My mom has been on a bit of a minimalism kick lately and has been clearing out a lot of her storage. Almost every time I talk to her she’s cleaning out some closet shelf or dresser drawer- it’s impressive. It’s also been really fun for me and my sisters because she’ll have a cleaning spree and then send us a group text with pictures of things she’s giving away. It’s a bit like an auction, seeing who can claim things the fastest or who’s holding out for the big ticket items. The best part is that I now have boxes of beautiful treasures, from actual antiques to shabby chic Home Goods finds, waiting for me to bring home.
My mom’s style is very feminine and she has a great eye for charming vintage details, and I think that vibe is just perfect for summer. The natural, more rustic elements feel laid-back and simple while the vintage touches provide romance and a little glamour. Here are some of my favorite finds for incorporating this style into your home decor or your personal wardrobe.
For this week’s vibes I wanted to share the work of Caris Reid, whose most recent exhibition, Time & Tide, is as meditative as it is bold. I love her use of historical symbols and iconography to express femininity and spirituality. The vibrant colors and imperfect symmetry add to the charm of her pieces.
Holy canoli, it’s been hot this week! Maybe some of you weirdos out there are spending your time “outdoors” embracing the “sunshine,” but this weirdo thinks that stuff’s for the birds. Literally. The only humans that have any business in 90+ degrees are of the Lachey variety (never forget). No, I think it’s a much better idea if we all just curl up in the AC instead. Stay cool, just like these links. 😉
1 If there’s one thing I love, it’s Couture Week. If there’s two things I love, it’s a Man Repeller recap of said week. Yasss, queen! (Man Repeller) | 2 I thought this look into actor Gbenga Akinnagbe’s home was breath-taking. It’s both calm and striking and just all-around gorgeous. (Design Sponge)
3 I can’t resist a good behind-the-scenes, so this peek into the process of making hand-sewn espadrilles really hit the spot. (A Pair & a Spare) | 4 I was so glad to discover the colorful work of artist Karen Barbour this week. I’m fascinated at how her style seems almost child-like on the surface but is, in fact, masterfully detailed and layered. I’m a fan! (I Love Illustration)
5 Whoa! This look into how Iris Van Herpen’s alien dresses are made is SO COOL! Don’t you just want to touch everything in this video?! (Visionaire)
Plus a few for the road…
This $900 banana is ridiculous, yes, but it’s ridiculously awesome.
Hi friends! Are you feeling happy? I’m back again with the monthly update of Our Happiness Project, where Zach and I have been following along chapter-by-chapter with Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. Last month we worked on chapter four, which is all about family. I would certainly recommend this chapter to parents. It’s loaded with simple and effective advice for communicating with your children. I especially loved the part about acknowledging the reality of others’ feelings. But even if you don’t have children, like us, I think a lot of the chapter’s talking points can be applied to all relationships.
Zach and I were particularly interested in creating traditions and capturing memories, because it’s an area in which we undoubtedly fail. To say we are “non-traditional” is an understatement. In fact, I don’t even know our anniversary (I know! I’m the worst.) and thus we don’t really have one. We have no holiday decorations. We take very few pictures. I’ve just never been horribly sentimental and it’s like the core of my being wants to reject most aspects of tradition. At the same time, however, as we are becoming more and more of a family unit, I know if we put in the effort for some sense of tradition, even though it’s not always my style, it would make us happier in the long-run. Here are a few ways we’re trying in the hopes of adding some more sentiment into our lives.
1. Take More Pictures
This one is hard, because it’s always been my belief that if you’re putting everything you’re doing all over social media you’re not really enjoying it in the moment. I do think that’s true, I mean, who likes eating dinner with someone who’s on Snapchat the whole time? I definitely do not. So I’ve been trying to find the happy medium. The Fourth of July, for instance, is my family’s big get-together holiday, so Zach and I both made it a point to take more photos that weekend. I thought it was really fun getting behind-the-scenes shots, but I realized when I was back home that we had taken zero pictures of ourselves together. I also didn’t get any pictures of my mom. Moral of the story, there is some progress to be made, but it’s a step in the right direction.
*Sidenote: I think I avoided this for a long time because I don’t particularly like photos of myself, but I’m really trying to focus more on the importance of preserving memories and less on the vanity aspect of it. If you are a fellow photo-avoider, I’ll tell you it gets easier and better. My sister even told me after this weekend I’ve gotten more photogenic. She was obviously lying, of course, but it was still nice to hear. Maybe, if anything, with practice I have become a little less awkward, which I’ll count as a win.
Have you heard of smashbooking? It’s basically like scrapbooking but much simpler and a bit artsier/messier (right up my alley). Zach and I have been collecting concert tickets for years. It is, in fact, the only actual collection of anything we have. I’m very fond of the fact that we’ve kept all these stubs, especially since it’s out of the ordinary for me (I tend to be a little trigger happy with getting rid of things). I’ve realized that I do love this little collection and it’s not like it’s taking up any real space in my life, so I started thinking about how to branch this idea out. I’ve started picking up mementos, like the program and my backstage pass from the Alternative Fashion Week show, and am really excited to continue collecting and start smashbooking. And by “smashbooking” I really mean taping things in a notebook and scribbling little extra notes. The goal is to keep it simple so that it’s something I’ll want to continue.
