Personal Posts

FWS Book Report | August 2015

August 31, 2015

Do you all love reading as much as I do? This monthly series is quickly becoming one of my favorites because it has really put the pressure on me (the good kind of pressure) to reignite one of my favorite past-times. I tried to pick a variety this month: one “think piece,” if you will, one total guilty pleasure, and one non-fiction for work/life progress. Overall, it was a great mix and for the most part my expectations were completely surpassed. I really love it when that happens. :)


Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I felt like a read a lot this month but in reality I just read this book very slowly. Not because it was boring or hard to get through, but because I was just really savoring it. I hadn’t read anything by Ishiguro before (like his award-winning novel, The Remains of the Day), but I’m now a devoted fan. I loved his use of imagery, every scene felt atmospheric, and thought he portrayed the complications of lifelong friendship really beautifully. The story centers around Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy, students at an exclusive (and very mysterious) English boarding school, as they try to uncover the intricacies of their fates. Overall, I found it hauntingly beautiful and can’t wait to read more from Ishiguro.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

You’ve likely already seen or read this New York Times Bestseller, which has floated around the blogosphere a lot in the past year. The cynic in me really didn’t want to love a book that was found in the “Teen Romance” section of the library, but the truth is, I really did love it. I couldn’t help it. It’s a story of two misfit teenagers in the 80s (bonus points) who bond over reading The Watchmen (bonus) and listening to bands like the Smiths (bonus). So I admit I was pretty much sold from the get go, but what really got me was the way they spoke to each other and their many memorable lines as they tried to describe their overflowing teenage emotions. Just check out this Pinterest search and you’ll see what I mean. Like I said, I went into it skeptical, but I read it in three days so what that says about my tastes, well I’ll let you decide that. Overall, I thought it was just a very endearing and incredibly entertaining read.

The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One by Margaret Lobenstine

This book is almost a decade old, but I had seen it on some “must read” list for creatives, so I decided to check it out. It some ways I was disappointed, but I think that’s just because I’d already gone through all of the soul-searching, purpose-finding angst for way longer than is typically recommended and finally feel that I’m mostly through that tunnel. Now, had I read this book back when I was on my 7th major at my 3rd college and could not for the life of me settle on one path, I think it would have been life-changing. While reading, I really took the time to go through the exercises and did find that they provided a little more clarity on my passions and life path. It kind of shed some new light on how to think about things, particularly in how to explain “what you do” when you’re a little bit scattered (totally related to that). Overall, although this book wasn’t life-changing for me now, I think it really could be for someone at the right time in their life.

Have you read any of these books? I’m dying to hear your thoughts on these and any books you’ve been loving lately!




Weekly Roundup

Weekend Reading Vol. 13

August 30, 2015

In case you’re looking for an excuse to curl up and relax for a bit, I’ve got you covered with my favorite links from this past week…

1  September = fashion = happiness. Get yourself ready with these 10 “up-and-comer” collections to look for at NYFW. (The Zoe Report)  |  2  I always love Justina Blakeney’s designs and this kitchen is no exception- just… wow. (The Jungalow)


3  I would never have thought to make a DIY terrarium side table, but this is definitely intriguing… (A Beautiful Mess)  |  4  I thought this look at the evolution of magazine covers was so interesting and well-done. (Medium)


5  I’m loving this new video series, The Outlanders. I mean, if this doesn’t epitomize “living the dream,” I don’t know what does. (The Design Files)


Plus, a few more gems…

Loving these gorgeous clutches.

And these art teacher necklaces.

The big Instagram news, in case you missed it.

Speaking of Instagram, such a cute post. What’s one thing you REALLY want?

Have you heard about Goodwill’s high-end boutiques?!

Love this chair that knows it’s real purpose.

Dyyyying for this notebook. Sign me up!


What links did you love this week?


Personal Posts

Are You an Opener or a Finisher?

August 29, 2015

Vanity Tray with Makeup

My mom gave me a really beautiful shampoo and conditioner set from eva-nyc for Christmas that I am still currently using even though it is now the end of August. This is not because I’ve discovered the Everlasting Gobstoppers of the hair care world, but rather because they sat in my linen closet for months while I finished using my gallon jug bottles of Pantene, even though I was significantly less excited about those.

