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A Pop of Pink

It's not always about stepping out in the best and brightest. Sometimes all it takes is a burst or two of your favorite hue...



What are some wardrobe dilemmas you've had lately? I'd love to address them in future posts!

Desk du jour

Have you ever seen a prettier home office? This one belongs to Amanda Teal and it's safe to say I'm experiencing major office envy... 
I love her Chippendale chair, inspiration board, and organized desktop. On a related note, I went to the New York International Gift Fair with my mom yesterday and picked out amazing desk accessories that you'll see when my new boutique launches on March 1. Umm, can you believe that's only 30 days away?!

Friday Find Under $50

...Because I love alliteration and the thrill of a good deal! This week's find is K. Slademade's new monogrammed leather key fob...
Totally adorable and only $18. What boyfriend wouldn't want one for Valentine's Day? ;)

Giveaway Winner!

The lucky winner of Laura Dro's gorgeous sunburst painting is...
...entry #6, Paislea Elyse of Allister Bee! Congratulations to her and thank you to all who entered. Laura will be giving away many more of her paintings on her blog so be sure to follow here!

Wardrobe Must-Have

The silk blouse has had a major resurgence in the past year or so and with good reason. I've been shopping around for a good deal and so far this looks to be the best of the best:
{Greylin, $97 — also available in black, blue, and white}

I love the collar, the single pocket, and of course that color! It's affordable without sacrificing on quality (I hate Forever 21's version of "silk" fabrics!) What do you think of silk blouses and this one in particular?

Take Your Pick

Four favorite dresses from ASOS in a range of beautiful blues (and one white for good measure!)...


I think the first one is my favorite... That stormy blue is such a flattering shade and the price can't be beat! Which one would you add to your closet?

Jamie Drake

Remember when I used to blog about color palettes? I think it's time to bring that back every now and then. Isn't the palette of this Jamie Drake living room sheer perfection? A subtle range of pinks, purples, and blues with just a hint of black... Yes please.

A Lovely Little Vignette

Between the punchy palette and the pretty patterns, I'd say this vignette from Erin Gates and Jill Rosenwald is downright heavenly, wouldn't you?

Gold Bracelets

I was talking to my new blog friend Susan about the stacking trend and we both admitted that we always remove bracelets because they make so much noise. I'm truthfully more drawn to basic pieces that are easy to slip on and off...



A couple cuffs or a solitary chain bracelet exudes effortless chic in a way no stack of bangles can! What's your preferred wrist wear?

Introducing Devon Baer Designs!

I'm excited to be welcoming a new blog sponsor this morning! Say hello to Devon Baer Designs... 






I think I'm in love...! Which piece is your favorite?

Tory Burch Resin Square Necklace

It's the kind of piece that instantly transforms every outfit. The kind of piece you'd give to your granddaughter one day. The kind of piece you'd practically sell your soul (or at least fall back on rent) to own...
Sigh. See it HERE.

Laura Dro Painting Giveaway!

Happy Monday everyone! Let's kick this week off with an amazing giveaway, shall we? I was positively thrilled to receive an email from the talented Laura Dro introducing me to her paintings and prints. Here are two of my favorite pieces...
Don't you love the fun colors and patterns? There's lots more where that came from in her amazing Etsy shop (including prints for just $49!). And in case you're feeling lucky, Laura has generously agreed to give away this original 8"x10" painting:
Isn't she a beauty? To enter, please follow Laura's blog and leave a comment below. I will announce the winner here on Friday. Good luck!

Flat Out

Who's ready for the weekend? I'm looking forward to grabbing coffee with a local blogger, spending time with my family, and unplugging as much as possible. I find that these low-key weekends are best tackled in a pair of comfy and cute ballet flats!



Which is your favorite pair and what are you up to this weekend? Have a good one!


P.S. Awesome deals on Bloch ballet flats at Rue La La today! Sign up HERE and shop HERE.


P.P.S. I'm posting about Emma Stone's style on the adorable blog The Now Stylebook today — please pop over and tell Annie and Elizabeth hello!

Interviews!

I'm thrilled to have had a few interview opportunities open up after announcing the launch of Design Darling {The Boutique}! If you're interested in learning more, I hope you'll stop by these blogs and read up on yours truly!



A big thank you to these ladies and all of you for the early support!

52 + 53

My family has a goal to see all fifty states together. It doesn't count if just one or two of us visits; all six must be there in order to check a state off the list. So far we've seen 33 states, a list of which you can see in the sidebar HERE. Two of the items on my 101 in 1001 list pertain to this family goal and they are...
52. Figure out the best way to keep track of our family's travels...
53. ...And make progress by crossing at least one more state off our list!

I stumbled upon this map ($60) on Etsy and I think it'd be a fantastic way to note our family's travels. Now to plot our next trip... Shall it be Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, or West Virginia? ;)

Have you done lots of traveling within the U.S.? How do you keep track of your travels?

