April 30, 2011

Green Vegetarian

The other day I had a craving for this amazing sweet and sour bowl that one of my favorite local vegetarian restaurants, Green, serves. So Scott and I took a break from our studies and drove to Scottsdale for a lunch date.

It had been awhile since Scott and I had been to Green, so it was nice to walk into the restaurant and see new paintings hung up on wall, and also a new seating area (complete with handmade tables).

Scott and I both got my favorite dish, the sweet and sour bowl. It has brown rice, crispy tofu (you can get fresh or mock chicken instead), tons of veggies, pineapple, and apples all covered in a sweet and sour sauce. To say it was anything but amazing would be an understatement. I just love this dish.

Do you have any great vegetarian restaurants in your town? What's your favorite dish from there?

April 29, 2011

Afternoon Stripes

Lately I've realized that stripes are my comfort zone. I've always known that neutral colors and cardigans have been within my safe place with regards to clothing, but recently it hit me that stripes fall into that category as well.

Dress: Levi's; Bangles: Vintage; Tights: c/o We Love Colors; Flats: Gap

I purchased this dress on a mega sale at Levi's awhile back and it has quickly become one of my favorites. It seems like I have been adding to my stripes collection consistently lately, but I see no problem in that.

In 2008 my mom and I took a trip to Portland, Oregon. While there we stopped in the neatest vintage shop in downtown that had the most amazing clothing and accessories in it. I remember at the time I really want a souvenir from Portland that didn't consistent of a cheesy Portland t-shirt, so when I spotted these two bangles I just knew they had to be mine.

I kind of love how my tights matched this door. Scott said my outfit was complimentary to the building, which I love. I think it's fun matching my surroundings!

My hair is getting lonnggg!

Today I'm up in Cottonwood and I'm taking in the the cooler weather while I can. I just love all the trees up here, and promise to take as many pictures as I can.

What are your comfort zones when it comes to clothes?

April 28, 2011

Spring Spots

I know I've mentioned this before, but I just love my town's historic downtown area. It's full of quirks, pretty brick buildings, charming boutiques and businesses that have been there for years (some decades). I love that this area has still kept its small town way, even though the epitome of the suburbs has popped up around it.

Cardigan: Target; Shirt: Lucky Brand; Purse: Vintage coach; Raccoon tail: gift from Courtney; Jeans: Levi's; Heels: Sofft

Around the corner from this pretty brick wall is a lovely shop full of vintage housewares and other pretty items. It's a bit overpriced for myself, but I just looking in there for inspiration. They owners sure have an eye for great vintage pieces and style.

The other evening Scott and I stopped our friends' Courtney and Sanford's place to drop something out and to see if we could pull our heads together to figure out something in Illustrator. While we were there Courtney pulled out these cute little tails that she had ordered offline. Back in October I noticed that she had one that she wore on her person, and I told her how much I liked it. Well, Courtney ended up getting two tails instead of one when she ordered it online, so she gave one to me. It was so sweet of her and I just love it! Thank you Courtney!

These pretty little heels are my shoes for graduation. They are comfortable, low to the ground, and cute! I'm excited to wear them with my dress + cap and gown!

The wind was something fierce the other day!

Today I'm heading up to Cottonwood to spend time with my parents, and to have a pre-birthday celebration. It's going to be much cooler up there, and I'm going to be in the woods. Such a change from my favorite city living. I'll try and take a few photos while I'm up there!

What's your historic downtown area like? If you're graduating this year, have you picked out what you're going to wear yet?

April 27, 2011

The Westward Ho

As my time of attending school in downtown Phenix begins to dwindle down I feel the need to reflect on some of the wonderful sites I have had the pleasure of seeing over the last few years. One of them is a historic building across the street from my school that has quite the story behind it.