Every once in a while my mom would ask me if I loved the shampoo and conditioner as much as she did, and I would tell her, even months later, that I hadn’t opened them yet. She must have thought I was crazy to wait, especially since her bath tub is likely lined with several different shampoos and conditioners. She, like a lot of people, would have most definitely opened them as soon as possible.

My mom can also be halfway through several different books at the same time, finishing the ones she likes and simply quitting the ones she doesn’t. The mere thought of that, however, completely stresses me out. There have been books in my life that I didn’t enjoy even a little bit, but painfully finished before moving onto the next one. For continuity’s sake or just for the sake of not giving up- I’m not sure- but I doubt you will ever catch me halfway through a stack of books.


When I came across this discussion by Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project), I realized my mom and I simply have a fundamental difference in preference: she’s an Opener and I’m a Finisher. Finishers get a certain sense of satisfaction from using that last drop of shampoo before starting into the new bottle while Openers subscribe to a more is more philosophy. Openers love an excuse to get something new and feel satisfaction from having as many options as possible.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a brand new pair of socks or that first scoop of peanut butter from a fresh jar as much as the next opener. But to me, the satisfaction only really comes after I’ve worn a hole in another pair of socks or I’ve used every last bit of that old jar of peanut butter. Finishers often feel overwhelmed when there is more than needed. Opening a new jar of peanut butter before the other is completely gone seems a little too chaotic. Clutter and over-abundance cause stress. Openers, on the other hand, feel comforted by those half empty jars or that overstuffed sock drawer. It’s often more than just the satisfaction of a freshly-opened-something-new, but rather that this abundance provides a sense of security because it means they won’t ever be without.

Flour Canisters

If you’re not sure whether you’re Camp Opener or Camp Finisher, consider these scenarios:

  1. The toothpaste is running low, do you (A) clamp and roll until you’ve made your way through or (B) grab a new tube and pop it open, leaving the nearly empty tube in your medicine cabinet for emergency backup?
  2. Your friend recommends “the perfect” lipstick but you’ve already got a couple shades for work and a couple for going out, do you (A) mentally bookmark the brand and color for when one of your standbys needs replacing or (B) buy it anyway, claiming there’s no such thing as too many lipstick options.
  3. When you open your closet is there (A) a place for everything and everything in its place, or (B) a sweater in all six color options and 15 of the same pairs of jeans.
  4. Which of these puts your mind most at ease, envisioning (A) meditating alone in your backyard on a quiet peaceful day or (B) listening to loud music in a room with lots of visual cues, photo collages, contrasting colors, etc.

If you most identify with the (A) options, you are most likely a Finisher, while the (B) options signify an Opener. It probably won’t be a perfect match either way. You may inhabit something from each camp. For me personally, I favor aesthetic abundance and don’t mind a little chaos every now and then, but decided I am more on the Finisher side in spite of those aspects because of my love of crossing things off the to-do list and an overall need for minimal clutter.


But let’s take this discussion a step further- how might being an Opener or a Finisher impact your work?


Well, first let’s look at the pros:

Openers are essentially abundance lovers. They are attracted to overflow and addition, meaning they are less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed in more chaotic environments. If an Opener is low on money, they would be more likely to take on outside work rather than cut back.

Finishers are essentially simplicity lovers. They are attracted to emptiness and subtraction, meaning they are more likely able to make difficult edits for things like time-management and budgeting. If a Finisher is low on money, they would be more likely to cut something like an premium cable package to save money.


Now, consider if there are ways that being an Opener or Finisher may be holding you back:

For an Opener, it would help to remain aware of any tendencies to move on to the next thing before completing the task at hand. If you have a goal that you can’t seem to make headway on, consider adopting some Finisher behavior. Create lists, schedules, and the overall structure needed to complete your goal, making sure to eliminate unnecessary distractions in order to complete the necessary actions before moving onto something else.

For a Finisher, make it a point to not only remain open to new opportunities, but furthermore,  to actively pursue them. It can be easy to feel comfortable in your current state and intimidated by the thought of taking on more responsibilities or using precious resources, such as time or money. Fight this urge and try to think like an Opener by going after new challenges and opportunities whenever you are feeling stagnant.


