.  I gave up the need to have such strong control over the way my life unfolded.  And it felt really good.


Then, one day, when I really didn't care about meeting someone, I was at Hotel Zaza here in Houston enjoying a staycation with a friend.  And this tall blonde walked outside (of course he caught my eye).  Thanks to fate, the only seat by the pool that was open was next to me.  He sat down, this guy that was nothing like my usual type, and struck up a conversation in his cute Australian accent.  It was his first day in Houston, starting a new job.  And the rest (up to this point) is history.

Will we be together forever?  Who knows.  I sure hope so, but I guess my point is I've given up the need for this perfect life in the same way I've stopped hunting for the perfect dress.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beachy Chic- The Essentials

At the end of July, two of my best girlfriends and I are going to Mexico for a week.  We have been talking about doing a "girls trip" for over a few months now, and when we found an all-inclusive package that wasn't going to shatter our piggy banks, we had to book it.  I'm looking forward to lounging in my beach robe (yes, I need this Mara Hoffman beach robe), cocktail in hand 24/7.  Isn't that what summer is about?!  Here are my other beach essentials:

Grapefruit margarita, anyone?  It's 5 o'clock somewhere, right?
Cheers to the freakin' weekend!

Summer Sparkle

Add a little sparkle to your wardrobe this summer...

Whether it's through scalloped shorts, a blouse, or a clutch, adding a touch of glitter this summer is certainly a must.   Happy Thursday!

Copper in the Kitchen?

My parents are in the blissful stages of a remodel where the sky is the limit in terms of design.  My mom is nice enough to let me stick my nose in the middle of their plans and give my two cents.  The one thing (and only thing) my mom has purchased thus far is a lone copper sink.  When I asked why she bought a sink at such an early stage in the process, she simply replied, "Because it was marked down from $4000 to $400!"  Oh how I love that woman. I can't fault her for her savvy spending, but I will say I had originally envisioned brass elements.  Back to the drawing board I went, and what I found was a bevy of pretty copper kitchens...


I love the idea of adding in a copper hood over the stove.  This will help tie in the sink, and also looks really lovely against white cabinetry and tile.

The entire aesthetic of their home is planned to be very zen- soft blues and greens, grays and whites, as if they were on vacation at a spa.  Something similar to the colors here:

Adding copper pendant lighting over their kitchen island is a must.

Displaying copper pots and pans is a great way to accessorize the kitchen and once again tie in to the copper elements.

There really is nothing like copper to give a kitchen that old world feel while also warming up the space.  What's even better?  Over time copper tarnishes and turns a pretty rustic green, adding even more character to a space.  What are your favorite elements for a kitchen?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Workwear Wednesday

As most of you know, before I recently made the switch to the interior design industry, I worked for a few years in the energy industry.  At my previous job, the environment was much more professional and we were expected to dress "business casual" each day.  Today, my job at the design firm allows me to dress a little more funky, but it's still important to look put together and fresh for business meetings and presentations.

Since it's June, and there are likely many of you who just graduated college and are entering the workforce, I thought it'd be a good time to talk about fashionable work wear.  The most important thing when putting together an outfit for work is to dress for your environment.  Is it business professional or business casual?  Is it a creative environment where self-expression is welcomed?  

First, I thought I'd tackle business professional dress.  If you are interviewing for a job, I suggest wearing a blazer and slacks or a skirt, aka "business professional."  This shows you are serious about your career and want to make a good impression.  Even if you know the environment is more casual, it's always smart to dress for the job you want, not the job you have or are interviewing for.  But that doesn't mean your outfit has to be boring!

The two things that really distinguish a business professional outfit is a blazer and closed-toe shoes.  For interviews, I'd wear a matching jacket and pant or skirt.
I actually have that Rebecca Taylor dress in a green shade, and it's seriously the most comfortable dress I own.  I highly recommend it for work or everyday wear.

If you are interviewing for a job in a creative field, a great way to be remembered is to wear something that helps define your personality.  When I interviewed for my interior design job, I wore a blue silk dress with a tie at the waist.  I paired it with simple gold earrings, strappy heels and a fun chunky necklace that the principal designer actually complimented me on.  It's good to be remembered for great style!  Here are a few business casual outfits I put together...

