Color Crush: Tie Dye

Tie-dye. The phrase may conjure up images of summer camp or Grateful Dead fans, but it has come to that time of the season when florals start to feel a little safe, and stripes have become a neutral. Tie-dye on the other hand is the perfect way to add a little effortless boho-inspired fun to your summer wardrobe. Some say only in small doses but my inner love child is screaming with excitement, the more color the better! So here are some ideas on how to style that psychedelic piece you may be coveting.

Unsure about the whole dye-able movement- take it slow. Add a motorcycle jacket and boots for a tougher look or even dressing up a casual tie-dye shirt by pairing it with jeans and pumps. I’ll totally be rocking these on a night out soon, hell even a trip to Target. And if that’s not incentive enough, check out some of my favorite tie dyed pieces

 

|| Urban Outfitters || American Eagle || ASOS || Charlotte Russe || Forever 21 ||
|| Topshop || Lord & Taylor || American Eagle || Lulu’s || Free People ||
|| Brightly Twisted || Etsy || Target || ModCloth || Tobi ||
|| Wet Seal || ASOS || Revolve || American Apparel || Shoptiques ||

I have always been a big supporter of tie-dye but it’s not for everyone. Thoughts? I’d love to know what you think about this “new” fad.

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Ideas To Steal: Dining Decor

We all know that the cliché is indeed true, kitchens are the heart of the home. The best family time is spent there after long days of work and school. It’s the place where guests instantly feel comfortable hanging out at during a party {why does everyone always congregate in the kitchen?!} Yet, it is often one of the least decorated rooms in a house. There usually is not much more than dishes and appliances and perhaps a counter accessory or two.

While I love a clean white kitchen, we say it’s time to bring in a bit more decor! I’ve rounded up my favorite items sure to add a bit more personality and warmth to any kitchen!

Unconventional Items Used For Conventional Purposes

This is the time your personality can really shine through. Find items that show local culture or breathe light into an awesome flea market find! Scale that doesn’t work? Who cares throw some fruit on it in place of a boring bowl. Your counter space is like a blank canvas, use it wisely.

Words, Signs and Letters

The whole point of this article stemmed from one of my best friends hanging the cutest sign in her dining room with the quote “one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”. How perfect?! Use your words and adorn your walls!

Lighting

Lighting goes beyond “boob” lights and simple sconces. Look around and see what you like, heck you can base a whole room around a fixture. Have fun with your lighting but remember we want it practical too, because no one wants a dull eating area.

Storage and Shelves

Open shelves are a beautiful way to decorate and show off detailed china and vibrant glassware. Though I have ridiculed them in the past I find these details breathtaking. However, this beautiful concepts will never adorn the walls in my kitchen because I am the queen of lost Tupperware lids.

Tile

This is probably one of the most overlooked detail in any home. There is a world beyond Lowes and Home Depot. Add a bright back-splash or Moroccan tile flooring. Go bold, or stay simple. Like white tile but looking for something more trendy, go with a darker grout.

Some of my favorite places to get inspiration from are Houzz and decor blogs such as Apartment34. Tell me some of your favorite places to shop and get inspired!

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People Always Want to Know What’s Next

Once you hit my age people are going to ask you about your love life. They don’t do to be intrusive or rude. This is how people are conditioned to talk to each other, especially people haven’t seen you in awhile. Think about it, when you were in high school all any estranged family member could talk to you about was if you were going to college or what was happening after high school. Once you were in college they wanted to know what you were majoring in. Four years later and spring has sprung, people were concerned about what in god’s name you’re going to do with that degree of yours. Well, the heat is now off your career and more on your sex life. To all of my twenty somethingers, we have successfully moved into the wedded bliss conversation category. “Are you dating anyone?” “Do you think he’ll propose soon?” “Why aren’t you married yet?”

They ask you these questions because people organize life into phases. It’s the only way we know how to make sense of anything. We like to categorize, organize, classify. We feel more comfortable looking at someone and knowing: they’re in college, they’re single, they’re employed, they’re married, they’re divorced, they’re an accountant, they’re unemployed, they’re an artist of some kind, they’re pregnant, they have no kids, they have two kids, they’re an entrepreneur. We want to understand each other- some more than others. But it’s easier for us to associate two or three core concepts with a person than it is to spend a lifetime trying to understand each and every aspect of their complicated, three-dimensional personality and existence.

These questions are asked because your mom, grandfather, second cousin, have concerns. For some reason a major fear in most of our lives is not drowning,  being pushed off a fifty story building, it’s being alone. We want to know that there would be someone there who cared, who would notice if you weren’t here. People want to know that at the end of a long day at work we come into a home full of life and live, not one that is sad and empty.