Are you an Opener or a Finisher? Do you agree with these distinctions?












Let’s Get to Know Each Other Better

August 28, 2015


Hi Internet friends! The great thing about blogging is that you often feel support and friendship from people that are virtually strangers. The weird thing about blogging is that you often feel support and friendship from people that are virtually strangers. So I wanted to switch that up today by telling you a little bit about me, but more importantly, I want to hear about YOU!

Here’s how it goes, I’m asking and answering five random questions about myself and if you want to join in, just choose one, two, or all five questions and answer them yourself in the comments. Grab some coffee and let’s get to know each other better!






Now it’s your turn! Give us your answers in the comments and feel free to share with friends via the social sharing buttons below.




As always, thanks for reading! I can’t wait to get to know you better!


Weekly Roundup

Weekend Reading Vol. 12

August 23, 2015


All my favorite links this week!

1  I’m loving the brushwork on artist Miyuki Ohashi’s illustrations. Her work has a feminine and dreamy quality that I just love. (Miyuki Ohashi)  |  And speaking of dreamy, the supernatural characters in this book by Madalina Andronic, Fairy Dust, are illustrated in the loveliest, most intricate patterns. (Brown Paper Bag)


I love this idea of working gallery walls around themes. It makes it seem like a much easier task to accomplish. (Cupcakes & Cashmere)  |  4  Isn’t this such an inspirational workspace? It’s also clutter free and the post gives lots of info to recreate the look in your space. (The Jungalow)


5 And oh my goodness, I want one of these guitars. The colors and lines are so incredible, you would never know they were made from old skateboards. (Prisma Guitars)

A few more…

I’m absolutely obsessed with these statement credenzas.

Definitely adding this cool tassel shirt to the DIY list.

I love this paint solution for walls with eaves.

And all these pink walls for just being super cool.

Following these best beauty IG Accounts.

And Mindy Kaling’s Guide to Killer Self-Confidence is on point, as usual.

What links did you love this week?



Friday 5: Five Ways to Find Creative Inspiration Under Stress

August 22, 2015

I apologize for the light posting schedule around here lately. My working life has been busier than ever, which has been good, but my personal life has been full of all. the. feelings! Everything is fine, just normal life ups and downs, but anyone whose work revolves around creativity can probably relate. When your day-to-day is centered around the thoughts in your brain, it can be crazy difficult to function when stressors are in play. When something like focusing your thoughts is just taking too much effort, it’s nearly impossible to be bursting with life-changing creative ideas.

So I thought instead of continuing to fight my head, I’d tell you all what I do when I’ve hit my mental walls. How to continue working and creating when it’s the farthest thing from your mind.


Desk- Coffee, Glasses, Clips

1. Get a New Perspective.

I mean this one as literally as possible. If you have the option to leave your physical work space- do it. Studies have shown that ambient noise, such as coffeehouse chatter, can boost productivity in creative brains. In fact, any new scenery and sounds can actually trigger the brain to think abstractly, helping to generate creative ideas. On days when you’re not hitting up your local coffee shop, you can turn to Coffivity, which mimics this effect by providing the perfect amount of distracting sounds to get the creative juices flowing.


Girl in Black with Hat

2. Get Moving.

Exercise is incredible in that it can leave you feeling equally calm and energized. A perfect combo for tackling any problem. If just the word exercise already has you moaning and groaning, look at it in its smallest, simplest form: walking. In my experience a short brisk walk can do amazing things for an overly stressed mind. Taking a walk in nature has added inspirational bonuses, as does an entertaining podcast or an uplifting song. Throw in all three and I guarantee you’ll finish your walk with a clearer, more focused outlook.


Cooking Prep

3. Occupy Yourself.

I’m sure you’ve had this moment. You’re driving yourself crazy trying to think of a solution to something until finally you give up and move one. Then later that day while you’re doing the dishes, the heavens suddenly open up and hand deliver the exact conclusion you had been trying desperately to reach. It seems counterintuitive, but when you’re feeling stuck, sometimes tuning out a little can be the best method to reaching that a-ha moment. Now I don’t think this means you should blow everything off when you’re frustrated. But move on to things that need done that perhaps require less mental energy. For me, anything that involves using my hands- cleaning, organizing, drawing, sewing, etc.- are usually what put my mind most at rest, leaving me open to new ideas.


