Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Grace of Nostalgia


Above: An oldie but a goodie by Beth Solano

I've been thinking about nostalgia lately and some of its benefits. Namely, how it has this weird ability to infuse our memories with grace. Austin and I haven't even been married a year yet, but frolicking through this field for our "save the date" photos already feels like a lifetime ago. The reality of that day was me wearing the wrong shoes, fidgeting with my dress, and probably bickering with my sweet fiancé about something or other (hey, we're all human). Now, looking back, all I see are giggles. I'm beaming remembering the silly outtakes that can only come from having one of your best friends take your photo, and the unexpected blessing of having a second pair of shoes in my messy car. Grace. Love. Joy. The stuff that was there all along, if only camouflaged by bug bites and itchy ankles. Here's to enjoying the photos getting older and the memories getting good-er.




Tuesday, August 14, 2018

9 Budget-Friendly Ways to Incorporate Terrazzo Into Your Home

Ah, terrazzo! I've been having fun watching this material blow up in the design world. If you're new to this term, terrazzo is a material used most often in walls and flooring, created from small, irregular bits of marble, quartz or glass, and poured with a binding agent. The result is a texture that can vary quite a bit depending on the materials used, but can mimic a mosaic look or even a confetti depending on the size of the pieces.

Terrazzo counter, image via dzekdzekdzek.com

While the design may feel new and fresh for home interiors, the fact of the matter is this technique is incredibly old. According to a few sources, terrazzo was invented as early as the 16th century in Venice. Workers who were creating larger mosaics were left with some odds and ends, strangely shaped pieces of marble, which they decided to put together to build terraces. Later, they discovered the marble shined the best when coated with goat's milk. What an origin story!

Terrazzo floors, image via Pinterest
The technique wasn't brought to America for bit, though. In 1890, Italian workers were building the Vanderbilt home on Fifth Avenue in New York, and they used terrazzo. Then, like trends do, it took off. Throughout the 1920's-1940's, this was used in quite a few public buildings (think courthouses, state capitols, etc.) because the material is very durable. Most recently, designer Sarah Sherman Samuel decided to put terrazzo floors throughout Mandy Moore's home.

Due to the materials used and the durability of terrazzo, it can be a big commitment for homeowners — and nearly impossible for renters to get in on the trend! Here are a few budget-friendly terrazzo-inspired pieces I've found online if you want to incorporate a piece without making the commitment.

Terrazzo credenza, image via Domino

Terrazzo vanity tray, image via Neiman Marcus
Terrazzo drawer pulls, image via Anthropologie

Terrazzo desk, image via Domino


Here are a few more I've found that I'm liking, though I've seen everything from terrazzo shower curtains to bowls, and everything in between! I especially love the pour over dripper below — how cute would that look on a counter! What do you think about terrazzo? Would you put it in your home?


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A Pretty Fair Day

Flashing fluorescent lights, all the food you can eat, and a ferris wheel. The Ozark Empire Fair is currently happening — once a year, the lot near Hillcrest High School is transformed into another world. Here, you can see all the animals you've heard live on a farm, and maybe even pet them if you're up to it! It costs $9 to get in, and in my opinion, the price of admission is worth it alone for people-watching. I went to the fair with some of my pals this weekend, and while we didn't get to see the animals, we did check out most of the snack options. We ate fried foods, rode the ferris wheel, and finished our evening off with more fried foods. Anyway, here's some photos of all of us being goofs at the carnival.





The ferris wheel turned out to be a lot more intense than we expected it to be! It was quite a bit faster than other ferris wheels I've been on. That coupled with a swinging car and a peek off the edge might require some dramamine. Aside from the crazy rides, the corndogs were a highlight, and I have a feeling I may be stopping at Sonic for the next 50-cent corndog day.


Allison's one mission was to find deep-fried Oreos, which became all of our mission. She was nice enough to share once we found them! They paired perfectly with a jug of root beer.


You may have gathered this already, but if you can fry it, they will at the Ozark Empire Fair. Between the five of us, we tried corn dogs, XXL corn dogs, fried Twinkies, fried Oreos, fried green tomatoes (I ordered these and I was not disappointed), and a giant turkey leg which we all tried a bite of!