Hot or cold?

I was cleaning out my closet the other day and noticed that I wear a lot of blue. This will come as no shock since I'm pretty sure 90% of the things I blog about come in navy but I was surprised to see so many different blue hues and so very little pink! I realized that as a redhead I tend to stick with what I know works and steer clear of riskier palettes. Do you gravitate toward one or the other as well?

For the record, I wouldn't mind if each and every one of these came to live in my (newly purged) closet. I think it's time for me to embrace the full spectrum!

P.S. You must check out the back of the Tibi tank! #LOVE

Hot Pink & Turquoise

How fabulous does Erika look in her Better Homes & Gardens feature? I'm so smitten with her pairing of hot pink and turquoise that I had to recreate the look and bookmark it for summertime.

So easy but so fabulous! I swear I'm going to live in that maxi skirt this spring and summer. Picture it worn like this for daytime dress and spiffed up with a crisp white button-down and espadrilles for the evening! #yesplease ;)

Bright + Tidy

I have a feeling I could be more productive in this crisp kitchen than I have been in my current workspace. I can't believe the launch of Design Darling {The Boutique} is practically six weeks away! That translates to lots of excitement and lots of work. Time to make another to do list!

The Design Dialogues {Shannon Darrough}

Ladies and gents, you are in for a treat today! The lovely Shannon Darrough is joining us to chat about freelance writing, finding balance, and what's next for her budding business. Shannon was one of the first people I reached out to when I decided to quit my job and start my business and we've emailed back and forth literally every day since. She's as smart and sweet as they come and I can't wait to share her with all of you!


Who you are: 
Hi, I’m Shannon Darrough. I write the blog I Love Your Crazy.

What you do: 
I am a freelance writer and from time to time I help select companies with their social media.

Where you do it: 
Let me see, I have a little office, but I enjoy the energy of a coffee shop so much that often I try to find the perfect spot in one (preferably with an outlet next to me).


Five words to describe yourself:
Preppy, loyal, energetic, enthusiastic, optimistic (most of those are just another way of saying hyper, ha!).

How would you describe your aesthetic? 
As a writer I don’t have an aesthetic so much... I mean I hope I look nice on the contributors page! I suppose my writing style is whimsical and with a dash of wit.

Who are your style icons? 


When did you know it was time to make the switch to freelancing / self-employment?
One afternoon when I was starting to get frustrated, I told myself that I would pursue opportunities in teaching and writing and whatever came first would be a sign of which direction I should go with my career. That afternoon, Katie Armour from Matchbook invited me on as a contributor. From there, more pieces started falling into place and Shannon Darrough Writing and Media was born.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of starting your own company?
Finding your passion in life can be tough, making a career of it is even tougher, but the feeling of knowing you’re doing what you love is amazing.

What is one lesson you've learned the hard way? 
This is so tough. Balancing work and life is my biggest lesson. When you start a company there is no time clock, overtime, or lunch break. You have to make hours for yourself and for your life — and sleep, yes, sleep.


What advice would you offer aspiring creatives? 
Don’t compare yourself to others; if you are looking around at what everyone else is doing, you’re not looking where you are going. Don’t be afraid to make your own path.

What do the next few years have in store for your brand?
I have a few tricks up my sleeve, but my next step is interior design. I have been quietly helping people for some time now. My plan is to make it part of what I do every day.


Three tasks on your to do list.
1.) Social media calendars for two clients
2.) One article
3.) Packing list for Alt Summit — pressure!

Three items on your wish list.
1.)  A big leather monogrammed bag that will fit my notebooks, reading books, laptop and other essentials — that doesn’t look like a diaper bag or luggage
2.)  Six faux bamboo Chippendale chairs
3.)  Kate Spade’s Emma book clutch with all the arrows (swoon)

Three tasks on your bucket list.
1.)  Wear a hat at the Kentucky Derby
3.)  Write a novel

- - - 

Isn't she lovely? I'm adding the Giraffe Manor to my bucket list asap. Now pop over to Shannon's blog and prepare yourself for lots of pretty!

Splurge or save?

My friend Kathleen asked me to do a little splurge or save feature à la some of our favorite magazines. When I stumbled upon these two darling peplum tops, I knew the time had come!



I truthfully prefer the less expensive option (cap sleeves aren't the most flattering, in my humble opinion!) although there's no comparison when it comes to quality. So tell me, would you splurge or save?

Yours Truly on Glitter Guide!


I'm honored to be sharing a few of my must-haves over on Glitter Guide today. What a week it's been!

Inspiration Boards + Giveaway Winner!