Watercolor Sketch Pad

4. Look to the Arts.

This one seems a little obvious, but art is probably the most stirring source of inspiration available. I love going to art museums, concerts, and watching dance because, even though they don’t have anything to do with what I do, these things really fuel my need to create. The work of someone else can bring up all these thoughts and feelings within yourself, and when it really strikes a chord it’s like unlocking a creative vault in your brain. But I understand a fine art museum is not everyone’s thing, and I think that’s fine. There are so many options when it comes to finding artistic inspiration, from shopping at a flea market to watching some really get tv and movies (I’m looking at you, Hugo). Just find people outside of your specific medium that are doing inspiring things and get inspired from them.


Cocktail Glasses

5. Give in.

Creative burnout is very real and sometimes you just have to give in to the universe and simply take a break. Now I’m not saying you should go gentle into that good night, but if you’ve gone through all the possible methods you have for getting creatively unstuck, and you’re still just a blank slate, the time has come to take it easy on your self. Try and have a little faith in the process, respecting the ebb and flow of creativity. Rest, rejuvenate, and just focus on feeling like a human again. Take a little time to indulge in the luxuries, long a long bath, that you don’t allow yourself when you are in a creative working frenzy. The urge to create will come back. The brilliant ideas will overflow once again. And you might be pleasantly surprised at their new form.


What do you do when you’re lost for ideas? Share your genius ways with us in the comments!


PS: Do you love these photos? They’re part of Death to Stock, a brilliant photo resource by Columbus creative mastermind, Allie Lehman, and her collaborator, David Sherry. It’s an endless supply of great photos for blogs and business websites. Check it out! :)


Weekly Roundup

Weekend Reading Vol. 11

August 16, 2015

From gorgeous design to inspiring projects, the internet was full of awesome finds this week. Here, a few of my faves…

1  My latest art obsession comes from Raven Roxanne, an abstract artist who really floors me with her sense of color. I especially love the faceless silhouettes in her Girls with Flowers series. (Raven Roxanne)  |  2  As far as plus-size fashion goes, I think ASOS Curve really stands out for being edgy and fashion-forward. The new fall lookbook (starring Gabi Fresh) is seriously awesome. (Gabi Fresh)


3  I’m very intrigued by this interactive book, Start Where You Are, with its gorgeous illustrations and prompts aimed at helping readers nurture their creativity. (Brown Paper Bag)  |  4  And have you heard of The Scout Project? Maybe I’m just trying to fill a childhood void from never having any merit badges sewn onto my Girl Scout sash (#middlechildproblems). 😉 But, seriously, I just think the whole project is adorable. (The Private Life of a Girl)


5  I seriously love Jason Segel’s perspective. (Austin Kleon)


Jason Segel on being okay with being bad until you’re good:

I’m willing to be bad for as long as it takes, until I’m good….I don’t have a sense of shame. I just don’t. If I’ve hurt someone’s feelings, if I’m mean to somebody, I’ll lament over that for days. I’m that dude. I’ll lose sleep over mundane stuff. But I don’t really have the thing of, “Oh, I’ve embarrassed myself.” I just don’t understand why I would stop trying to play piano even though I’m not good at it. I want to be good at it. So why wouldn’t I keep playing?

Just. Keep. Working.


But wait! There’s more…

Fascinated by these Japanese words. I’m a total Irusu.

In case you missed the “juicy” news– so excited!

Possibly the most gorgeous jewelry collection ever.

An interesting take on marbling DIYs.

“There were no wolves in this movie.” Hilarious.

Coveting these shoes, this skirt, and this crazy cool jacket.


What were your favorite links this week?


Decor / Fashion / In the Mood for

Dress Your Nest: East Coast vs. West Coast Retro Style

August 15, 2015

My favorite thing about the 70s trend explosion as of late is that there are so many styles to choose from that all fall under the same retro umbrella. Just check out the last two seasons of Mad Men and you’ll see what I mean. The style differences between the New York and LA sets alone are so distinct, giving off completely different vibes in each place.

For instance, when I think of East Coast retro style, I picture a graphic, structured look. This downtown aesthetic in general can be described as crisper and more polished than its Western counterpart.