That's all! A quick trip, but it was certainly worth it.

Outfit details: Gifted scrunchie (similar here), Anthropologie top (Previous season, similar here), Vintage jeans (similar fit here), Anthropologie bag sold out (similar version)

Monday, July 30, 2018

How I, an Extrovert, Work From Home

When I first took the leap into full-time freelancing, I envisioned a dreamy setup where I’d casually roll out of bed onto my yoga mat at 6:00 a.m., make some avocado toast, and be ready to hit the inbox by 7:15. What this self-employment fantasy of mine failed to neglect was, ahem, one small thing: my personality.


The problem with my thinking wasn’t necessarily the early rising (I don’t crave waking up before the birds, but I can if I need to), but rather the solitude of it all. I love me some solitude, but I’d rather have that quiet, meditative time at the end of my day instead of the beginning. Enter: the definition of “extrovert”.

There’s lots online about introversion vs. extraversion, but I hear people misusing the terms a lot, too. For instance, being an extrovert doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t value alone time, and being an introvert doesn’t always mean you’re shy. It’s more about how you gain energy and what motivates you. So, a simplified guide is extraversion = gains energy around others, and introversion = recharges alone. Here are some links to helpful pages explaining the two: Wikipedia, Changing Minds, Meyers Briggs.

I loved working from home for about… two days, and then I realized it was a little lonely. Since I gain energy from being around other people, I was feeling drained in a way where I’d given everything I had to the project I was tackling, but never felt the “nailed it!” factor I was accustomed to aiming for in work. I would finish my workdays feeling like I’d just run a marathon, and possibly (probably) had forgotten to eat lunch. Over the last year, I’ve tried a few different approaches to switching up my work-from-home routine, and here are some successes I’ve found.


Keeping the House Clean
To me, a cluttered workspace or desk is a huge distraction. And when you’re working from home, sometimes the dishes are in view of your “office”! My desk at home literally faces a wall, which isn’t the most glamorous view, but it helps me to focus in on what’s in front of me when I’m working there. It’s just my computer and that brick wall, really, so I’m less likely to get distracted by my housecleaning chores.

Run an Errand/Phone a Friend
Often, if I have an errand to run that fits in with my work day, I like to do it first thing in the morning. This motivates me to get up and out of the house, seeing other people gives me energy, and I can come home and get to work on my project with more vigor. If it’s not an “errand day”, but I know my energy is low, sometimes I’ll call my mom or another friend just to say hi. It’s like the morning chit-chat you have with coworkers, kind of! For a while, I Skyped with my friend Hallie who also owns her own business, and that was a good motivation to get out of bed and get dressed, too.

Set a Timer
I don’t always use this trick, but I pull it out of my arsenal when I find I’m hitting a wall with my productivity. I’ll set a timer and say to myself, “I’m going to work on this project for 40 minutes”. The timer isn’t always set to 40 minutes, sometimes I vary it depending on the project at hand or how much time I’m trying to save. A set amount of time that I’ve committed to being free from distractions — no Pinterest, no phone, etc. will always help me get going on a goal, and 9 times out of 10 I finish it faster than I would have without the timer. It kind of feels like I’m participating in a race on a game show. How fast can this freelancer edit her photos without compromising quality?? Stay tuned to next week’s episode, airing at 9/8 Central! The same magic somehow works when I light a candle. I can't explain it!


Listen to Podcasts
Pretty sure “listen to podcasts” is a tangible step in every element of bettering your life. It feels that way sometimes! There’s such a variety of great content being produced on this platform; I’m putting it out there — we are officially in the golden age of podcasting. Anyway, I can’t always listen to podcasts while I’m working because a lot of my job is writing, but sometimes I turn ‘em on while I’m doing photography projects, and I always smile when I do.

Don’t Actually Work from Home
So, this may sound like cheating, but most of my success “working from home” is really just working from a coffee shop. I’ll go to quiet places where there are people around — coffee shops, sometimes my parents’ house… I’ve even been known to work from a restaurant or two. I find that I gain energy by being in the same room as other people, and knowing others are working in the same capacity helps me to stay on task. The key to being an extrovert is that I don’t have to talk to every single person in the coffee shop. Sometimes just seeing others, maybe eavesdropping in on their conversations 😉, and knowing I’m not alone in the world does the trick.

