July 31, 2013

Shore Handmade Jewelry Giveaway - Close

Today we have a lovely giveaway from Shore Handmade Jewelry! They are offering one lucky Tea Talk reader their choice of one beautiful piece of jewelry from their online shop.

To enter you must:
1. Follow "By The Shore."
2. Leave a comment with your favorite item from the shop.

Bonus entries!
1. Follow shop owner, Veronika, on Instagram.
2. Or follow via Facebook. 
(Please leave an additional comment for the bonus entry.)

This giveaway is open to US, Canadian, and International readers.

Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, August 7th at 11:59 MST, and the winner will be announced the following day.

Good luck, and a big thank you to Shore for hosting such a lovely giveaway!
-Chelsea xo

EDIT: Congratulations, Shy!


I've had fall on my mind lately and I've come to a reasonable explanation (other than my already obsession with fall), it's because I've seen so many mentions of pre-fall floating around the interwebs (and even in stores) recently. I've never been quite good about separating my wardrobe between seasons (I could wear fall styles and colors every day of the year!), but I thought that since we are in this "pre-fall" time, that if would be fun to pair one of my favorite summer accessories - these darling Tacita wedges from Blowfish Shoes - with a look that is more on the fall side of things. I haven't really done much research on what's in for fall, but I already have a few ideas up my sleeve of styles that I would like rock during the cooler months.

Outfit details:
Bloom necklace: c/o Shore
Vest: Target
Top: Nordstrom
Jeans: Levi's
Bracelet: Vintage
Tacita wedges: c/o Blowfish Shoes

Yesterday Scott and I spent a little time in Tempe before heading over to our friend's Josh and Sarah's home. I've never been very skilled in walking in tall sandals, but these Tacita made strolling around extra easy. Blowfish Shoes has started to launch their new fall line and I am SO excited about the styles coming in. So far the Script booties are my favorite, followed closely by the Kaution boots. It may feel like months away before it will actually be cool enough to comfortably wear boots, booties, coats, scarves, and sweaters, but when you work in a freezing cold office and sit right under a vent (like I do!), fall wear is right around the corner.

What pre-fall styles have you been loving?
-Chelsea xo

July 30, 2013

Emerald Gems

With my summer partnership with Starbucks coming to a close, I wanted to share my last two photos, or collages rather, which focus on how to wear and accessorize with Pantone's color of the year, Emerald, along with an iced Starbucks beverage. While shades of emeralds and greens are abundant in others places during this time of year, we have to get a little creative around the Phoenix area. During this project I found joy in searching for shades of emeralds and greens that I might not have noticed otherwise in my daily surroundings. Among my favorite finds were this pretty dress from Modcloth, the succulents behind  LGO, this mint gelato, cactuses in one of my favorite spaces in Mesa, the sweetest polka dotted patch of grass, and my green Starbucks straw, of course.

How have you been styling up Pantone's color of the year? Where have you most recently seen this vivacious color? -Chelsea xo

July 29, 2013

West Coast

While listening to some random Pandora Station this weekend, West Coast by Coconut Records popped on. I've loved this song for years now (wasn't it on an episode of The OC?), and I feel like each time I hear it, it just gets better and better. Scott still isn't convinced that it's really Jason Schwartman singing (I can see how it might be hard to believe the connection between his voice and the actor we've grown to love), but we both really dig his music. I'm thinking it's about time for a new record, and I'm crossing my fingers for an annoucement one of these days - perhaps on my favorite music website from high school - Pitchfork (ohh, I thought I was so cool looking at this on the library computers using a proxy (?) and reading up on my fav musicians - haha, oh being a teenager was fun).

Speaking of music, I've been on the hunt for some new jams to check out lately. Occasionally, I feel like I get into a musical slump where I only listen to albums that were recorded 10+ years ago (which is nice, but not always relevant). When the fall rolls around, I always find myself searching for that perfect album that will set the season - so this year I figured I would start a little early and ask for any and all suggestions from you, my sweet readers! What have you been listening to lately?