The marriage question is tiresome, annoying, exhausting. The concern is (mostly) genuine, innocent, tenderhearted. But not everyone gets married. Not everyone finds their person. Some people want it badly and they never find it. Others have known their whole life that romantic partnership is not for them. But whether we’ve found the person we want to spend our life with and simply have not yet gotten engaged, or we are still single and searching, or we have no desire at all to find someone and get married, we do not need to apologize for it. We owe nobody an explanation. Whether someone’s question is nosy and pushy, or innocent and caring, we are not required to give them an answer to quench their curiosity or soothe their concern.

The question of your love life is never going to stop. It’s going to make us irritated, uncomfortable and maybe even at times questions our own motives. I understand that you are trying to better understand but why do you not want to know about my career, my goals, my dreams? However you look at it though, remember we do not need to apologize for any of our life decisions. And once one factor is complete, they’ll want to know when the babies will come.

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Typical Trip To Target

Anyone ever notice the Target automatic doors lag a bit? God I’d totally be the girl to smash my face off the doors.

I don’t need a cart I just need brownie mix.

JUST BROWNIE MIX.

Oh my god I love paper straws!

The dollar section is killing it right now.

Our console table needs some decorations and this planter is just too cute to pass up, plus it’s the only one left and that lady over there is just waiting for me to put it down.

Last time I was here they had fake succulents- they would look amazing in my $3 planter.

I might as well walk past the clothes today.

Is that a Johnny Cash tank-top? I NEED this.

These graphic tees are just too perfect. I can wear them under cardigans and in the summer.

Speaking of cardigans..

I don’t need another workout tank because I have my Old Navy Super cash but printed leggings are too cute.

They’d look good with that hoodie over there!

Do I already have a mint hoodie? I do but not this style. I definitely need this mint hoodie.

Oh my god this is the perfect striped shirt!

Who cares if it’s labeled maternity?

I wonder if anyone would notice if I started wearing maternity tops. They’re the perfect amount of baggy. And then when I’m pregnant I won’t have to buy anything.

Good thing I got a cart, I’ll put it in the maybe section.

I wonder if those shoes that I saw on Instagram on still here.

I can’t believe all these Sam and Libby heels are on sale!

I mean I don’t REALLY need another pair of brown sandals but they’re buy one get one 50% off. See smart shopping! 

If I don’t get these today they’ll be gone next week. Better get them.

What did I come here for again? Oh yeah brownie mix.

My Cartwheel says 20% off socks- I love new socks.

Do people actually buy pajamas? Do I need pajamas?

I know I was just here two days ago but I wonder if they got new throw pillows…

Target actually has pretty cute furniture. I really should get that ottoman but is it worth $68?

Maybe I should get all new bedding. Well at least a new fleece blanket.

How about a candle? It’s on sale and when I’m done with it it can totally hold my makeup brushes. Plus I’ve never had a plum candle before.

Our house could use some updating and I love that concrete side table.

Do I need a wreath?

What is going on over here? 75% off?! Mardi Gras well that’s fun!

I’ve never had Mardi Gras decorations in my life, but suddenly I need all of them.

There’s a good chance I might have a Mardi Gras party next year. I mean I have the decorations now, so why wouldn’t I? It only makes sense.

Is that a bow tie dog collar? Oh that would never fit Wyatt but once Natacha and Matt get a dog I could totally give it to them!

What is that? Mandarin Blackberry and Lime? It says it’s supposed to be good for you. I love healthy soda. I should try it.

The tortilla chips are 2 for $5!

Wait do we have dip?

You can never have too much hummus and salsa, plus I saw a sign for new flavors.

You don’t need ice cream but dino nuggets would literally make Donnie’s night. I wonder how they would taste with the new hummus flavor?

Toilet paper is something one should never run out of. There are so many kinds. How do I even choose? I get the one with those dancing bears! They’re cute.

The men’s deodorant section has too many selections. Since when do guys care so much about the specific scent of their armpits?

I picked out a brand and scent solely by the name. Swagger spoke to me.

Oh good they have my makeup removing wipes! These are so hard to find, I’ll grab two.

Essie- who comes up with these colors and how do I get a job there?

Raspberry is my perfect Summer 2016 color- and so is coral and this light lime color! Maybe I should grab a navy too…

We need dish sponges and those pods for the dishwasher.

Oh shit these are Tide- whoops!

It’s almost Carisa’s birthday- I need to grab her a card. Well I should get a few wedding cards because I don’t know if I’ll make it back here.

Oh, and I can’t forget the last-minute tube of Chapstick, candy bar and Orbit gum.

I haven’t had Cherry Coke in ages.

It’s 1:15 in the afternoon on a Monday, and what do you mean I have too many items for the express lane?