Happy Friday! I was chatting with Erika and Merritt on Twitter about how weekends are a little different when you're self-employed... Depending on how you think of it, it's either always a weekend or always a work day! But when you're doing something you love, well, I wouldn't have it any other way. Here are a few things that inspired me this week:




Is it strange to pin inspiration boards on Pinterest, which is basically a virtual inspiration board? Feels a little Inception to me. Regardless, aren't they pretty? Oh, and without further ado, the winner of the Tiny Prints giveaway is...

Congratulations, Kelley! Please email me so I can put you in touch with the wonderful folks at Tiny Prints. Thank you to everyone who entered and have a fabulous weekend, working or otherwise!

Oh, Essie...

My very favorite thing to do with my mom and my sister is to treat ourselves to manicures and pedicures at a nearby nail salon. There's nothing special about the salon but it always feels indulgent to spend time chatting and walk out with pretty polish on our fingers!



Of course I ask every time, "Which color should I get?" and nine times out of ten I wind up reverting to one of my tried and true favorites. Jelly Apple is my winter red (a little darker), Clambake my summer red (a little more orange), Fiesta for summer pedicures (perfect peeking out from my favorite sandals), and Fiji the perfect opaque pink. What are your go-to colors?

I'm in love...

Ladies and gentlemen, I now present the top I will be wearing every day this spring and summer. (And maybe even now layered underneath my navy blazer.)
What's not to love about that? Topshop, $56.

Mission Organization

For someone who's as obsessed with office supplies and organization as I am, I sure have a hard time keeping tidy. Thankfully there's no time like the start of a new year to vow to turn over a new leaf!



What are your organizational goals for 2012?

Curtain Call

I was absolutely blown away by your support for yesterday's announcement. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You sure know how to make a girl feel great! 


Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...


One of the trickier decorating challenges (in my humble opinion!) is finding the perfect curtain solution. Natural light is ideal in any interior — but it's not quite as charming when it's blindingly bright or causing a glare on your laptop or TV! Here are a few of my favorite solutions of late...

I love the idea of building a pelmet box to camouflage any unsightly hardware that goes into hanging the actual blinds or curtains. It's an easy and inexpensive fix that can be tailored to any shape or space! See Jenny's awesome tutorial HERE.

DESIGN DARLING {THE BOUTIQUE}

If you've been reading for a couple months now, you know that I quit my first job and decided to start my own business. I've been playing coy about details so I could really nail down the concept and start putting plans in motion behind the scenes. But now I'm pulling back the curtains on my new full-time gig...
...A brand new e-commerce site featuring a tightly edited assortment of accessories and decor! The past couple months have been a blur of preparations: registering Design Darling LLC, opening wholesale accounts, talking to mentors and new friends, and working on the new site. I can't wait to share the fruits of my labor with all of you!

I have lots of favorite little brick-and-mortar boutiques where I like to peruse and pick up gifts, whether apartment accessories or jewelry or paper goods. But I had yet to find the place where all those things converge online: a one-stop shop for all the lovely little details that make a house a home and an outfit a show-stopper. Imagining that many of you might feel the same, I decided to take a leap of faith and create it myself.

When Design Darling {the boutique} goes live in early March, you'll find fabulous art, baubles, clutches, pillows, trays, and more! Whether you're decking out your new apartment with your roommates or your first home with your husband, I hope it will become your go-to shopping destination for accessorizing, decorating, and gift giving.

Sign up for the mailing list HERE and let the countdown begin!!!

Currently Coveting

One of my favorite things about Currently Obsessed (besides the fact that it's like Pinterest in shopping list form — hellooo, addicting!) is noticing trends in the items I add to my list. For instance, I recently fell in love with these deeply saturated hues on dresses, scarves, and even a hat! 


Emilio Pucci scarf (on sale!)
Alloy skirt (bargain buy!)

And since I'm pretty sure this Reiss hat is the first I've ever posted...do you ever wear hats? Now that I'm letting my hair do its naturally curly thing, I've found myself craving an easy hat to throw on for bad hair days or inclement weather. Total effortless chic, don't you think? I also have my eye on this one...

$75 Tiny Prints Giveaway!

I'm sure I'm not the only one who pledged to do a little more entertaining and organizing in the new year. Fortunately this week's giveaway is perfect for both resolutions! Tiny Prints is generously offering one $75 gift card and it's up to the lucky winner whether to spend it on address labels, party invitations, personalized stationery, thank you notes, and more! Here are a few of my very favorites...

Mesmerizing Monogram address labels, $7

Vibrant Border personalized stationery, $16

Cursive Cocktails party invitations, $22


Dashing Diamonds personalized stationery, $21


Spring Burst party invitations, $22

To enter the giveaway, please do the following:

For one entry, leave a comment telling us how you'd spend your $75 gift card.
For a second entry (leave a separate comment), like Tiny Prints on Facebook.
For a third entry (leave a separate comment), follow Tiny Prints on Twitter.

The winner will be announced on Friday morning. Good luck!