It’s been a journey, but now that I’ve been at this freelance thing for over a year, I feel like I’m getting more into the swing of things! Cheers to waking up (semi) early and chasing your dreams, however that looks for you.

P.S. If you’re new here and are thinking, so what exactly do you do for a living?, here’s a link to my portfolio site.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A Fresh Summer Salad I Actually Wanted to Eat

I think I've admitted it on the blog before: I don't love eating salads. And when I say I don't "love" salads, I mean, I will ward them off with a 9-foot pole unless you somehow convince me it's not really a salad. If you needed further proof, I bought some green juice yesterday, hoping I can get my greens in without having to suffer through chewing them up.

But this salad is one I was able to convince myself isn't really a salad. Premium toppings help, like the kind you'd be up-charged $1.25 for if you added them to your salad at a restaurant. For me, the premium topping is always, always goat cheese. If Fear Factor gets revived for a third time and I'm somehow forced to compete, I think I could eat a cockroach if I'm allowed to cover it in goat cheese.


But, really, eating lettuce is definitely more appealing than eating a cockroach...

Goat cheese helps.


Ingredients:
- Mixed greens (I got ours from our CSA membership)
- Pickled radishes (recipe here)
- 4-5 mini peppers
- Goat cheese
- Dressing of choice (I used an oil and vinegar dressing from Newman's Own)

Directions:
The night before (or the morning before you want to eat this for dinner), pickle your radishes. These are great for this recipe, but they can also be tossed in tacos and other yummy meals. When you're ready to eat, rinse the lettuce, chop the peppers, throw in a handful of pickled radishes and top generously with goat cheese. Finish with your dressing of choice.




Ta da! I guess eating salads isn't so bad after all.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

How to Celebrate the Fourth When You're Not Exactly 'Proud to Be an American'

Typically, the Fourth of July signifies a day off of work and a fireworks show. But when the classic lyrics to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” don’t come out quite as easily as they would have a handful of years ago, how should we celebrate the Fourth of July? “I’m proud to be an American / where at least I know I’m free” may ring true for me personally, but this year especially, it calls to mind the privileges I’ve had that some others haven’t been awarded.

While immigrants are being taken from their families at the border, I begin to question why our American policy would oppress others’ human rights. Looking inward to how America treats its own can be painful, too, when we recognize the unfair treatment of minorities by police, the education system and other institutions. I want to celebrate our country and its progress, and at the same time, we need a reckoning, calling to light the progress that still needs to happen. But the Fourth of July is going to arrive with a flurry of red, white and blue whether or not we’re looking forward to the occasion. Here are a few ideas for celebrating your Fourth of July when you don’t necessarily feel 100% proud to be an American.


Start Small
We live in a climate where political opinions are like a line in the sand — it feels heavy to walk to the other side and have a conversation with a friend or even an acquaintance who may think differently than we do. Start small, by sharing your voice with these individuals. Sure, it’s more comfortable to avoid certain conversations, but it is so necessary to call out intolerant ideas when we see them in people we know. Make the conversation about values, not political parties, and speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.

Call or Write a Representative
You can text Resistbot to write a letter to your representatives in two minutes or less. If you have more time, consider calling and leaving a message with the representative’s office. When there are city or state elections, vote to make your voice heard. Throughout the year, keep up with local and national news, and contact your elected officials when you see something you disagree with.

Thank Government Workers
When the news feels heavy, look to the things that are going correctly. For example, USPS employees are federal workers who do necessary, often overlooked, work to help our world keep turning. A simple “thank you” goes a long way, or you can leave your mail person a cold bottle of water during these hot summer months. Think outside the box to find a government worker who improves your daily life, and show them your appreciation.

Spend Time with Your People
Lots of Americans do have the Fourth of July off as a national holiday. If you’re one of these people, soak it up and spend time with your community. Hang out, talk about how we can improve America, or talk about the latest wellness craze. Integrating our opinions into conversation is a must to engage in real relationships with the people we call friends and family. This rings true no matter the day.