I love the idea of the Red Card! I saved at least $50! Or $9…

I spent $178.16- yes 178.16 in 45 minutes, but to be fair, I had to buy milk for my mom and coffee was on sale and you know what, never mind.

I need to make a list before I leave home next time—oh, and gain some damned self-control.

Wait did I forget the brownie mix?

 

Working on My Fitness

So I’ll give you a little background on my fitness history. I played field hockey my entire life, even in college. We ran a lot, had our food monitored and had a fitness consigliere who taught us how to get the most out of our workouts through lifting and high interval training. Well, after four years of intense fitness regiments, I was over it. I didn’t want to run mindless laps around the gym. I wanted to go out after work to Target and meet my friends for Happy Hour, not worry about getting to the gym, not stressing about being fit. The muscles in my legs served a purpose, my abs were needed to help my run, my back and arms needed to be strong, but I didn’t care anymore. I was done working out.

I’ve never really fell out of shape but my fitness lovers can attest to the fact that you can work so hard for weeks on end- all of a sudden you take a few days off and you feel like you’re having a heart attack carrying your laundry up the steps. Ok fine a few days was actually a few months but I needed to mentally unwind.

The problem with taking fitness so seriously is the noticeable change when you stop. I have never been the type to worry about the size sewn into my clothes but there was a point when I was no longer comfortable in my own skin and that is a terrible feeling. From a 4 to a 16 size doesn’t matter but confidence does. So after my little hiatus I decided I needed to get back into the swing of things.

“Wow, my pants don’t fit!”

So you finally washed and accidentally dried your jeans… BIG mistake. Now you need to do a minor Pilates class to get into them. Well it seems they don’t button, like not even close. After a few too many late nights of beers and besties ending in Gyro place on the square, your clothes don’t fit quite like they use to. It is uncomfortable to sit certain ways and when you take off your jeans it looks like your still wearing them, seams and all. You’re still your same beautiful self but you just don’t feel as confident in your own skin. You become self-conscious of what you look like for the first time in a long time. It’s not like it was instant but it bothers you.

Denial Ain’t Just a River in Egypt

That’s it you’re going to start eating right if it kills you! No more Rahman out of the pot or Dairy Queen for dinner. You throw away all your Easter candy and swear off soda and Turkey Hill iced tea. You’re fine with how you look because you’re beautiful and nothing will ever change that, but we should never settle for fine! You decide to cut out the crap (literally and figuratively), and accept that you need to seriously think about how you want to approach your impending change. Weight loss, muscle gain, goal weight, healthier lifestyle – whatever the goal, set it and stick to it!

Something Must Be Done

You acknowledge that you don’t like the way you feel so you set a plan into place. Personal trainer or Planet Fitness it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you get out there and move. You skip the cookie and chip aisle and your dessert Pinterest board falls by the wayside but your “Workin’ On My Fitness” board is getting more lovin’ each day. Remember ease into it, that 7 minute mile isn’t going to happen for awhile and maybe starting with just the bar to squat won’t make you want to scream every time you have to pee. Baby steps.

The Successful First Week

YAY! You made it to the gym. This is awesome because this was the hardest step. Bad news- your six pack is not where you thought it would be after what?- five workouts? There is a long road ahead but it will never get easier. Because before you know it those 5 pushups in 30 seconds turns to 10 then 20. You need to keep pushing yourself. I don’t mean to sound like a tween Nike t-shirt but it’s true. You’re already steps ahead of where you were one week ago and even though it might not seem like it, it’s paying off.

Off the Deep End

Your best friend’s bachlorette party and you’re the MOH. Well your diet just went out the window like your morals because you have a plane to catch. You were doing so well, maybe even lost a few pounds or maybe you just were eating healthier and feeling great. However after 6 shots of low-cal tequila that Big Mac and Fries is calling your name! You thought it would stop after this little weekend getaway but think again! You think to yourself “I already ruined my diet today/yesterday/this week.” So that one little treat or occasion that made you think that you have worked hard enough to deserve this, comes and bites you in the ass.

Back On Track

You relapsed- it happens. We’ve all been there-  2am, standing in the pantry eating handfuls of Smidgens. You were so happy with how your desired results were coming along but you got a little derailed. You can’t let yourself spiral into the junk food pit of no return, this isn’t Candy Mountain Charlie, stay away. Diets don’t start on Mondays or the first of the month- they start now. You remember how amazing those weeks made you feel and how terrible that drunken cheat burrito felt the next morning. The most important factor is remembering the goals you set.

