May 31, 2011

An interview with Amanda of The Upside of Wonder

Today we have a lovely interview with Amanda of The Upside of Wonder. Amanda runs a sweet blog that features her daily outfit photos, and thoughts that are on her mind. She also runs a sweet feature called "Hello, Blogosphere!" where she features lovely fashion bloggers that people should know about.

Meet Amanda:

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

-My name is Amanda and I’m a 21 year old from the great state of Texas! I’m extremely goofy and terribly impatient. I lovelovelove to cook (and eat) and I can’t go a week without eating sushi. I like to think I’m well-rounded; I grew up doing swimming, violin, soccer, theatre and tennis. I’m currently a bio major and I think I want to focus on marine and freshwater biology, but that’ll probably change tomorrow. I’m very indecisive.

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

-I’ve been blogging for about a year and a half now. I got interested in blogging around the same time I started getting interested in vintage dresses. I found some amazing vintage-inspired blogs and I thought the girls’ styles were amazing! From there, I couldn’t help wanting to start my own blog and begin a little style transformation of my own. I really wanted to utilize the clothes I had in my closet instead of just sticking with t-shirts and jeans everyday!

3. Can you tell us about your style?

-I like to think my style is pretty simple, very colorful, and fun. I don’t like to feel restricted in my clothing, I much prefer to wear something that just flows and sort of has a life of its own! Since I’ve lived in Texas most of my life, I’ve become accustomed to the blazing heat and I tend to keep my outfits on the simpler side as opposed to lots of layers.

4. Your outfits and photos always have this great, natural look to them. How important do you think it is to have this type of consistency in your blog?

-You know, I wasn’t even aware of this…I guess it’s just my aesthetic! I think it’s important to an extent to have this consistency, but not completely necessary. As long as someone can read your blog and say “Hey that’s totally [your name here]’s style!” then that’s the important thing.

5. What are your favorite trends for summer?

-Haha, I just had to Google “summer fashion trends” because I have no idea what’s trending this summer and still don’t really know. I’m just looking forward to wearing lots of pretty white sundresses, lots of quirky prints, and hats. I’ve been a hat fiend lately.

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

-Well, right now I just started a new job and am also transferring to a new university this fall, so I have lots of stuff to do regarding those two things. Other than that, I’m usually hanging out with my family or friends or boyfriend, Gavin. Or I might be reading, or riding my bike, or playing tennis or guitar. But if I’m not doing any of the above, I’m probably eating. I’m a constant eater.

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

-Blogs, blogs, blogs. That’s basically the sole source of my fashion inspiration. I find that real girls dress so much more appealing than girls in magazines.

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

-It would be a cute little lightweight jumper dress with a fun print and definitely no sleeves. There would be some cute flats thrown in, a long necklace and possibly a hat. And there would definitely be no belts involved. I hate having to belt my dresses. It’s like being forced to eat peas at dinner when you are seven.

9. Looking back at some of your previous posts, I've noticed that you seem very drawn to softer, lighter tones. What is your favorite color/color palette to wear, and why?

-Based off of my eye color and skin color, I should be wearing lots of greens and purples, but for some reason I am just drawn to blue like nothing else. I think about half of my wardrobe contains some shade of blue. It’s like I’m a blue hoarder. Aside from that though, pretty much anything with color I will wear. I’m totally not into neutrals or pastels, it’s just not for me!

10. Do you have any advice for aspiring fashion bloggers? What about for someone who searching for their true style, but is having a hard time pinning it down?

-I say just have fun with it! Don’t do it to gain followers or sponsors, do it because you are really interested in developing/showcasing your own style. And really just be genuine. There are blogs out there that you can tell the girl is just being herself and there are also blogs where you can tell that everything is contrived, so just be you. And if you feel like you can’t pin down your “true” style, then don’t! To me, style is like playing dress-up. It should be fun and you can be anything you want to be. Don’t feel like you have to stick to the same things every day. I mean, who likes to place limits on themselves? :]

Thank you so much Amanda for doing this interview! Don't forget to check out Amanda's blog for some sweet outfit inspiration and a heads-up on some great fashion bloggers out there!


May 30, 2011

The Dead Wood Carvings

Hello from Craig, Colorado. I've been here since Wednesday afternoon and since then I haven't done a whole lot. The weather has been cold, rainy and windy, but I have found some time in between storms to grab some outfit photos.

Hat: Forever 21; Jean jacket: Levi's; Pull-over cardigan: Banana Republic; Shirt: Levi's; Bracelets: Kate Spade & J Crew; Jeans: Levi's; Boots: Steve Madden

This was my first attempt at outfit shots on my own while in Colorado for the summer. I'll admit, it wasn't easy. At home I have the world's best photographer (my wonderful boyfriend Scott), so taking my own photos (that I felt good about) was a bit of a task. I know over time though I should get the hang of it.

Throughout the town of Craig they have a ton of these wood carvings (I would say close to 100). A few years ago almost all the trees in the town were infected with a bug/virus of some sort that killed most of them.

