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Gift Guide 2016 Smart Buys Uncategorized

Gift Guide for Your Gal Pal

November 16, 2016

It’s almost that time of year. The gift giving extravaganza season.

While I love giving gifts, I struggle to pick out items or experiences for those around me. Anyone else feel this way?

I know what would like, but it is so hard to pick for others. Even if you know them really well!

With that in mind, I have created a gift guide for your gal pals (or sister) that covers a variety of options all under $100. These are tried and true products that I would recommend and thus great options for those ladies around you.


  1. Voluspa Candle
  2. Sugar Paper 2017 Planner
  3. H&M throw
  4. Kendra Scott Addie Drop Earrings
  5. J. Crew Marled Socks (similar J. Crew Factory socks)
  6. Womens Cubs Jersey
  7. 52 Lists for Happiness or here
  8. Leather TOMS  or here


I truly recommend any of these items.

For those of you who have friends who are less girly or enjoy more neutral options, I’d highly recommend the TOMS, marled socks, or list book. I own these TOMS and really love them. I recommend selecting half a size down as they stretch for most people. The list book is another favorite. This book is pretty and offers a new inspiration every week. For those that want to think but not log every thought they’ve ever had, this is the book.

For those friends that are more girly, I’d recommend the Kendra Scott earrings. While I personally love the option above, Kendra Scott sells so many other designs that are fun and unique. You can check out these options at Nordstrom or Kendra Scott.

Finally, for those of you who love the Chicago Cubs, or have a pal who has similar good taste ;] , this jersey is a very cute option. Come spring season, it will be the gift that just keeps giving.

I hope these items help inspire you as the gift giving season amps up. While these items are wonderful they are not the end-all-be-all. Being a friend is.

What picks would you recommend for the season?



May 17, 2016

Have you ever noticed this classic Pendleton pattern in home images of rustic cabins? Pendleton is one of those classic brands that creates quality products such as wool blankets, bags, and shirts.

I love seeing the same Pendleton pattern in images of cabins because it reminds me of nostalgic family and adventure times.

Here’s how this pattern has carried over to other products.


A tote:



Pendleton Tote

A beach towel:


Pendleton Beach Towel

Another tote from a different brand but similar pattern:



The look is so simple and colorful all at the same time.


Best Baby Shower Buys

April 26, 2016

I feel like I have to preface this- I am not and will not be pregnant anytime soon. Phew. Now that that’s over with on to the good stuff.

I am coming to that age where everyone around me is starting to have kids. My siblings and various relatives have kiddos galore as do some of my friends and acquaintances. The best part about this is that I LOVE kids but do not have to have a kid of my own to peruse cool kid stuff at buy-buy-baby. In fact, I get to do that thing where I’m all like “No, no…not for me” and go have a bourbon afterwards. Kids are such a gift though! – and I will get there but just not yet :]

So for those of you wondering what to get an expecting family or looking for great registry selections for yourself, here are some suggestions I have for tried and true gifts/items that will actually get use.

  1. Bottle drying rack

grass to dry

Buy here, here, (note: you can use Bed Bath & Beyond coupons at buy-buy-baby)

Y’all. This is one of my go-to gifts. I love the feel of this faux-grass drying rack for bottles and other bottle bits. It’s so fun and happy. Who thought of this!??!?!? I must meet them.

2. Bottle Drying Rack Accessories

drying rack accessory

Buy here.

twigs for drying

Buy here

I just..oh man. These are too good. These pieces are designed to fit in the grass mat for accessories. How cool are those flowers and twigs. Again. This design team is a genius.

I have actually seen many people use the grass and accessory bits and they like them a lot. Personally, I want one to dry my highball glasses. Your welcome.

3. Skip*Hop Diaper Bag

skip hop

skip 2

Buy here, here

Granted, there are a lot of great diaper bags out there, but this one has the added benefit of looking more like a tote than a diaper carrier. Its sleek, it’s not overly bulky, and it’s wipeable. The new moms that have it love it.

4. All the soft bibs

Soft bibs are great for kids. I like to sew bibs for people with “minky” material on the back and a fun print on the front. If you need one contact me or I have a sweet family member who also makes bibs on etsy..she is stellar too so contact for details.

5. All the wipeable bibs

I personally like soft bibs, but there’s something to be said for wipeable bibs-especially when kids get to the yogurt eating phase.

6. A cozy and feeding friendly cardigan for the mom to be

Momma’s to-be need love too!!! Think about it. You love the kid you have but are exhausted and just want to be cozy put somehow kempt- so I’ve heard. A draped cardigan is the way to go! Here are some of my favorite picks.

Option 1

Option 2

7. Plain white onesies in lots of sizes

You cannot go wrong with a pack of white onesies. They go with everything and are classic baby.

8. Diapers

Check with the parent first. Some may opt for cloth diapers and that is a-ok. If the parent is going the disposable route, I highly recommend buying various sizes of diapers. It’s something that will definitely get use.

9. Savings Bonds

Because who doesn’t like money for their kid down the road. You are looking toward the future- you bright star you.

10. Books

I have got to plug literacy as a go-to thing that you want to start in on early with your child. Reading, writing, critical thinking skills, and creativity are all so important.

Books are also great gifts!! You can pick a story that you like or that may carry a special message for the kiddo.