Albums from ten years ago (hello Copeland's The Medicine Tree and The Format's Interventions and Lullabies) have not been the only thing on rotation lately - this sweet Bloom necklace from Shore Handmade Jewelry, curated by my sweet friend Veronika of By The Shore (formerly Girl and Closet), has been on major rotation lately. I love how dainty and sweet the necklace is, and how it can be mixed and matched with anything in my wardrobe. I can also tell it really was made with a lot of love and care, and will certainly be a piece that I wear and love for years to come. Keep your eyes peeled, you just may see a giveaway from Shore around here sometime very soon!

Outfit details:
Sweater: c/o Jcpenney
Top: Ann Taylor
Bloom necklace: c/o Shore Handmade Jewelry
Bracelet & watch: Kate Spade & Fossil
Bag: Madewell
Leopard Kilty Mocs: c/o Minnetonka Moccasins

I plan on starting off the morning with a giant iced coffee, followed by a busy work day, and topped off with a trip to Target for "back to school supplies." I still get to purchase those even though I'm not headed back to school this fall, right? Please tell me yes!

What are you up to today? What song and/or band are you loving right now?
-Chelsea xo

July 25, 2013

Dating My Fiancé

Last night Scott and I went on a date, but this was no ordinary date, no, it was a Costco date! I've heard of couples going on dates to Costco before, and perhaps have giggled a time or two at the thought of it. Well, I'm here to tell you that Costco date nights really can be fun when you have a great co-pilot to push the cart, make jokes with about the lifetime supply of any frozen item you can think of, and get berries sundaes with at the end. Is this what growing up feels like? If so, sign me up!

Jokes aside, we've really been having some fun lately. Over the past month or so we've spent time with sweet friends, had dinner dates to some of our favorite restaurants, shared a cappuccino and stayed up way late (well, not for this night owl, but for my early bird), rented our first Redbox movie (it may be a little crazy that we're just now trying this, but it's an awesome service), worked on our wedding plans and started the hunt for our attire (promise he hasn't seen any dresses, though). All in all, we've had a pretty nice month and I'm excited to see what August will hold.

Outfit details:
Blouse: Ross
Bag: Madewell
Bracelets: vintage + new assortment
Caroline sandals (on super sale now!): c/o Blowfish Shoes

This morning I woke up to the sound of tremendously loud thunder and a big rain storm happening outside. Again, I feel like the month of July has been real kind to us, weather wise this time, and I love that I've already had the chance to pull out a new "for fall" coat that I bought on sale for $7 earlier this summer. Although the rain didn't last long today, I have a feeling it will be back very soon.

What kind of date nights do you enjoy going on? Are you already dreaming about fall (like me - always thinking to the next season)?

-Chelsea xo

July 24, 2013

Some Days

Some days (ok, most days) call for light layers, bright red lipstick, and a comfy pair of flats. Lately this has been my no-brainer outfit for work, and is continuously what I feel most comfortable and confident in. Since graduating with my Master's and starting my full-time job, I've definitely seen a change in my everyday wears (leaning more toward classic and professional rather than the mood of the moment - loud, bold, punky...you get the picture). However, I feel like I'll always have a little bit of that grad student mentality in me, after all, you can take the student out of grad school, but it's awfully hard to take the night owl, evening coffee slinging, jean jacket + lots of buttons wearing, communications theory nerd mentality out of the lifelong student. Am I right?

These Nakato flats from Blowfish Shoes have been on constant repeat lately - perfect for running around in, and perfect for a day at the office. I've always been a sandals everyday in the summertime kind of gal, but I've been trying my best to rock some cute flats and booties at work. These flats are also on super sale right now on the Blowfish Shoes website, so I'm thinking about picking up the two other colors to add some variety in my work wear wardrobe (a slow, but fun progression).

Outfit details:
Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples
Lacey top: c/o Emerging Thoughts
Grey t-shirt: Target
Jeans: Levi's
Purse: Louis Vuitton
Nakato flats: c/o Blowfish Shoes

My work day has been going by pretty nicely. I swung by my usual morning coffee stop earlier and the barista said, "See you tomorrow!" His comment gave me a good giggle, and reminded me how much I like being a regular (means I'm starting to get into a groove with my new schedule and daily jam).

What ensemble do you feel most comfortable and confident in?