Cardigan: JCrew; Vintage Camera Scarf: c/o Oh, Little Rabbit; Shirt: Levi's; Rose Camera bag: c/o Jo Totes; Moccasins: Minnetonkas; Coffee: Iced coffee via Starbucks

In 1928 the Westward Ho opened as the tallest hotel and building in Phoenix. In 1978 the hotel closed its doors, and re-opened in 1981 as a assisted living center. A shot of the hotel appears in the opening scenes of the Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho. I have read rumors that the hotel pictured in the movie wasn't actually the Westward Ho, but instead the Jefferson Hotel that still stands today. However, I feel confident in saying the WH was featured in the movie. I remember seeing the film for the first time during a movies in the park event in Central Phoenix, and thinking how cool it was to see a building that I look at every day featured in such a famous film.

On another note, the sweet husband and wife team that run the Oh, Little Rabbit shop sent me this pretty hand printed scarf. It has the loveliest print of a vintage duaflex esque camera on it, and and even features the company's name as the manufacture on the camera (such a cute detail). The couple that resides in the beautiful Northwest hand prints their sweet designs on t-shirts, accessories, journals, and home goods. All of their items are unique, and are printed on only the best fabrics (my scarf is made by American Apparel).

I really love my scarf, and the kindness and creativity behind Oh, Little Rabbit. If you haven't seen them around the blogosphere yet, I highly suggest you check out their shop for some inspiration, and a peek at their lovely designs.

This is an outfit I wore to class. I was staying late this day to take photos at an event that was happening in our building. My Jo Tote was the perfect bag to carry around all of my school/purse things, and my camera. I seriously love being able to carry everything in one bag and not have to worry about my camera getting messed up from my other things hitting it.

This week I am still in crunch mode for school, working on projects consistently, making time to eat and sip iced coffee (a must), and getting ready to go to Cottonwood for the weekend to see my parents (they're there on business) and celebrate my upcoming birthday with them! I still can't believe I'm going to be 23 next Monday! Geez!

What are you up to today? Do any of the buildings in your town have a fun history behind them?

April 26, 2011

An interview with Ilene of Much Love, Illy

Today we have a lovely interview with Ilene of Much Love, Illy. Ilene is the sweet lady behind the Much Love, Illy Etsy shop where she sells her beautiful handmade headbands and earrings. She has the most fun personality, and is super easy to talk to. Earlier this month I had the chance to meet Ilene and it was so fun putting a face to all the fun outfit posts I love to look at and read about each week.

Meet Ilene:

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

-My name is Ilene, 26 years old currently reside in South Carolina. Some random tid bits about me: I'm engaged to my best friend and cannot wait to be married to him! I love to snack all the time - especially popcorn, candy and PB Oreos (not all together of course!) And besides snacking, I cannot live without my cup of Joe. Love it - especially with tons of liquid creamy. Tons.

2. What got you interested in blogging, and how long have you been blogging for?

-I started blogging February of 2010. Lots of family and friends were moving away from Chicago, so I wanted to make sure that I was able to keep in touch with them. Most of them had blogs so I decided to join the bandwagon on this. Close to that time I had start my Etsy shop and so I paralleled my blog with it (note the name) and began to include shop updates but also gave my customers the chance to get to know the artist behind the shop. And besides my Etsy shop, blogging became a huge creative outlet for me that I needed during that season of my life.

3. Can you tell us about your style?

-Eclectic, I think is the best way I can describe it. I love experimenting new things - so I can go from the chic and urban look to the next day rocking the vintage-bohemian wear. I'm a huge fan of accessories and lots of color so lots of my outfits have that incorporated in the outfits too.

4. You started the very successful "Much Love illy" Etsy shop. What inspired you to open your shop, and what do you love most about owning your own handmade, small business?

-I have always been into art and anything creativity really. For the longest time, one of my best friends kept encouraging me to start an Etsy shop. She started one and was loving it! We often set up art dates; she would make her Etsy orders and I would paint or make cards. Finally, close to Thanksgiving weekend (when everyone was out of town), I had some extra time on my hands and just buckled down and opened up a shop. I mainly stocked the shop up with cards but then once the cards sold, I got kinda bored and decided to try a different product - poppy garland headbands! The shop has then expanded from headbands to jewelry to other types of hair accessories. It's been such an awesome experience!