Here’s my take on the 70s trend, East Coast style, for both your home and and your wardrobe.


runway looks  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

bag + table  |  boots + mirror  |  necklace + lamp  |  tray + bracelet  |  dress + sheets  |  pillow + scarf



West Coast style, to me, is the other extreme. Instead of sharp and bold, this look is all about being relaxed and free. It’s at once both more casual and more glamorous.

Here are a few of my favorite 70s-inspired West Coast finds.


runway looks  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

chair + clutch  |  light + necklace  |  shoes + pillow  |  jacket + glasses  |  pants + rug  |  cuff + table


My personal style is definitely more on the West Coast side. I’m a sucker for all things velvet and/or gold and I love a good flowing fabric.

What about you? Do you rock the 70s trend in your home or wardrobe? Are you an East or West Coaster when it comes to style?






Currently | August Edition

August 13, 2015


Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset



Dreaming up costumes for this year’s Highball Halloween with my design partner, Shiree. Since our “Broken Dolls” collection won 1st place last year, we’ve got a lot to live up to for this year’s show!

Watching (shamefully) America’s Next Top Model season 4,782. Don’t ask me why because there is absolutely no acceptable excuse. I just can’t risk missing out on any of Tyra’s crazy and I clearly have garbage taste in television.

Reading everything! Currently I’m on Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, but I’ll have a full book report of my August reading list soon, so stay tuned!

Feeling relaxed amidst chaos thanks to these 10-minute slices of heaven from the Meditation Minis podcast. I did accidentally fall asleep for three whole hours while listening to one the other day, but I’ve always been an overachiever like that. 😉

Eating salad all the time. Isn’t that just what always sounds good in the summer? Well, that and ice cream, which I’ve also been eating on the reg. #noregrets

Working on product designs and upcoming projects that I can’t wait to share!

Thinking about the importance (at least for me) of waking up early and scheduling creative time. This is one of the hardest things for me to control, so I’m always trying to figure out ways to make a “normal” schedule work for me. Does anyone else have this problem? I’m working on a future blog post about the relationship between structure and creativity and I’d love, love, love to hear your thoughts, opinions, or just general gripes on the issue.

Wearing kimonos all day, errryday. When I reorganized my closet recently, these were the categories I ended up with: tanks, blouses, kimonos, and structured jackets. All were equally represented as far as amount of items go. I don’t think that’s “normal” but this girl knows what she likes. And it’s got lots of drape.

Planning out all the furniture paint projects I’m going to take on as soon as I can stand to be outside for more than 3 minutes. (i.e. the fall)

Listening to music from the 70s. I think a lot about 70s-era fashion lately, with it being such a major trend, so I guess it just seems to fit the mood. Plus, let’s be honest, I love a man in makeup and heels. I’m kind of obsessively listening to “Telegram Sam” right now.

Sidebar: You probably want to get out a fresh slice of notebook paper and title it “Future Dance Move Ideas” because this audience is killing it. 😉

What’s on your “Currently” list this month? Pick a prompt (or two, or ten) and let’s chat! :)


Weekly Roundup

Weekend Reading Vol. 10

August 8, 2015

I hope you all are having a fun weekend! If you’re looking for some great internet reading, check out these links I’m loving…


1  My eyeballs almost exploded when I saw these DIY Tie Dyed S’mores. I thought they were so beautiful, I couldn’t choose just one image. I mean, look at those marshmallows! (Studio DIY)

2  I’m loving the always-cool California vibe from Jenni Kayne Resort 2016. (Le Fashion)  |  3  Ohio friends, have you been to the Mansfield Reformatory? The spooky spot, where The Shawshank Redemption (and many other things) were filmed, looks like a really cool day trip. (Wander & Whine)


4  You’ve probably gathered by now that I have a pretty big crush on tv. I’m really looking forward to this series.

And don’t miss out on these!…

Awesome advice for choosing the colors for your brand.

Did you know Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant launched a work-ready dress collection with Black Halo?

I love a good face vase.

Dying over these towels

this side table

and these shoes!

An adorable photo calendar idea.

How to write a condolence note.

And the best quote from Mindy Kaling.

What links did you love this week?