Back Again: Denim Dresses

If you grew up in the 90s, you remember all the denim. Jean skirts, denim overalls, jumpers and vests. It was on TV, it was in your closet, and it was on your third grade teacher. And we loved every minute of it.

And now it’s back! From throwback styles to voluminous minimalist silhouettes, denim accessorizes beautifully. Here are some modest styles that layer like a dream. Keep scrolling for ideas for accessories, too !

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A, B, C

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A, B, C

striped top, nail cuff, textured scarf

oversized watch, ditsy print scarf, saddle bag

suede boots, leather sneakers, rose gold sneakers

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One Little Word: 2017

abundance

Ali Edwards trademarked the amazing “One Little Word” idea/movement about ten years back, and it has only gained traction with scrapbookers and other creative types since then. Ali says:

In 2006 I began a tradition of choosing one word for myself each January – a word to focus on, meditate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life. My words have included play, peace, vitality, nurture, story, light, up, open, thrive, give, and whole. These words have each become a part of my life in one way or another. They’ve been embedded into who I am and into who I’m becoming. They’ve been what I’ve needed most (and didn’t know I needed). They’ve helped me to breathe deeper, to see clearer, to navigate challenges, and to grow.

Have you every chosen one word as a way of setting your intentions for the year ahead? In the past I have chosen a phrase to focus on, a personal sacred reminder for myself. Last year, I discovered the image below. I was wrestling with decisions about change, consumed by fear and anxiety, and I found it so freeing to be given permission to not let fear stop me. So fear came along for the ride that year.

do-it-afraid

For the past few months, my focus has been on a new word, one that is guiding me through my everyday life, my personal goals, and my preparation for the birth of my baby in February. “Abundance” embodies everything I am aspiring to this year. Here are a few of the ideas and affirmations that this word summons for me.

  • Abundance: I have more than enough. I am blessed with a life brimming with love, support and grace. I have a beautiful home and space to welcome others into my life. I am surrounded by things I value and lack for nothing.
  • Abundance: There is more than enough in this world for all of us. There are very few real urgencies. There are resources and time enough for everyone.
  • Abundance: My body holds so much more strength and power than I know. I have more than enough within me already for everything I want to do.
  • Abundance: We each have endless reserves of kindness within us. We can choose to express that kindness in the way we speak and how we give to our community. It is well within our power to put down bitterness and resentment and move forward lighter for it.

Have you chosen a one little word this year? Would you consider trying it?

Freebie time! Here are four downloadable digital wallpapers for you to use and share!

Abundance Digital Wallpaper 1.jpg  abundance-digital-wallpaper-2

abundance-digital-wallpaper-4 Abundance Digital Wallpaper 5.jpg

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Chanukah Gift Guide 4: For the Homebodies

Everybody has a homebody they love, and that person does not want zip-lining passes for the holidays. They also don’t want to learn improv with you. Homebodies love to be seen for who they are, people who love to be cozy and don’t want to have to apologize for it. So here are nine gifts that say, “I know it’s 5:15pm, but put on your pajamas and settle in for the evening.”

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  • The Year of Cozy: 125 Recipes, Crafts, and Other Homemade Adventures. This book is full of things to do every month that will make your life more cozy, crafty, yummy, and welcoming. Because sometimes it’s those little handmade moments that make your home a happy retreat.
  • Fatwood Fire-starter Crate. Few things are lovelier than a crackling fire on a cold night, and customers rave about these fire starters that get you from chilled to toasty in just minutes.
  • Harney and Sons Black Tea, Paris. Spoil someone you love with this black tea accented with flavors of  vanilla and caramel. Over 1,000 reviewers loved this kosher blend inspired by Paris, and more than a few mentioned the classic storage tin.
  • Velvet Bow Slippers. These velvet slippers with faux fur lining would be just as happy in an English cottage as your third floor walk up. Voluminous grosgrain bows adorn the front and coordinate with the polka-dot sole.
  • Let’s Stay Home pillow. Handlettered in your color of choice, this farmhouse pillow case has your evening plans all figured out.
  • Cornflower mug. There’s just something delicious about wrapping your hands around a great big mug. Fill it with coffee, tea, or soup and settle in for a classic movie or a long catch-up with a friend.
  • Dove Gray Chambray Napkins. Everyone needs a set of napkins that can be thrown in the wash without a thought and just get softer with time. Why save cloth napkins for best when they can elevate your everyday meals for just a couple of dollars? This version in cotton and linen will look even better crinkled straight from the dryer.
  • Pure Beeswax Tapers. Hand-poured beeswax tapers don’t smoke or drip, and smell so clean and delicious, never interfering with other scents on your table. Wrapped up with string, they make the perfect gift for hosts, too.
  • Arrow Jacquard Warmest Throw. Get comfortable under a bright woven throw blanket and spend the afternoon watching the snow fall outside the window.