What I love most about having my shop is being to dream and design and then actually create a product that you hope someone will love and wear proudly. I love getting twitpics or emailed photos of people loving my work. There is something exhilarating when someone you don't even know is wearing your stuff!

5. What are your favorite trends for spring?

-Ooooh I am loving soooo many trend right now. I'm obsessed with wide leg jeans, floral prints, big bags and chunky platforms. I especially all the bright, bold colors that everyone is rocking right now!

6. When you're not busy blogging, what can you be found doing?

-Spending time with my family and fiance. Grabbing coffee with girlfriends. Watching movies and reading books. Photography. At the Sonic Drive thru drinking strawberry limeages.

7. With regards to fashion, what do you draw inspiration from?

-Probably everywhere and everything. I have some of my favorite fashion blogs that I keep up with (ahem, Tea Talk - *wink*), and I look forward to my subscriptions to Instyle and Lucky coming every month. My mom has awesome fashion taste so I also bounce things off of her a lot.

8. If you had to pick one outfit to wear the rest of your life, what would it look like?

-Oh fun question! Right now with my obsession with wide leg jeans, I'd go with a pair of those with a bright floral tank and some chunky platforms!

9. I recently learned (from you) that your younger sister takes almost all of your daily outfit photos. How do you think that has affected your bond with your younger sister, and what's your personal outlook on outfit photos (because I know I see some pretty silly, and sweet photos often on your blog)?

-My sister.Ashley, and I are already super close (there are actually three of us total and we are super tight!), so we have lots of fun taking them together every day. I obviously already feeling comfortable with her, and she isn't afraid to tell me if I look awkward and need to shift a pose. And yes, the goofy photos definitely make it in there every day. Sometimes, Ashley will shout out something like "Do the dougie!" and I start dancing the dougie (or try to!) so she helps me a ton on making the photos fun and random.

As for my personal outlook on outfit photos, I love showing off my personality in them. I don't like being too serious 'cause I really don't take myself too seriously all the time so why should my photos? I guess like everything else I do in life, I just like being me - and this is me: goofy, silly and random!

10. Do you have any advice for aspiring small business owners? What about someone interested in giving color in their daily wardrobe a shot (something you are great at, might I add), but is a little weary to?

-First, advice for aspiring small business owners...I'd say: Don't be afraid of risks. Like any big dream, you can't hold back. Get yourself and your product out there. Present stellar photos and find yourself a mentor, someone you can trust and can give you honest feedback when you need it. Seriously, you won't know unless you try.

Second in regards to adding color to your daily outfit, start small if you are afraid to go with the big and bold. For example, if you don't feel like rocking the loud top or the colorful pants, start by adding colorful accessories! Accessories do lot to adding a pop of color to your outfit. The next time you go shopping or raiding your closet, find bright colored jewelry or rocking a pair of color popping shoes does a lot to a more neutral-toned outfit. Keep everything else toned down but then bring out some color with a touch of accessory. It really does make a difference!

Thank you so much Ilene for doing this interview with me! Don't forget to check out Ilene's blog and shop for some daily inspiration and a peek at what pretty pieces she is currently working on.


April 25, 2011

The Sirrine House

Have you ever seen something in your neighborhood that you know you have driving past a million times before but have never noticed it. Well, while driving to see The Black Keys the other week Scott and I drove past the sweetest looking old house that I must have driven passed so many times growing up, but for some odd reason never saw it there (or maybe I just wasn't that into vintage homes back then, maybe).

Dress: Target; Rust microfiber tights: c/o We Love Colors; Oxfords: Steve Madden

The Sirrine House was built in 1896 by Joe Sirrine for his new bride. Today it sits as a beautiful landmark, and also a historic home that offers guided tours from October through March (although I read that tours may be on hold due to budget cuts in the city).

The home has three rooms, and an amazing wrap-around porch. In the 1980's it was restored to its original state after years of different occupants inhabiting it. I found no creepy stories about it, but I can only image the stories that the sturdy, old walls hold.