-Chelsea xo

July 22, 2013

Peach Pickin'

Sharing these photos is well over due, as they were taken back in May on a beautifully cool day, but since they include one of my favorite yearly activities (peach picking!) I thought I would still go ahead and post them. Every May Scott and I got peach picking - usually at Schnepf Farms - and come home with a bag full of tiny peaches and a satisfied look on our faces (because where else can you pick fruit - other than oranges, lemons, and grapefruits - around this area?

We got to the farm pretty early and spent around an hour checking out all of the booths (we went during the actual Peach Festival), and picking out the perfect peaches to bring home with us. Per usual, we took the unmarked path out to the peach orchard (somehow we always end up off the trail), and ending up going up and down the orchards looking for any nice sized peaches that were left unpicked (we went pretty late in the season).

Scott has always been great at spotting the perfect peach, whether it be up high or down low. He also always seems to find the best ways to enjoy the fruits of our labor, and has made peach desserts and peach pancakes in the past - this year we had peach cobbler!
He will always be the peach of my eye!

Outfit details:
Hat: c/o Jcpenney
Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples
Dress: c/o Mixie
Belt: F21
Sandals: Saltwater Sandals

I started off my morning today with a 7am doctor's appointment, but followed it up with a stop at The Coffee Shop in Gilbert on my way to work (best cupcakes of my life!). Work has been busy, busy, but I'm excited that the day is moving by fast and that I Scott and I are going to Liberty Market after work to celebrate their E61 espresso machine's birthday with a free cappuccino!

What's your favorite summertime activity? What are you up to today?
-Chelsea xo

July 18, 2013

Southwest Casual

Recently Scott and I have been spending a lot of time in Scottsdale. Although the area is known for its million dollar houses, high-end stores, and old west themed downtown area - hidden in between all of this lies a few unique gems that really bring color and life to the area. Lately we've been enjoying exploring the area a little more, discovering dive(ish) bars that have great happy hours, and other little spots along the way. I've always been a Phoenix kind of gal, but Scottsdale sure has its perks too!

I've been wearing this black and while polka-dotted top on the regular lately (doubling up during the week and weekend for maximum wear - it's my current fave), and I really wanted to share how pretty the back is. However, because of the color and the pattern, it's hard to see its true beauty, but I love how the layered fabric creates the illusion of an open back, and adds an extra element to what could be considered a basic blouse. I'm all about the simple and subtle details, and this blouse sure delivers both.

Outfit details:
Top: Nordstroms
Bag: Madewell
Bracelets: Kate Spade
Leopard Kilty Mocs: c/o Minnetonka Moccasins

My work day has so far consisted of a meeting, lots of coffee, and my regular daily jam. This evening Scott and I are headed to Phoenix to meet our sweet friends, Sarah and Josh, and to celebrate their sweet baby girl that is due in November! We're meeting for happy hour and I couldn't be more excited to see them - its been too long!

What have you been up to today? Where's your favorite spot to go for happy hour?
-Chelsea xo

July 16, 2013

Seeing Emerald

Lately I've been seeing emerald, and LOTS of it! Since partnering with Starbucks to showcase how to wear and accessorize with Pantone's color of the year, Emerald, along with an iced Starbucks beverage, the color emerald and other shades of green have been on my radar. Needless to say, I've been enjoying taking in all the different shades of green I've found in this desert home of mine (who knew Arizona had so much green to offer!). Over the past few weeks Scott and I spent some time exploring the Desert Botanical Garden (you can see the famous Chihuly glass in background of the top picture), as well as a budding urban garden right in downtown Mesa. Both spaces, being different and unique in their own ways, are equally as beautiful and definitely should not be missed if you're in the area.

We also recently enjoyed a date night at one of our favorite spots, La Grande Orange, and shared the most delicious green pizza (avocados galore!), and a minty gelato that is made in house. Both were delicious, and really hit the spot on such a warm summer evening. Lately, I've been leaning towards sipping on an emerald straw on the daily (the best way to get through the work day!), and also dreaming of cooler weather. Monsoon season has officially started in Arizona and the dark clouds and rain storms we've been having really have seem to awoken the whole area (everyone here loves a good rainstorm!).