When picking books here is what you should know:

  • Infants see black, white, and red colors most clearly. Books in these schemes are common for young babies and toddlers for that reason.
  • Board books- meaning those heavy cardboard like books- are great because they are more durable. Also from a parent or nanny perspective there are typically less words which is wonderful…this after I just plugged literacy.
  • Don’t be afraid to pick slightly older 3-6 year old books. This is like a new gift for kids when they get to that age. Parents can read these books allowed when younger too!
  • Finally!!! You need to know about Indestructibles. These books are the bees knees. They are specially designed so kids can not break, rip, tear, etc. the book.


There you have it. My top ten baby shower gift picks. Any other suggestions?


And so it goes…

March 17, 2016

I hate to post just for the sake of posting, but I am so terribly behind.

I have lots of ideas forming, but have not had time to lay them out for a solid post.

Blame it on grad school midterms or trying to get my laundry done :]

I should be back this weekend with some new content and a little more consistency…hopefully.

Happy Thursday- St. Paddy’s Day!


Trend I’m Loving

February 24, 2016

Trends typically come and go. With this in mind, I try not to fall prey to too many trends. I want my choices to reflect style that will last over the years. But…. there is a recent trend that I am totally taken with.


I never thought I would say it, but I love clothing pieces, accessories, etc. with fringe elements. Though kind of a 1970’s vibe, what really attracts me is the texture.

Here are some current Fringe Favorites:

fringe1fringe earrings

Fringe Earrings

fringe cardigan

Fringe Cardigan

fringe rug

Fringe Rug

fringe earrings2

Fringe Earrings Anthro

tassel necklace

Tassel Necklace

fringe dress

Fringe Dress

What are your thoughts on the fringe trend?

Aesthetic DIY Uncategorized

Rethinking Frames Part 2: Faux Marble

January 27, 2016

Yesterday I talked about what you can put in a frame. There are so many things!

The frame itself can also tell a story, so in “rethinking frames part 2”, I’m looking at what you can do to make a “blah” frame more interesting.

One classic trend that I really like is marble and soapstone pieces. I love the colors and grains that are seen in light-colored marble.

Marble and the marble look can be expensive though. With this in mind, I figured I’d try my hand at faux marbling a plain brown frame I had on hand.

I started with a plain brown frame like the one below:


Ikea Frame

1. I coated the frame with white acrylic paint and let it dry. I then coated it one more time with white paint, making sure to get the edges and sides.

2. To make the veins, I painted patched of light gray in various areas around the frame. I then used a darker gray to add a deeper vein atop the light gray areas. As I went I tried to blend some of the paint to make the veining appear smoother and more natural.

3. When the paint dried, I coated the frame with water-repellant spray coating. This helps to seal in the paint.

All in all a simple process. It did take me a bit of time to get the frame the way I wanted it.

Here is the finished product:


Derby Image

Up close it may look a little messy. That’s okay! From a distance I promise it looks a lot better.

With supplies already on hand, this makeover was essentially priceless. It is a nice project that takes on a trend without taking on the price tag.




Rethinking Frames Part 1: What To Put Inside Your Frames

January 26, 2016

Picture frames and what you put in them can say a lot about your personality and values. -No pressure.

Photos of friends and family can demonstrate to an onlooker that you value community. Meanwhile, photos of landscapes may suggest that you values beauty and travel. These are great starting points when choosing items for frames.

Then there are times when you want to fill a frame but can’t find the right art or piece. What to do then?

Well…the good news is that SO many things can go into frames. All you have to do is think outside of the box. Below are some of my favorite ways to fill frames along with tips for each piece.


1. Sketches of Important Places

Many artists create prints or drawings of places around their community. My mom picked up this print for us of our wedding reception venue. Picking places that are important to you can be a fun way to share some personality in a frame.

Additionally, here’s a little trick for “matting” your art. If you aren’t sure that you want a certain piece in a frame forever, then you can center your art on a piece of poster board. The poster board has to be cut down to the frame size, but that’s not to hard for a simple fix.


Print from Wade Newman Designs (selection of other Louisville landmarks available)

2. Old Calendar Pages

If you have a pretty calendar page that you like then cut it out and frame it! Remove the dates and you’ve got art. This particular calendar image was perfect for me because I grew up close to Churchill Downs, (where the Kentucky Derby is run).


Calendar is old, but a print of this image is available through Rifle Paper Co.

3. Frame Fabric

To be fair, this may not be that novel, but it is a great way to add personality to a space. Often it is inexpensive as well!



4. Souvenirs From the Past

This is the one piece of art that my husband did himself. It is a program for our alma mater’s homecoming parade…where his group’s award winning float is on the front. It’s a nice nod to his and his pals’  hard work and a great reminder of our early years together.

If you have souvenirs that are special to you don’t hesitate to frame them. The souvenirs can tell stories about your past and that’s so interesting.



5. Words, Sayings, Phrases That Mean Something to You

“Bless your heart” is a southern saying that makes me smile because it reminds me of home. Side note: it isn’t used to really bless someone’s heart that much.

What words mean something to you?


Art from LittleEmmasFlowers

6. Draw Your Own Art

Sailor Bear is one version of Baylor’s mascot. It happens to be my personal favorite because the grumpus look is so endearing. I wanted to have some art that reminded me of sailor bear, so I found a logo and just hand drew it.

I know some people are not big on drawing or painting. I get it. It’s not always easy or the result isn’t what you had in mind. When I have any doubt about being able to make something myself, I lean toward the abstract approach. Splatter some paint or lines around and have fun with it!



I hope these tips help as you pick items to fill your frames. It is such an exciting opportunity to pick bits and pieces that reflect your story and your style.

What are things you like to put in your frames and tips/tricks you have?