This Victorian era home has everything I love about old houses (and I can't even see the inside!). It has the most beautiful brick, pretty trimming, and the prettiest picket white fence that surrounds the home and the land it sits on. It would be the perfect home to live in!

The house has this wonderful white fence surrounding it. I really wanted to sit on it, but I was just a little too short to jump up on it on my own. You should have seen Scott lifting me up to set me on it. Such a funny site!

The house also has its own gazebo right next to it! It would be the most perfect place for an afternoon spent reading, sipping iced coffee, and having a picnic lunch.

This particular afternoon I brought along Scott and I's Canon AE-1 to take a few photos. I am making it my goal to take more photos on our SLR cameras. Film always seems to make the photos we take that much more special.

Tokyo Dreamer Strap: c/o Photojojo

I truly love this little home and foresee lots of photos on its pretty porch.

Do you have any historical homes in your neighborhood that are on display?

April 24, 2011

April Sponsor Highlight Post

This month I was yet again blessed to have such amazing sponsors, and I would love to introduce them all to you. First though, I would like to say that it is an honor to have them as sponsors, and I really appreciate all of their, as well as your support. Meet my sponsors!

We Love Colors - "We Love Colors is a unique clothing company founded in 2003 as a family run business. We offer the best selection of colors in tights, leggings, fishnets, socks and dancewear, and more! Everything is hand dyed in Miami, FL and shipped all over the world! We have items for women, children, and men from kids to plus sizes. We Love Colors is currently offering over 50 solid colors and 13 hand dyed splash colors. We hope you enjoy our colors and find your own unique expression with We Love Colors apparel."

Tikkr Watches - TIKKR (tick-ur) watches surfaced when Cory (Stout) discovered a simple, stylish design overseas that was too fun to let sit on a pier somewhere off the coast of China. He wanted to make sure everyone in the states could sport a clean, durable, watch that added a twist of customization with each band. Watch out for more fresh, new accessories from TIKKR that will add a touch to your personal style.

Jo Totes - Jo Totes provide ladylike bags for women to safely carry their cameras and a lens or two on a daily basis, at photo shoots, and while traveling.

The padded interior can be custom fitted not only to protect a camera and lenses, but also to accommodate and organize items like a wallet, music, phone, keys, cosmetics and more. Padding is sewn directly into the interior lining on all four sides and the bottom of the bags. The bottom is also equipped with four metal feet to guard your bag from rough, dirty, or damp surfaces. Inside of each Jo Tote are removable pads which are completely customizable—you can use as many or as few pads as you wish, arranged in the way that best suits your camera, lenses, and other items. Each bag also includes pockets, strong and comfortable shoulder straps, a top-zippered closure, and a removable cross-body strap.

Oh, Sweet Joy - Hi! I'm Kim, the designer & seamstress behind Oh, Sweet Joy! Nice to meet you :) I love the Lord, my husband, my ENTIRE family, design, fashion, sewing, decorating, crafting, DIY, flowers, baking, cupcakes, robin's egg blue, Texas A&M University (WHOOP!), and my beloved Dr. Pepper. I'd rather have a bag of skittles or some swedish fish than any form of chocolate. Straight up corn syrup, please.

I hope you enjoy shopping around and sincerely hope that you find something for yourself or for a friend that will bring some joy into your life! Find more from Oh, Sweet Joy! at the following social media time suckers: twitter facebook blog flickr

Busy Bee Lauren - "Well, way back in the day, at the peak of Myspace's awesomeness, I wrote a blog post on the really lame form of a blogging section. It was all about my professed hatred for "rolly backpacks". It was pretty much the single most amazing piece of literature I have ever produced. In fact, I will never pass the level of awesome of that particular Myspace blog post. It was beautiful. Too bad it suffered a painful death when I deleted my Myspace for the first of 5 other following occasions.

A year passed and I heard whisperings of something called "Blogger" followed by a word that I am pretty sure resembled "awesome". Since I like words that sound like "awesome", I decided to give it a shot.