Not wanting to get rid of all the beautiful trees in town (although they looked pretty awful) the town decided to have a party, a wood carving party where they had professional wood carvers come in and make beautiful, elaborate designs out of the dead wood. The one pictured in the background of these photos is one of my favorites. It reminds me of a spooky house during Halloween (my favorite time of year).

Most of the other wood carvings have a nature theme and included bears, and what I can only assume to be spirits of the forrest. Many of them actually remind me of totem poles.

Funny story- So while I was out taking these photos (in a public park nonetheless) I man in a forklift came driving behind me, right behind wood carving I was standing in front of. He stopped on the other side of the park for awhile, and then proceeded to pick up a nearby picnic table with his forklift and put it in the road that separates one side of the park from the other. I continued with taking my photos while he did this, as he had moved to the other side picking up a table there. I didn't feel too awkward taking photos in front of him, not until he stopped his forklift in the road, near the tables he had just sat down, turned off his ride and sat back in his bucket seat and folded his arms and stared at me. Oh man! This continued for almost five minutes while I finished, packed up, and got in my car. I could have possibly been in his way, but he could have certainly gone around me. I didn't mind having him there, but the staring was too much. Creepy man!

Hope everyone has a happy Memorial Day. It is windy and cold here again today, but I'm hoping the weather turns around soon. I want to go downtown and check out their mini celebration later!

What are you up to today? Have you been to Craig, or seen similar pretty wood carvings?

May 29, 2011

Taliesin West Part Two

Scott and I's trip to Taliesin West was awesome, and way overdue. I am so happy that we were finally able to go once our busy school schedules calmed down. The homes and landscape that we saw were beautiful, and unique. Here is a few peeks at what we saw:

These were everywhere! Our tour guide said Frank Lloyd Wright purchased these guys, along with hundreds of others, while on a trip to San Francisco. He put them throughout all of Taliesin West.

Our view of the Valley.

Pretty pool (not of the swimming type).

A huge Asian influence could be seen throughout Taliesin West.

These windows were so unique!

Scott and I both really enjoyed our tour of Taliesin West. We loved learning about the history behind the buildings, and the school, and enjoyed admiring all the neat design work that surrounded us.

Have you ever heard of/been to Taliesin West?

May 28, 2011

Taliesin West

This post is quite overdue, but its' still fun nonetheless. Anyways, right after school got over Scott and I thought it was finally time to drive up to Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's design school in Scottsdale. For Valentine's Day I promised Scott that I would take him there, but unfortunately our busy schedules got the best of us and we never made it out. However, when we finally did our afternoon was lovely, and full of interesting facts and beautiful design.

Dress: TJ Maxx; Bangle: Kate Spade; Flats: Ruby and Bloom; Bag: Coach

Sunglasses: Ray Bans: Shirt: Penguin; Shorts: Volcom; Shoes: Sperry's

Scott has been a long time Frank Lloyd Wright admirer, so it made total sense to go visit his design school since it's so close to home. Wright spent quite a bit of time here in his day, and has quite a few of his designs (buildings and homes) built in the state.

“Frank Lloyd Wright began building this desert masterpiece in 1937 as his personal winter home, studio, and architectural campus. Located on the beautiful Sonoran desert in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains in northeast Scottsdale, the site offers a broad range of guided public tours. Visitors experience firsthand Wright’s brilliant ability to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces.”

The day we went the weather was beautiful. We got there about 15 minutes before our tour was supposed to begin, but the people at the gift shop were kind enough to offer us tickets to go on the more extensive (and expensive) tour for the same price (it was just about to start).

The tour we went on took us around the home of Frank Lloyd Wright, and on the outer part of his design school. We stopped in Wright's office, living room, bedroom (teeny, tiny bathroom included), and in the auditorium of the school (which is still in use today). When we told the man at the gift shop that we were from Phoenix he seemed surprised. He told us that usually people don't explore what's in their own backyards (one of my favorite things to do!).

The living room, the outside featured in the below photo, was filled with uniquely designed furniture and art. Our tour guide said he would hold parties there often and that many celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggo, would be in attendance. Today the room is still used for monthly Saturday parties with the design school students.

Overall, our visit to Taliesin West was very enjoyable. We learned a lot of things we previously didn't know about Wright (like how a man once tried killing him by burning down his house because he was with a mistress), and also more about the school itself (students have to live in tents out in the desert during their time there).

I loved this building, which just happened to be right where our tour began.

Being there I felt very inspired by the past, so this vintage style dress I wore felt just right for the occasion. Check back tomorrow for some photos from our tour!

Have you ever been to/heard of Taliesin before? What about to any of Wright's other designed homes and buildings?

May 27, 2011

An interview with Katy of Kansas Couture

Today we have a lovely interview with Katy of Kansas Couture. Katy has an eye for color, and loves creating vintage inspired outfits that incorporate both masculine, and feminine looks. She truly has a unique, and lovely style and is someone I always go to for outfit inspiration.

Meet Katy:

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

-I live in the Kansas City area and work as a copywriter at an ad agency. I love clothes and the creativity that goes into putting outfits together.