The Noticeable Change

You hit your goal weight or look or size or confidence happiness level! No matter how you look at it, you did it! The key here is to be happy with the goals you set. Allow yourself to be satisfied with all that you accomplished. I’ve seen far too many people spiral out of control with working out. The thought process of “I can always be better” seems to be a driving force for those who want to continue this fitness or weight loss journey. Just be careful- it’s a fine line of working on your lady lumps and never feeling good enough. You should be so proud of yourself for working towards a healthier lifestyle that will benefit you for years to come.

Ultimately I would love to see everyone happy with the body they have been blessed with. No one ever teaches us that we’re supposed to fall in love with ourselves too. Falling in love with yourself is just like falling in love with someone else, it happens little by little than all at once you’re smitten. Love your body and it will love you right back. But remember you’re body does not define us as people.

Free yourself from beauty trends, from people’s opinions, from who you are not and will never have to be. Accept yourself  and what you’ve got. Love and embrace every bit of it because you, not anyone else, are the one who defines you, who lets the world see what you have here. And that will not be restricted to just a body. You want to be a runner? Do it! Thinking about taking up cycling? Try it out! Don’t like working out at all? That’s fine! Just do whatever makes you happy in your own skin.

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The Friends You Need

I’ve been thinking a lot about my friends lately. It’s probably because several of my bests have gotten engaged over the past few weeks and so it got me thinking of course about… bridesmaids. I was never the little girl to sit and think about a wedding and colors and linens but I have always thought about bridesmaids and the people that I want standing next to me on the happiest day of my life. This group would come together because of me, be so excited for me and genuinely want to share in this special day.

You read so many articles about who “shouldn’t be in your life” and people posting quotes like”Maybe the bridges you burn light the way”. [I actually googles “burning bridges Pinterst quote” to find that- the internet is a weird place]. But we often overlook the people in our lives that add a little more sunshine and sparkle to our day. The ones who have been there, through it all even if you just met them a year ago.

The one you can always depend on to live-text something really weird or funny, because if you’re not both there to share it, that means you have to be on your phone as much as possible relaying the details and telling them about that thing that they just won’t believe. From live streaming the VS fashion show to the woman wearing a scrunchie- these details need to be shared!

The one who isn’t afraid to tell you the facts, who tells you exactly what you need to hear, who won’t let you leave the house with one eyebrow wonky. They’ll listen to you bitch for 20 minutes about something stupid and hear you out but when you ask “what do you think?” get ready to hear the whole truth. The one who loves you enough to respect you with the truth, and who wants you to be the best possible version of yourself that you can be, even if that means a little tough love to get there.

The one who remembers the things that are really important, who is there for big events and small ones that are only important to you. The one who actually calls you on your birthday and sings in your voicemail, who shares the big news with you first. These people also support what matters to you, like your blog, or coming to a field hockey game in the pouring rain.

The one who thinks of you before they think of themselves, knows when you need a pick me up, who shows up with coffee order or waits to see a movie because you HAVE to see it together – and who knows you love to do the exact same things for them.

The one who will go drink-for-drink with you all night, because you had a bad week and just need a fun night out. Then they come back to your house with you and have a [good thing we aren’t televised because this conversation is embarrassing] heart to heart and meet you the next morning to catch up over beer and extra bacon because you earned them.

The one who was there when bad things happened, who wrote you right away to ask if you were okay, if you needed anything, if they could come by – and really meant it. Everyone else might offer a little word here or there, but you know that they are the only one who would really drop everything, no matter what, and come help you feel better.

The one who says they love you and means it, because friend-love is no less special or in need of being expressed than romantic love.

The one who is there and I mean really there, not checking their Instagram while you’re crying on the bathroom floor or texting another friend while you’re trying to tell them about your shitty day at work. The one who listens and never pulls their phone out while you’re at dinner because you’re the best thing going on right now and honestly if you weren’t together you’d be the rude bitches texting.

The one who keeps your secrets, who knows everything but shares nothing because they know that you have nothing if you don’t have absolute trust. And plus you know some nasty shit about them so you’re pretty much thick as thieves.

The one who makes just sitting on a bed, eating snacks and marathonning SVU, the absolute best way to spend a weekend. The one who knows when a weekend away from society and bathing is the only plans you have for the next 48 hours. You can  hole up and be hermits and watch your favorite, weird things while getting tipsy by yourselves.

The one who makes you feel at home, no matter how long you’ve known them, no matter how you met them. The one who immediately became irreplaceable, who knows you better than you know yourself – who feels like family the way family should always be, fun and happy and totally without judgment or malice. The one who makes you feel loved, and realize that you deserve to be.

Little bits and pieces of your people helped create the beautiful soul that you are today. So tell your friends you love them, send a written letter or take a trip to visit them. Life is short surround yourself with nothing but love and happiness.

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