And here I am. My blog follows from when I was 18 and waiting for Ted, while he was on his mission to Madagascar. To him coming home, us dating and then getting married in September of 2008. Lately I have been documenting our adventures as we live in this crazy world together as a silly, happy married couple of 23 (me) and 24 (him) year olds"

Mixie - "In 2005, she (Shannon) decided it was time to launch even more cuteness and viola…Mixie was born! Named after her nickname Mc (Mick), the Mixie line was to be a rebirth of vintage inspiration and all that had been learned thus far. Mixie is dreamed up and stitched in Southern California by sweet happy close-knit people. Shannon has always loved the homegrown feel of her little business. “It’s the perfect blend of arts and crafts and fashion.”

Opal Vintage - "Opal was born from a love of vintage goodies, and the process of finding them. I get my kicks by going out and searching for the perfect find. Instead of ending up on an episode of Hoarders, or with a husband who questions my sanity, I decided to turn my love of hunting for treasures into Opal - named after my daughters birthstone - an online shop where you can buy the wonderfully unique items I find.

I have soft spots for baby clothes, kitschy home decor, bakeware, milk glass and womens accessories such as belts and boots. I love taking something that someone tossed aside and turning it into something gorgeous and one of a kind. You will occasionally see redesigned pieces in the shop that I have painted, put new hardware on, etc. These have extra love packed in."

Moorea Seal - Hello there! I'm Moorea Seal. I love to keep busy while leaving room for a little bit of daydreaming and gallivanting through the woods.

Where I Live: I live in Seattle, Wa but grew up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California. And I spent my earliest childhood in England, playing hide and seek with imaginary friends in the wheat fields surrounding my home. My reverence for nature, whimsy, and touches of magic show up in everything that I make. :)

What I do: I am a designer and illustrator for Freckled Nest, I have my own jewelry business and Etsy shop, I do freelance illustration, and I make music.

Campfire Chic - "I love being outdoors, especially hiking and camping. There is nothing better than lounging outside with a good book!

I started Campfire Chic during the summer of 2010 while camping in Sequoia National Park with my boyfriend of four years. What started as an Etsy shop with a few bits of ribbon and some wooden postcards and a blog discussing a few things here and there has turned into so much more. I now sell embroidery patterns, cross-stitched goods, notebooks, and more. I hope to see it grow even more this year :)

In addition to the outdoors, I love reading, scrapbooking, cross stitching, taking photos, blogging/social networking in general, going to thrift stores/antique malls/swap meets on the weekends, searching for treasures in used book stores, and traveling with my boyfriend."

Pamplemousse 1983 - “My name is Maryam and I'm an Aries. I like to take pictures. I teach art at an Elementary School. It's pretty much the best job ever. I am pregnant with my first child who is due in June.” Maryam also runs the Pampelmousse 1983 Etsy shop where she sells her fine art prints, along with screen printed baby onesies.

That Much Further West -" Hi! I'm M, a twenty-four year old who lives with her boyfriend and our two cats (Hank&Annie). I'm currently a full time student at my local CC and plan on transferring to a 4-year and majoring in Biology and eventually getting my masters in Marine Biology. I currently live in Northern California but LA will always have my heart. I'm all about cooking, grubbing, chuggin' ice cold beers, cocktails, road trips, and photography."

Garden of Eden Designs - Garden of Eden Designs - "My life's number one aspiration is to make the impossible, possible. It seems like a very demanding goal, but in reality I solve it by making my passions my guide. I grew up in a very creative family and love expressing myself. Whether I am making jewelry, designing clothes, or painting, I love sharing my creativity with others which is why I started Garden of Eden Designs and my blog be one of kind."

The Dainty Squid - The Dainty Squid - "I'm Kaylah. Queen of thrifting who can usually be found with a camera in her hand and cats on her lap. (...) I live in a small town in Ohio and I run this blog, as well as my business of the same name."

Thank you again to everyone! Have a very happy day!