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

-My sister-in-law introduced me to personal style blogs after I graduated from college. She said, "You could totally do this!" I was looking for a creative outlet at the time, and it seemed like a perfect fit, so I started one of my own. I have been blogging since September 2008.

3. Can you tell us about your style?

-My style is pretty eclectic and can range from super girly and dressy to minimal and casual. Common threads that run through most of my ensembles are vintage items or inspiration, bold colors, high-waisted silhouettes and heels.

4. You seem to have a great love for color. What do you think color adds to an outfit, and what is your favorite color(s) to style?

-Color is definitely one of my favorite fashion tools. I rarely wear an outfit without at least one pop of color. I think it adds interest in a simple way. It makes your style stand out and gives your look a bold, cheery feel. Goldenrod yellow has always been one of my favorite colors, but this season I can get enough coral, orange and bright pink.

5. What are your favorite trends for summer?

-Wide-leg jeans, shades of coral, color-blocking, bold stripes, hints of neon, platform wedges, longer skirts... the list goes on.

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

-Working, watching movies (especially at indie theaters), thrifting as much as I can, entertaining at my house, spending time outdoors with friends, family and my pug when the weather is nice and taking walks while listening to music.

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

-Other fashion blogs are my main source of inspiration. Other than that, I look to movies, old photographs, people I see on the street and the occasional magazine.

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

-Definitely an outfit that incorporates separates -- probably a pair of skinny jeans, a bright-colored blouse with some interesting details, a pair of comfortable but fabulous wedges, a blazer and some statement jewelry.

9. You seem to have an eye for mixing feminine and masculine looks. How do you keep your outfits so balanced? Which style do you prefer more?

-I think I'm truly drawn to both styles, which is why I mix them. I suppose my affinity for pink, bows and heels makes me a girly girl at heart, but you'll definitely see me in jeans more often than dresses. I'll reach for the ruffly blouse with glee, but I'm probably not going to pair it with an equally frilly skirt. I like to maintain a versatile wardrobe, so I have plenty of opportunities to mix things up according to my mood.

10. Do you have any advice for aspiring fashion bloggers? What about someone interested in wearing and mixing color, but doesn't really know where to start?

-For aspiring fashion bloggers, my advice would be to make your blog something you truly love, something that gives you fulfillment. It's unavoidable at times, but try not to compare yourself to others too much or place too much emphasis on what others will think. As for experimenting with color, find a shade you love. Pair it with neutrals at first. Once you're comfortable, add in a color from the same family. Then get more daring as you go. Don't worry about what colors go together. If you like the combination, then flaunt it!

Thank you so much for doing this interview, Katy! Don't forget to check out her blog for some daily outfit inspiration.

On a side note, I am no officially in Colorado and it's darn cold here. Today I'm hoping to take my first outfit photo up here and I already know that I'm going to have to be bundled up! Oh my! Have a great Friday everyone!


May 26, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane

Today I'm leaving on a jet plane to Colorado. I already know it's going to be a long, and emotional day. Leaving home is one thing, but leaving Scott is a million times harder. I already can't wait to reunited in July.

Promise to check in once I'm situated in Colorado.

May 25, 2011

Crochet Summer

I may or may not have an obsession with breakfast dates, especially ones at Liberty Market. A few days ago Scott and I went on a little breakfast date so that I could get my favorite yogurt + granola + dried fruit dish, and so we could share cortaditos (more on that later).

Crochet top: Levi's; Grey shirt: Gap; Quartz ring: Stone & Honey; Jeans: Levi's; Sandals: Saltwater Sandals

So before our breakfast came Scott and I drank mini cortaditos, which are mini lattes plus loads of raw sugar. They are a little intense (super sweet, and the espresso is strong), but they are so worth it.

Can you believe you can get a whole bowl of this drink? WOW! It must be SOO sweet!

On this particular morning I had this boho/hippie state-of-mind thing going on. Since we're on the verge of summer (it has been in the 90's all week), I'm going to attribute it to that. I just wanted (and still do) to wear braids in my hair and have it be wavy all the time (something that seems to be very hard for this naturally bone-straight hair girl).

Anyways, while waiting for our food we found out there was a bit of a mix-up and someone else got Scott's blueberry pancakes (woops!), but the restaurant was kind enough to offer us breakfast on them.

Best breakfast, ever!

When it comes to pancakes, I'm hard to impress (my grandma make the best), but Scott's blue berry pancakes were definitely impressive.

After finishing our delicious breakfast we headed outside to enjoy the sun and snap a couple of photos.

I'm still obsessed with this huge quartz ring I bought from Stone and Honey. When I'm in Colorado I'm hoping to find some unique jewelry. Every summer I seem to find something neat up there, so I'm hoping this summer isn't an exception.

Today is my last full day in Arizona before I head out for the summer. I have so many little errands to run, and I'm going to try and avoid as many melt-downs as possible (leaving is a very hard thing to do, and the last day always seems to bring on the tears). I am looking forwarding to spending all day with Scott and just enjoying each other's company. He keeps me grounded, and always knows the right things to say.

Have you ever tried a cortadito before? What's your favorite coffee drink?