Fireworks! 💥
On the Fourth of July, fireworks have been set off since 1777. It’s an Independence Day tradition, symbolizing “the rocket’s red glare” that indicated our separation from Great Britain in 1776. While we still have a way to go, choose to do your part to ignite change, and then focus on the positive. If you have the opportunity, buy fireworks from a local stand to support small business, have a popsicle, and consider the progress we’ve made. As Americans, we have the privilege to take actionable steps to make a difference, and that is something to take advantage of — and celebrate.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Meet the Products That Changed My 15-Year Skincare Routine

Ok, ok.. So it may not look like it from the photo, but I consider my skincare routine to be pretty basic. Especially when I see some bloggers posting about $80+ oils where the bottle is .02 ounces... There's nothing wrong with that, but I don't have a line-item budget just for skincare, so until I do, I'll be sticking with these products that keep my face clean & blemish-free and keep my wallet (relatively) happy. 😉


Part of my skincare story incorporates habit, which is a necessity to ensure you're treating your skin the same day-in and day-out, but as we all know, habits are hard to break! Back in my teens, my mom took me to a Bloomingdale's when we were in New York visiting my grandma and bought me my first set of Clinique products. It felt like a rite of passage into having a special set of facial products, and I've used various cleansers, toners and moisturizers from the Clinique line ever since. In fact, the habit has been so hard to break (and I'm not really trying to "break" it), that when my friend Courtney at Good Skin Day introduced me to (spoiler alert!) Indie Lee, I kept my Clinique, too.

Part of the reason I've used Clinique for so long is I consider their line to be very versatile, and it's allergy tested and fragrance free. Back in the day when I had, ahem, teenager skin, I used their Acne Solutions liquid makeup, and while it's not technically skincare, I would consider it a product that nicely blends the line between skincare and makeup. All that to say, it was a good fit for me!

AND, I can't talk about Clinique without the three magic words: gift with purchase. If you time out when you buy Clinique correctly, you can spend a certain amount and receive a makeup bag with tiny samples of product they sell. Typically, you fall in love with those products and it's a trick of marketing genius that I'm not even mad about. So, it worked on me, and now I've come to crave the three-step process they recommend. Here's my skincare routine broken up by morning and evening.

Morning:


So, as we've covered, old habits die hard. I start each morning with liquid facial soap from Clinique, wet a cotton ball with the number 2 Clarifying Lotion, which acts like a toner, so the name can be a little misleading. In their clarifying lotion, Clinique has numbers 1-4 depending on your skin type, and 2 is for dry combination. They also have options for very dry, oily combination, very oil and dry, sensitive skin. Then I use about 2 pumps of the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel all over my face and neck area. It's such a light moisturizer that this is my favorite part. Also, before BB cream existed (typing that makes me feel old..), I would sometimes mix a little of this with my foundation to give a lighter look.

Then if I'm still feeling a little dry, I'll use the Mario Badescu facial spray with aloe, herbs and rosewater. Sometimes I use this product mid-day, too, for a little pick-me-up. My sister-in-law introduced me to this product as a Christmas gift, and I've been loving it ever since!

Evening:
Here's where I just did the same routine with my Clinique products forever until (drumroll please) I found out about Indie Lee. Courtney Dunlop, who I mentioned earlier, owns a boutique skincare company in my hometown of Springfield, MO, and she let me try a little sample of Indie Lee. I tried it like a good sample-receiver, and I kid you not, after the first use my skin was glowing. I figured maybe it was just in my head or the sweet smell of the rosehip cleaner, but then I got compliments on my skin, so I knew it was a thing. My dad even noticed the glow!

So, I bought it and I've been using it in the evenings since. I'll be honest and say sometimes I'm lazy and just use a Neutrogena makeup wipe and forget the rest, but any skincare expert would tell you (and me) that's bad, so... oops! Usually though, when I go to bed at a reasonable hour, I'll go through with the full routine. Indie Lee is an affordable, high-quality, all-natural skincare line, and for that reason, it has a lot of fangirls. Consider me one.


