Tuesday, April 29, 2014


The Grand Budapest Hotel.  I can sum up this film in two words: utterly delightful.  The scenery, the colors, the characters.  Everything melded together in a candy pink concoction of murder, love affairs, and most importantly, manners.  I haven't been this enthralled with a movie since Wes Anderson's last brilliant film Moonrise Kingdom.  (I even convinced Wade to dress up with me a few Halloweens ago as Sam and Suzy.)

This isn't so much a review of the film, but rather a love letter to it.  A little note to say, "Hey, thanks for being you."  For 100 minutes, I was pulled up a cabled tram and delivered to a festooned hotel with the magnificence and charm of something I only thought could exist in my imagination.

Wes made it a reality, though.  His other films have had hints of this motif, but it all came together in this one.  The hotel and the mountains were actually dioramas that gave such a wonderful playfulness to the locations.  I wish I could make a replica of that hotel for my house.  I'd display it proudly.

We usually watch all our movies at home and hardly go to the theater anymore.  There is an old theater that I used to go to as a kid from the 1960s, though, that just fit so well with this movie.  We saw Moonrise Kingdom there a few years ago, so I knew it was the only place to see this film, too.  I was going to share the pictures of the theater in this post also, but I decided to break it up into two separate posts, because I wanted a special place set aside just for this film.

It's a rarity I fall so absolutely in love with a movie as I did with this one.  I dare say it's his best work yet.  His other films have been wonderful and beautiful in only a way he can make them, but this one just felt more epic.  It had all the intrigue and interesting characters you'd expect from a novel, but instead of having to dream up your own world, it was all laid out for you.  A veritable feast for the eyes.

Perhaps the feeling of it being like a novel has something to do with the fact that the film was based on the writings of Stefan Zweig, a popular writer from the 1920s and 1930s.  There's few things I enjoy more than something piquing my interest and then discovering there are books to be read related to it.  I can't wait to read them. 

I know Wes Anderson's style may not be for everyone, but if you've enjoyed any of  his movies in the past, this is a definite can't miss.  Run to your local theater now before it's gone, and if it's between a small artsy theater and a multiplex, see it in the small artsy theater.  Then tell me what you thought of it!

I've already got our costumes picked out for this Halloween:)

Friday, April 25, 2014


"Bee Happy" shoes worn by Nicole from Cedar and Rush

We're getting to the end of my Go Blog Social posts, but I wanted to make sure I shared some of the fun trends I observed at the conference that have made me want to mix things up in my own wardrobe. Everyone looked stellar.  I wish I would have captured even more images of everyone's outfits, but I did manage to snag a few. 

#1:  Hats.  Fedoras have bee prevalent the past few years, but these felt wide brim hats are everywhere, and I'm loving it!  There were three girls at the conference {pictured below: Alisha from Abode & Abide; Taylor from Vosse. not pictured: Sarah from One Sparrow Creative (I'm so bummed I didn't get a picture of her)} who wore these hats, and they looked so breezy and cool.  (Plus, they were all so sweet and fun to be around.)  I don't know if I could pull off this type of hat as cute as they did, but I sure wanna try! 

#2: Maxi Dresses.  Confession time.  I don't own a maxi dress.  I'll pause for you to gasp.  It seems like just about everyone is wearing this super comfortable looking trend.  I haven't found one that fits me quite right.  I think I need something that gathers at the waist a bit, but Elle from The Clean Project nailed it with her cute dress.  I love how she paired it with the leather jacket.

#3: Brights and Pastels.  Heather and Allie from Twenty Something coordinated so well together.  They looked beautiful alone, but together, their outfits complimented one another and represented one of the things I'm into this season--mixing really bright colors with more muted colors or pastels.  I like the juxtaposition of the colors.  The muted/pastel color gets a little pop, while the bright color is toned down.  Well done, ladies!

#3: Playful Pieces.  I really loved these "Bee Happy" shoes Nicole from Cedar and Rush wore.  They were just so fun, just like her.  It makes me think about this Octopus necklace my mom bought me a few years ago.  I need to break that thing out again.  Life's too short to take your wardrobe too seriously.

#4: T-shirt and skirt.  I loved what Erica wore to the conference, too.  It's something I've been getting more into, but after seeing the cute way she styled her outfit, want to do more often.  Knotting a t-shirt over a skirt or dress is a great way to make your outfit casual dressy (that's a thing, right?).  I didn't get a full length shot of her, but she had white Chucks on, too.  I also really love this photo of her.  The lighting is magical.
I shared what I wore to the conference here.  I know some of you lovely ladies did outfit posts about what you wore, too, so add your link in the comments!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


About a week ago, I was at my parent's house admiring all the Easter decorations my mom had put out when she reminded me of the little gem above.  Wade made me this piglet egg five years ago, and it still is the cutest thing ever.  I was asking around last week if other people blow out their eggs before dying so they can save them.  It didn't seem like a lot of people do, but since I was little, we always had a few blown out eggs that we decorated extra carefully with special memories so that we could keep them throughout the years. 
Looking at all of them now, I'm so glad my parents started this tradition.  There's one commemorating the purchase of our first home, others documenting all the people that were together that year for Easter, and a few that have really special meanings to us.