Birthday Season and an Afternoon at the Ballet

In my family, this is *Birthday Season*. All of our birthdays pile on in a happy traffic jam in September, October, and November, so these months always feel particularly festive. In honor of our birthdays, my mom gifted my husband and me with tickets to the Boston Ballet. We’re seeing an afternoon performance of Le Corsaire, and I couldn’t be more excited. Here’s some inspiration for a graceful afternoon outing of your own.

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This photo of ballerina Courtney Levine (check out her Instagram!) inspired this look, especially partnered with this gorgeous flower arrangement by Frances Palmer, who is an incredible potter. Soft shades of lavender and cream look beautiful against touches of black. I added a touch of silver for a little bit of glam, but was careful not to overdo the glitz for this lovely afternoon date.

Happy weekend, friends!

Straight Out Of: Anne of Green Gables

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Outfit inspiration photo, locket, easy hair tutorial, white blouse fabric line,  Anne of Green Gables scarf, vintage botanical print, boots

When the cool Fall air starts slipping over my window sills in the morning, and the sun goes to bed a little earlier each night, all I want to do is cuddle under a warm quilt with a favorite book. Anne Shirley is an old friend, and I’m very much looking forward to spending an afternoon together, getting reacquainted.

I was excited to do a fun roundup for you, of soft colors and boots, vintage flowers and pearl drops, but really all of these things are just reminders to see the magic around you. To venture out and explore, and to stay in and luxuriate in your own imagination. Autumn is the season of full library queues, of lovely touches and cozy plans. It’s a time to remember old friends, to make space for dreams, and to re-center yourself as one more beautiful, wonderful thing is this beautiful, wonderful world.

So this month, feast your soul, imagine what can one day be, and re-center. I’ll be over here, doing the same.

Currently: August

August

Making my first quilt! I’ve made every mistake in the book, but you know what? I still get a quilt in the end, so I consider this a win.

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In progress

Loving my weekly yoga class. No one is more surprised than I am, but I love that it drops me right back into my body, no matter what is going on in my head that day.

Listening to this Coffee and Crumbs podcast about catching creativity, as well as this one about the explosive growth of Illustrated Faith. Continue reading

Versatile Fall Wardrobe Boosters

It’s always exciting as a new season approaches, and nothing thrills me like the appearance of Fall fashion on magazine pages and in store windows. The rich fabrics, deep colors, and interesting layers get me every time. But if you’re a longtime reader you know that I’m not a believer in replacing my whole wardrobe every season. It’s just not environmentally responsible or affordable for most of us. I’m a huge fan of shopping my closet a few times a year to find new color combinations and fresh ideas, without getting pulled into the pursuit of perfection that grips so many of us as the seasons change.

Today I’m excited to share a few versatile pieces that will freshen up the basic outfits already in your closet. Wear any of these with a black dress, or a jean jacket, or last year’s wool coat once the weather cools down.

scarf ideas

Scarf, faux leather jacket, black dress (also available in Merlot), lace skirt, pea coat

Blanket scarves aren’t going anywhere yet; they’re just too cozy to give up. Look for a deep, sophisticated colorway with plenty of drape. Wear with an unexpected cream leather jacket, or over a slim dress, or juxtapose its cozy feel with a delicate lace skirt. The classic choice? A military-style pea coat. You just can’t go wrong.

bag ideas

Bag, denim dress, cardigan jacket, utility vest, faux wrap dress

Merlot, or burgundy, is an Autumn staple, and this bag is a beautiful (and splurgy!) example. A clean structured bag never overwhelms an outfit- even a feminine dress- and is a great way to update your denim favorites. One combination I love is burgundy with black and white, like this chunky sweater, or burgundy with olive. Perfect for Fall. Here are several affordable options for merlot bags under $30, and this perfect burgundy leather tote for under $200.

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Long sweater, bodycon midi dress, reversible neck dress, Choose Happy tee, jersey midi skirt

A black sweater for Fall? Groundbreaking. But try it in a longer length, edged with soft ribbing, and suddenly all your summer clothes are boot-appropriate. Wear it with a fitted midi dress and cute flats, or a graceful more formal dress with suede heels. Throw it on over a graphic tee and a striped pencil skirt, and it just doesn’t get any better. Here is a more affordable option with the same open shape and stylized ribbing.

What’s top on your list for perking up a wardrobe for Fall?