I start off with a makeup wipe, or if I'm not wearing much makeup, sometimes I'll take mascara off using Clinique's Take the Day Off (which I think is an adorable name). Then I use Indie Lee's Rosehip Cleanser, which is so gentle and smells good! I follow this with the CoQ-10 Toner, which doesn't come in a spray bottle, but I like to put it in one because I think it makes it disperse more evenly. Then, I finish with the Squalane Facial Oil. I'll put 2-3 drops on my face and massage, focusing most on my cheeks because that's where I tend to be the most dry. If I'm feeling more dry, similar to my morning "bonus step", I'll use Mario Badescu's facial spray with aloe, chamomile and lavender. I looooove the way this one smells.

If you're in Springfield, go to Good Skin Day for a local way to snag Indie Lee! I've been looking for a good eye cream because I'm closer to 30 than 20... but that's a different post for a different day. Ha! Any recommendations for a budget-friendly eye cream I should know about?



Friday, June 22, 2018

Queen City Gems, Vol. 8: Your Weekend 'Foodie' Guide

The weather has cooled for now, and it's a good time to be in Springfield, Missouri. Here are a few things happening in my hometown that I'm digging right now.

1. Foodie Weekend Starts Tomorrow in the 417
If you're at all into food or drinks (I assume that's everyone), there's an event for you this weekend in Springfield. I'm most excited about Taste of SoMo, happening downtown on the square. Admission to this event is free, plus food sampling tickets are only $10 for 10! If you attend, make sure to stop by the local chef's panel at 2 p.m. inside the Queen City Wine Dive. I'll be moderating it, and I'm so excited to hear from some top chefs in our area! Taste of SoMo runs from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., and there's more information about it here.


2. The Coffee Ethic's 'Cold Brew 101', and More
Here are the events for beverage enthusiasts, and a fun fact about this very blog you're reading. Home-brewed iced coffee was one of my very first blog posts waaaay back in October of 2013. Awww! That being said, I am a big fan of cold brew, and a big advocate for not putting ice in hot coffee and calling it "iced coffee". I'm sorry if that makes me coffee snobby! Anyway, if you've never tried making home-brewed iced coffee, or if you want to bump up your cold brew skills a notch, The Coffee Ethic is hosting a 'Cold Brew 101' class tomorrow from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. It's a come and go event, so swing by, learn something, and then go forth and make better coffee. For the beer people, White River Brewing Co. is hosting Summer Fest 2018 tomorrow evening on C-Street, complete with chalk muralists, an appearance by 5 Pound Apparel, and more. Finally, if you're into Mexican food and rosé, Cherry Picker is hosting its 2nd annual Rosé Day on Sunday, with tacos and tamales from Tortilleria Perches, over 20 rosés from all over the world and two live bands. 



I'd typically include something else from another category at this point, but what can I say? It's a good weekend to eat in the Ozarks.

Know of something I should include in a Queen City Gems post? Email me, or message me on Instagram!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Solstice Musings

It's here, people, the longest day of the year. There's a scientific explanation for how it all happens, but there's nothing calculable about the way it makes me feel. For all intents and purposes, today is the same as tomorrow — but today, we get three more seconds of sunlight than any other day of the year. It happens annually, like the clockwork of the sky, a giant sundial to remind us what season we're in and which is coming next.


When I was young, maybe 8 or 10 or so, my parents went on a trip, and I was staying with some family friends on the summer solstice. I must have mentioned a few times that it was the longest day of the year. They teased me, saying, "You don't want to spend this lengthy day with us? You'd rather be somewhere else, like CiCi's Pizza or Silver Dollar City?", but it wasn't about where else I wanted to be. I just wanted to make sure to soak up every minute of that day.

Maybe it's because I thrive in natural light, but I crave this day year-round. Yet when it arrives, the summer solstice gives me mixed feelings; it even did back then. It's one part bliss because my favorite season has officially arrived, complete with dripping, sticky popsicles and a nap on a warm towel after an hour in the pool. At the same time, it's one part bellyaches, knowing tomorrow won't be as long as today. It can't; the sun won't let it. In some ways, it reminds me to live in the moment. I can spend my whole year waiting for June 21, but 24 hours later, it will be June 22.