And some that just portray my crazy obsession with Cadbury eggs.

After seeing the past few decades documented in these eggs, I really wanted to dye a few eggs this year so that we make sure to remember what happened in 2013/2014.  So we went over to my parent's house where we brought out the same orange cups that we have used since I was little and carefully chose the masterpieces we were going to create.

To get a blown out egg, you just need to poke a small hole with a safety pin or needle in the top and bottom of the egg.  Then just blow out the insides.  It's kind of gross, but at least you can keep the egg after you've worked so hard on it.
Just like he did every year, my dad reminded us not to squeeze the egg too tight.  Poor Wade wasn't as used to this whole process.

I'm pretty happy with how our eggs turned out this year.  Here's the new and old ones I brought back to our house so that we could put together our own Easter egg tree next year.
Here's the egg I made when we first bought our house.
My favorite egg I made this year was a shark to commemorate our trip to Lawrence this summer and all the shark attacks we drank.
But that piglet one still makes me smile the most.

Did you dye eggs this year?  Do you ever use blown out eggs so you can keep them for years?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

1 // 2 // 3// 4 // 5

We've been in our home for a little over 4 years. We have all hard wood floors, which I love, but Wade has been bugging me ever since we moved in to gets rugs for the living room and dining room.  I haven't looked much into it, because honestly nothing ever really caught my eye and they can be a big investment (I'm pretty stingey). 

The colorful and unique patterned rugs have got me thinking more about it, though.  I'm loving the Aztec and Kilim patterns.  I don't know if we have the right rooms to incorporate them, but I really like looking at them!  The mix of colors and patterns are eye catching and would make a great statement piece to a room that needs a little oomph.

Something like #3 in a light blue stripe is probably one I could get Wade to buy into.  I secretly would love #1, though.  I'm not a big pink person, but the mix of yellow and teal with it makes it less feminine to me.  We'll see.

Any tips on buying rugs or found any recently that you love?

Monday, April 14, 2014


I wear pretty boring stuff to work, so when I was planning my outfits for Go Blog Social, I really wanted to have fun mixing a lot of color and patterns.  If not for a blogging conference, then when?  I ended up just remixing clothes I already owned to breathe a little new life into them.

Day 1:
Even though it's technically spring, Kansas City is a little fickle when it comes to the weather.  I know I've worn this black and white dress countless times on this blog (best $16 I ever spent), but I remixed it again with cornflower blue tights and a new necklace I made just for the occasion.  I'm loving the black and white stripes with colorful florals thrown in.  Elle from The Clean Project did a great job with these photos. (thanks Elle!)
Dress: Marshall's (old) // Top: Gap // Tights: Target // Shoes: Asos (old) // Necklace and Hair Pin: My shop

Day 2:
I just can't get enough of these shoes, so I wore them again with a different outfit.  I really liked the mixing of stripes and florals and the pleated skirt.  I bought this skirt for $6 at Banana Republic years ago on sale.  I didn't know if I would ever wear it, but it's become one of my go to skirts in the summer.

My favorite accessory was this headband I made a few weeks ago.  I've been working for about the past 5 months on perfecting this thing and think I just have it about nailed down.  My goal is to start making more and have them listed in my Etsy shop soon.  One of the best compliments I got all week was when Megan of Chasing Davies asked if I had gotten it at Anthropology.  That made me feel like about a million bucks.

Another thing I was pretty proud of is actually getting this hairstyle to kind of work.  I've tried it a few times and couldn't get it to stay, but miraculously it worked this time.  I tried it again this past week to no avail.  I never leave enough time when I'm getting ready to style my hair at all, so at least it worked for this event when I was rushing out of the house.  It's maddening when you're trying to leave and your hair doesn't want to cooperate.

I wish I was one of those people who could really stare down the camera and do that smoldering eye thing, but I'm not.  Instead I usually just have goofy grins. Thanks to Heather from Twenty Something for capturing these photos!
Skirt: Banana Republic (old) // Top: TJ Maxx (old) // Cardigan and Tights: Target (old) // Shoes: Asos (old) // Headband: made by me
Did you have good weekend?  We had beautiful weather on Saturday and then it rained all today.  At least the flowers and trees are starting to bud.  It makes me instantly forget about the long, dark winter.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Following Go Blog Social, I was on a cloud of dreamy inspiration.  Being around so many successful women and learning about new things I could try had filled my head with all sorts of ideas and what ifs.

Then Monday came, and with it all the demands of the real world (aka not fun stuff).  I stayed with my head in the sky for as long as I could before I was brought down to reality with spreadsheets and the harsh glow of the computer screen.

That's ok, though.  I know that soon it will be the weekend and time for me to open the bottle of inspiration that I have set carefully aside this week.  I hope it's all in there and ready to fill my head again with the promise of endless possibilities. 

How do you keep your inspiration afloat when life gets so hectic?

Monday, April 7, 2014


I went to my first blogging conference this weekend.  I was a big ball of nervous excitement and had no idea what to expect.  I had my business cards ready to go as well as my big new tote bag from Target to lug around everything I could possibly need.