J Crew bag/Bow Peplum Blouse/Zara Trousers/Snakeskin Flats/White Bow Blouse/Leather Skirt/Carven Bow Pumps/Kate Spade bag

If you're a freelancer and work for yourself, you have a little more freedom when it comes to work wear.  I loved this leather mini skirt from Rebecca Taylor in a camel color balanced out with a classic white bow blouse.  

What are your favorite pieces to wear to work?  Do you work in a more professional environment, or one where you can dress more casually?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Why Travel Is Important to Me

You may have noticed a lot of instagramming happening this weekend while we were in New Orleans.  Friday we headed east from Houston to NOLA to celebrate Sam's birthday (a late 29th birthday gift for him!).  We stayed at an adorable B&B and had a great time seeing the city and learning about the history. 

When I was 15, I went abroad for the first time to see England.  I still remember how giddy I was to get my Passport (although that picture still haunts me... even when I pull it out today).  My parents sacrificed a lot in those early years to be able to take my brother and I along on trips when we were growing up.   They knew that seeing different parts of the world would open our eyes and shape us later in life.

Traveling is by far the biggest inspiration for me in my creativity.  Although I love reading magazines, watching documentaries, and browsing through fashion and design blogs, seeing unfamiliar places that get me out of my comfort zone is really the best creative exercise for me.  As bloggers, I know we are all constantly working to provide fresh content that will be interesting and unique to read- not just recycled from a million other blogs!  I think the best thing I can do is to allow new places and experiences to shape me and spur my creativity.  The thing is, each time I choose to travel to a new place, the adventure stays with me forever.  Here are a few trips I'll never forget...

 Bungy jumping off a bridge in New Zealand...

{2007, Queenstown, New Zealand}

spending a summer studying abroad at Oxford, and taking a memorable weekend trip alone to Stonehenge...

Finishing my undergraduate capstone in Spain....

{Alcala de Henares, Spain, summer of 2010}

Bungy jumping and sky diving over the Swiss Alps...

 {Summer 2010}

Building water wells in Africa...

{Summer 2011}

I think my boldness today is a direct result of traveling.  There's something about navigating your way through the European train system alone in the middle of the night that will strengthen your confidence in yourself.  It's also exposed me to lots of different cultures and their way of doing things, which has made me more tolerant and open-minded.  I keep this Steve Jobs quote on my desk for a daily reminder to keep learning and growing each day:

So, I'm curious to know- what do you do to keep yourself inspired?  Are you a fan of travel, and if so, is there one particular trip that really changed you?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bold Wall Colors in the Bedroom... Would You Do It?

I am always attracted to bedrooms with bold wall colors. But I'm not so sure I'm brave enough to do it myself.  I tend to like my bedroom to feel like a spa or a retreat.  

I'm curious to know.... is your bedroom a bold wall color or wallpaper pattern?  Would you be brave enough to paint it a strong hue?

Who, What, Wear, Where: Chic Geek

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a lovely weekend.  Today you are in for a treat.  I have the lovely Catherine of Chic Geek sharing her perfect day in the 4 W's- who she would be with, what she would be doing, what she would be wearing, and where she would be.  In case you aren't aquatinted with Catherine, this girl has some serious style...

 I think my perfect day would be spent with her teaching me how to be so adorable in outfit posts!  Without further ado, I give you Catherine...

Who are you with?

All my favorite girls, of course! Miraculously our crazy schedules will have aligned to create a mutual free weekend!

What would you be doing?

All the overachievers would probably head out for a morning run which would be followed up with brunch, in our summer house- think fresh fruit, granola, pastries, and pancakes. 

Next, lots of girl talk would ensue as we lounge poolside or down on the beach- que the mojitos! 


 Afterwards a little shopping in town would have to occur!  

What would you be wearing?


I'd pack simple staples for day time- think jorts, tee's, tunics, nautical stripes, and gobs of accessories.   At night the weather would cool down a bit and I'd love to rock a long DVF dress similar to the one above (this one) or this incredible skirt with a tee.

Where would you be?


Thanks so much for having me, Sam!

Thanks Catherine!  Be sure to check out the Chic Geek here.
In other news, I'm on the Glitter Guide Tumblr!  Too fun.
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