There's nothing I can do to make the summer solstice shorter. There's nothing I can do to make the winter solstice longer. All any of us can do, really, is sit back, smile, and be thankful for the sunshine we are allotted today. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

How to Quick Pickle Radishes

Radishes aren’t my favorite veggie in the world, but they’re in season and I’m trying my best to incorporate more of them into my diet! On the other hand, I love pickles, pickle juice, Tommy Pickles and anything else that is in any way related to the juicy snack. I was talking to a chef friend of mine about pickling my radishes (hi, Daniel!), and he suggested I do a “quick pickle”. What comes next is my recipe, not his, because I assure you his would be more exotic and probably contain some crazy ingredient I’ve never heard of (but of course tastes delectable).

Pickled radishes are having a moment in the food scene right now, so if you haven't tried making them yet, now is a great time! I've had them recently in ramen bowls and on street tacos, but they can add an unexpected kick to many recipes if you're creative in the kitchen. Photos below and recipe at the bottom! xo.







Ingredients
- 1/2 lb radishes
- 8 oz. mason jar
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs salt

Directions
Start with one bunch of radishes (about half a pound) and thinly slice them. Place radishes in mason jar. Meanwhile, mix 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir well and pour mixture over radishes — you may have a little more pickling juice than fits in the jar, and that's ok! Store in the fridge for 24 hours, and you're good to go. If you sneak a few before the 24 hours, I won't tell. 😉

This is a pretty basic pickling recipe, so you can use it with cucumbers, onions, carrots, or any veggie, really! For a more unexpected flavor, you can add ingredients like peppercorn, dill, etc. What would you add? Let me know!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

My All-White Outfit Picks

All white! So, not that these rules exist anymore, but in the "olden days", Memorial Day weekend was the start of summer. That meant — finally — a chance to wear all that white linen! Memorial Day through Labor Day were the glory days of those white pumps that are typically reserved for the back of your shoe closet. Of course, the fashion rulebook has been edited to include winter whites and wear-whenever-you-want whites.

But I'm still excited about this hue white now. Here's my Memorial Day mood board!


1. This gorgeous Urban Outfitters dress. And a bonus pick: this dress that's not white, but might be even better. 
2. Ok, so this bag isn't technically all white, but remember what I said about the rules? Forget 'em! Plus it's 40% off right now, so you really can't lose.
3. I can't get enough culottes right now. Here's another cute non-white pair!
4. Can't go wrong with some white sneaks, and I love the subtle design on this pair. I'm also into these green ones and Nike's new crop tops, because I guess I'm Sporty Spice now?

Hope your Memorial Day weekend is unforgettable! xo

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Queen City Gems, Vol. 7

Hi, friends! You may remember I've started a little series on here called "Queen City Gems", basically, where I brag about my city and the folks who live here. Feeling really lucky today to be surrounded by so many inspiring people and ideas; here are a few I'm particularly excited about.

1. SGFCO Launches Instagram, Website and Product Line
There's nothing better than seeing your friends dream up a concept, put in the hours, and watch it come to fruition. There are a lot of reasons I've chosen to stay in Springfield and put down roots here, and a huge one for me is having a likeminded community. SGFCO's initial product launch features a shirt that says "This place is as good as any", and their message that SGF is "perfectly satisfactory" is communicated through stellar design that pays homage to features of the 417. Stay tuned for more to come, and for now, check out their Instagram and website.
Photo courtesy of SGFCO
Photo courtesy of SGFCO

2. Erin O'Sullivan's Final Showing of "Piece by Piece"
Erin O'Sullivan is a sweet friend, pictured in the first photo reppin' the SGF CO tee, and finishing up her BFA work at MSU. I had the opportunity to see her installation, "Piece by Piece", at her first showing, and she will be doing the final showing tonight. Her work explores themes of loss and recovery — how we pick up the pieces and move on without our loved ones in physical form. The installation itself is beautiful and serene; you will feel things, and you should go.
Missouri State, Brick City 3 | Second Floor, Room 235 | Installation open from 7:30-9

Photography courtesy of Erin O'Sullivan

3. "How Seriously You Take Yourself" is Perfect for Your Summer Playlist
While the duo's name is Ski Lift, their new EP, "How Seriously You Take Yourself" is made for all the rooftop gatherings you'll be attending this season. Ski Lift is made of Abby Webster and Trey George; together, they've made something that's both soothing to the ears and soul — take a listen to those lyrics.