Walking into an event like this when you don't know many people is intimidating.  I quickly realized, though, that everyone was there to build the relationships that I was also seeking and completely open to me when I walked up to them with a smile.  It didn't matter how big of a following your blog had or if you were a fashion vs. lifestyle blogger, everyone was so nice and sweet.   

The next thing that caught my attention was the event space.  We met at the Berg in the Crossroads area of Kansas City.  If you're getting married in KC, I would definitely check out this place.  It has such a cool urban vibe, big beautiful windows, and the courtyard is absolutely stunning for photos. 

The GBS team did an incredible job of bringing together some fabulous speakers.  All of them were very inspiring and spoke about topics near and dear to our blogger hearts.  You should check out all these wonderful ladies.  They are up to some pretty impressive and exciting things.

There was also a slew of wonderful sponsors.  I learned about a really cool site called Divine Caroline that is an online community where you can contribute articles.  I'm excited to check it out more.  I even won a gift card to Warby Parker through them that I can't wait to use.

The lovely Jennifer from Hello Cheeseburger was also there.  All her jewelry is so pretty and so affordable. 
 A temporary tattoo that says "Awesome"?  Yes, please!

One of the vendors I was most excited to see, though, was The Photobus!  Have you heard of them?  They bring an actual VW van wherever you are and the back is a photo booth!  It's the best idea, and I definitely wasn't shy about grabbing people to take pictures with me.
Thanks to Elle from The Clean Project, Heather and Allie from Twenty Something, La'Shonda from FashionPlateKC, and Holly from Style From the Sticks for taking these fun photos with me!

Stila also had a room at one of our night events and glammed up everyone's looks for the night.

One of the big takeaways I took from the conference is that everyone has their own unique voice and there is enough room for everybody in the blogger world.  It's easy to feel jealous or competitive with other bloggers.  I know I do sometimes.  Something that Nicole spoke about from Cedar and Rush, though, was that you should help people when you can, because when we help others, we are helping ourselves, too.  There is such a thing as blog karma.  I love this idea and want to keep carrying it on.  (I have a fun story about how Nicole helped me that I'll share later this week.)

I'm so glad I went to this conference (even though my allergies were acting up, and I bet I sounded weird with such a stuffed up nose).  I have a lot more to share, so I apologize in advance.  This weekend felt like one of those defining moments for me, though, so one post just isn't going to cut it:)  Next I want to delve in a bit deeper into some of the amazing ladies I met. 

Have you been to a blogger conference before?  What were some of the key takeaways you had? 

I hope everyone else had a great weekend.  Do anything fun? 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I'm going to my first blogger conference this weekend.  I'm all sorts of excited/nervous.  I'm not sure exactly what to expect, but if reading about other bloggers going to conferences has taught me anything, it's that you need a pretty cool business card.  This one from A Ruffled Life has got to be my favorite.  It's spunky and comes with a fun accessory.

When I first started thinking about business cards, I convinced myself that two things would make them awesome: letterpress and custom design.  I scoured the internet for reasonable options, but I didn't have the extra funds available to make that big of an investment.  There is no way I could spend hundreds of dollars on business cards.  Especially not when I wasn't even sure what I wanted my tagline to be or design to look like.  It was too much of a commitment.

However, I did know that I wanted something unique that I could add my own spin to.  I had designed some business cards a year or so ago that looked ok, so I thought I would try my hand at making an updated version.  I did all the designing in PicMonkey.  I want to stress that I know nothing about graphic design nor am I particularly computer savvy (which may be apparent).  That's why PicMonkey is so perfect.  It's fairly easy to use, and I did everything for free.  They may look more homemade, but that's ok.

Once I designed my card, I did a lot of research on where to print it.  I printed my previous cards with VistaPrint or 123 printing or something.  They were ok and only $2.99 for 100, so I can't complain much.  Then I stumbled on Moo.  They have a great inexpensive option for printing on super thick, matte cardstock.  Holding them just feels fancy.  I couldn't be more impressed with their product and presentation.  (And no, this is not a sponsored post.  I just really like their product.)

They were delivered like this.  In a box labeled "Yay!" 

Then there was another box with a ribbon and seal.  Talk about stellar presentation. 

The box unfolded and there were my business cards, nestled nicely in.

I would have done a few things differently on the front of the card if I had it to do all over again.  Namely, all my info is pretty small.  It's ok when you're holding the card in front of you, but I think next time I could increase the font size a bit.  I do like how there are just a few pops of color against the black and white, though.

The saying on the back of the card is something I debated for a while.  I wanted to put something unique.  I was going to have a few different sayings, like "This is going to be a great day", "This is your time", etc., but I ended up with just using this one. 

I decided to keep it simple on the front of my card with just "Blog + Shop", so I wanted to give a little more flavor in the back.  This is a motto I hold very dear to my heart, so I decided to go for it.  Who cares if others think it's silly, right?

I figured the cards needed a little something extra (and who doesn't like something for free?), so I taped a bobby pin to about 20 of the cards to give to people who really catch my fancy:)  I thought this would be a fun way to show the types of things I make in my shop.

Now I just have to be bold enough to actually talk to people:)