Have you been toting the emerald straw around lately? What's your favorite Starbucks drink in the summer?
-Chelsea xo

July 15, 2013

InVESTed in Summer

I'll be the first to admit, summer has never really been my favorite season. However, with a new schedule and deciding to stick around AZ for the summer (first time ever!), I've been trying my best to make the most of this season - one iced coffee, trip to the mall to beat the heat, and summer photo shoot with my love at a time.

I picked up this vest before we headed to Kentucky in June and have worn it non-stop since. During my late teen years I had a jean vest that I bought from Urban that I wore all the time - in fact, I still wear it every once and awhile - and this vest feels like version 2.0 of an old favorite.

Outfit details:
Vest: Target
Top: Ann Taylor Necklace: c/o Black & Bronze
Lipstick: Nars' Heat Wave
Jeans: Levi's
Bag: Madewell
Flats: Dolce Vita

This afternoon I've got a trip to Starbucks in mind (there's one fairly close to my new office), and tonight I plan on getting caught up on a few blog related items and maybe working on a few wedding details with my sweet fiancé.

What has been keeping you busy this summer? What are you up to today?
-Chelsea xo

July 12, 2013

Black & White & Red All Over

You know that great joke that asks what's black, white, and red all over? A newspaper! Well, other than being quite funny to this journalist, the joke felt like it pretty much summed up this outfit - black, white, and red all over (my lips!). I wore this outfit to work this week, paired with a cardigan for my chilly office space, of course. My work is pretty laid back when it comes to office attire, but I feel best when in a dark pair of jeans, a nice blouse/top, and a pair of flats, booties, or nice sandals. I'm still working up the nerve to wear bold lipstick all day in the office, but I'm sure getting there (this day I wore a light pink lipstick earlier in the day, and then switched it up with my favorite orangey red)!

I'm still working on getting into a daily routine at work, but I feel like I now have a better handle on it at the end of week 2. I get there a little before 8am, put my lunch away, either grab some coffee from our kitchen (we have the nicest kitchen/eating area) or sip on my iced coffee that I brought for a few minutes while looking at emails - I should call this my "settling in" time. A few minutes later I go and chat with my immediate supervisor, and then head back to my desk to start on my work. I love that during this time the lights in the office are still off (we have tons of natural light, but something about having the lights off feels nice in the morning), and that the office is still very quiet and slow. About an hour later the lights will be on and the office will be buzzing, and I love that time almost just the same. We've got a great vibe going on in the office, and I feel so blessed to be a part of something so great. Sappy aside, I truly am so happy for this amazing opportunity and can't wait to settle more in and continue to grow with my position.

Outfit details:
Top: Ann Taylor
Necklace: c/o Black & Bronze
Bracelets: Kate Spade
Bag: Madewell
Jeans: Levi's
Gaby booties: c/o Blowfish Shoes

This afternoon there will most likely be a coffee run (I've been craving a warm latte of sorts - dreaming of pumpkin spice), and this evening Scott and I are hoping to go see a friend (hey, Mandy!) at the improv/comedy club she works at!

What does your work attire usually look like? What's your daily work routine like?

-Chelsea xo

July 11, 2013

Blowfish Shoes Giveaway! - Closed

Today we have an amazing giveaway from Blowfish Shoes! They are offering one lucky Tea Talk reader their choice of a pair of shoes from their online shop (might I recommend anything from their Summer collection - it's s lovely)!

To enter you must:
1. Be a follower of the Tea Talk blog via GFC, Bloglovin, or email.
2. Leave a comment telling us the pair of shoes you would pick if you won!

Bonus entries!
1. Follow them on Twitter.
2. Like them on Facebook.
3. Follow them on Pinterest.
(Please leave additional comments for each.)

Sorry, this giveaway is open only to U.S. readers.

Entries will be accepted until Thursday, July 18th at 11:59 MST, and the winner will be announced the following day.

Good luck, and a big thank you to Blowfish Shoes for hosting such an amazing giveaway!

-Chelsea xo
EDIT: Congratulations, #75-Grace Mitton! Thank you so much to everyone who entered!