P.S. Last thing, but there's a SSLYBY show at the Outland tonight, and what's more Springfield than that?!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Taking Baby Steps Toward Bigger Goals

The road to achieving our goals isn't always as direct as it seems. Ain't that the truth! My hometown has a lot of hidden gems (see proof here), and one of those is The Bravery Board. A few of my friends started The Bravery Board to promote mental health to creatives and others who desire growth, and maaaaan, do they do a good job with it!


I've been to most of The Bravery Board's events, which they host quarterly in my hometown of Springfield, MO. Each time I leave the sessions feeling awake and inspired — likely thanks to the fuel of Eurasia Coffee, where The Bravery Board meets. The gals who run The Bravery Board have wonderfully curated speakers and topics; sometimes based off of felt needs, other times they bring ideas to the table and ask you to consider them in a fresh way.


Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with my friend, Michelle, for The Bravery Board's most recent podcast. It was an engaging conversation on the topic of taking baby steps toward bigger goals — which I highly recommend everybody do! If you're in need of some encouragement to "do the thing", here's some of my most candid advice on the topic.




I certainly can't say I've achieved all of my goals at this point, but I'm thankful for the windy road I'm on as I'm making my way through somewhat of a "DIY" career. You can take a listen to my conversation with Michelle either on SoundCloud or iTunes. xo!


P.S. Here's details to this outfit: Similar Top, Wide Legged Jeans (on sale for $9 😱)!, Shoes (I got these in Hawaii last year, and now I will never not wear them), Similar Sunnies

Monday, April 23, 2018

Top Picks from Target's New Opalhouse Collection

Have you seen the new Opalhouse collection at Target?! The big box retailer is killin' it these days with a quirky, vintage and global-inspired new line. If you haven't made it to your local Target yet to snag some of these goods, I'm sharing my favorite top buys from Opalhouse's decor. Their kitchen accessories are so good, I could write a-whole-nother post on those, too.

According to the Target blog, they here sent their design team to cities like Aix-en-Provence, Lisbon, Paris and Mallorca to gain inspiration, and it shows! (Target, if you're reading this, I volunteer to be part of your design team. 😉) Anyway, back to the topic: Here are the affordable home embellishments you'll be eyeing this spring.


1. Rugs. Opalhouse has a ton of cute, small rugs for bathrooms, kitchens and the like, but this one stopped me in my tracks. It's low pile, wool and a versatile enough design that it would hold its own anywhere in your house.
2. This chandelier that convinced me I need a chandelier. Ok, so we rent and this beauty needs to be hardwired, so I'm not going to be purchasing. But the vintage-inspired design reminds me of some chandeliers in my friends homes that I've begged them not to switch out, so it made me smile. Plus, it's a good deal for the price if you're flipping a house or want a lower-priced fixture for your own!
3. The stand that will transform your plants from almost-dead to beautiful, lush and green. Maybe. It's worth a shot! You should probably still water them, though.
4.  Cute and affordable printed sheets? I'm in. I definitely would have registered for these for our wedding if Opalhouse existed 6 months ago.
5. Removable wallpaper! I honestly thing Target has done the best job so far of making wallpaper accessible, no matter your lifestyle or budget. Perfect for apartment-dwellers and statement walls when you want to commit, but only kind of. There are really so many things you could do with these with a little creativity.
6. Pretty sure Target saw this Anthropologie pillow I've been eyeing for a year and then gave us this.
7. Lots of the Opalhouse shower curtains look like designer curtains for only $24.99. Sadly, my favorite curtain is sold out already, but here's another option I like.

What do you think about Opalhouse? Are you as obsessed as I am?