*Is smashbooking something you’re interested in learning more about? Let me know if it is, and I’ll share some ideas/progress in a future post.
I mentioned above that we don’t have an anniversary, which is totally true. I’ve never been a calendar date person, even for events by which I was hugely affected. I remember the feelings, I remember the details, I simply don’t care as much about the actual day it occurred. Because of this, I actually don’t even know when we started dating. In fact, don’t even agree on the year, so clearly this is not an area of strength for us. Somewhere down our relationship road, I began sort of wishing we had one, so we made up the idea of having monthly anniversaries. They were on the 7th of every month, just like both of our birthdays. It was really fun- I’d wake up and sing some made up song about it and we’d just be really nice to each other and have a little date. Simple yet, as far as the happiness meter is concerned, horribly effective. Somewhere along the way, our schedules got the best of us and that tradition fell off completely. So this past month we decided to reinstate it and I’m really happy about it.
*If you’re thinking about something similar, I just want to throw it out there that we almost never spend very much money on these anniversary dates. It’s basically like any other day as far as extravagances go. It’s much more about the thought put into it and just the general feel of it being “your” day. So try not to let things like time or money get in the way. They’re very real hindrances, but an occasion can be made special even when there isn’t much of either.
4. Holiday Traditions
If you’re still with me at this point, you know what’s coming: we don’t have any real holiday traditions. And our entire holiday decor storage consists of two stockings. Literally. I have a friend that thinks this is a very sad thing but it’s never really bothered me because we are always spending holidays out of town visiting our families and taking part in the larger, extended family traditions. But still, I got to thinking this past month that it might be nice to actually start making some traditions of our own. One tradition we started, really on accident, came from an only half-serious idea of Zach’s. He wanted to eat giant drumsticks while we watched the Game of Thrones season finale and be like a barbarian (this is a common goal of his, with or without tv finales). I was a little less on board with the Renaissance Fair food, but we settled for rotisserie chicken. We had some ice cream for dessert, because “Winter is Coming,” and the idea of themed season finale dinners was born. It’s silly, but we love to watch series together, so it kind of just adds another element of fun. I’m already thinking of an all-A dinner for when I make him watch the Pretty Little Liars finale.
Do you have any weird/awesome family traditions?
This month we’re working on chapter five is all about being serious about play, finding time to have more fun, and appreciating silliness. If you want to read along with us, I’ll be sharing our recap Monday, August 1st!
A lot of designers are talented and make beautiful clothes, but Vivì Ponti, the genius behind the label Vivetta, goes beyond that: she makes my soul sing! Her surrealistic clothing and accessories (those collars!) seem both classic, with their clear Schiaparelli-esque style notes, and entirely modern. I mean, have you really ever seen anything like these pieces? Vivetta is fresh, dreamy, and completely inspiring. I. AM. OBSESSED!
Week after week the internet is full of gems. Here are a few of my favorites as of late…
1 Seriously, how beautiful are those drinks?! I’m pinning these rosé cocktails (and their pretty pink cups) because they would be absolutely perfect for a shower. And pretty much any other day of your life. (Design Love Fest) | 2 The home of FleaMarketFAB’s Jennifer Harrison-Ciacchi is exploding with creativity and inspiring design. (The Glitter Guide)
3 I’ve been trying to do a lot of projects utilizing fabric scraps lately, both from a budget and clutter-control perspective. I’m saving this super-cute denim hexagon pillow tutorial to put my varying shades of old jeans to good use. (Lil Luna) | 4 Doesn’t this DIY tropical enzyme ice face mask sound absolutely heavenly in this heat? Like please get on my skin immediately. (Hello Glow)
5 With all the jumbled lyrics and consistent nipple exposure, it can be easy to forget that Rihanna is also an epic artist and vocal talent. Her video for “Sledgehammer,” the theme song to the new Star Trek movie, was shot using IMAX cameras and was premiered in theaters, as it should have been. Because it’s beautiful.
I just got back in from visiting my family in Dayton and MAN, did I have an action-packed weekend of celebrations! I don’t do a ton of talking about my personal and family life around here, so I thought it might be nice to give you a glimpse of what we had going on. Sorry that these are all phone pics, but such is life. Zach and I have been shopping around for an actual professional camera, so hopefully my pics will get a major upgrade soon!
Also, in case you were wondering yesterday, the first Monday of the month is usually when I do a chapter recap from our Happiness Project, but I decided (in the name of happiness) to spend this weekend focusing on enjoying my family instead of blogging, so that post will be coming up this Monday! Now onto the celebrations!
First up, on Saturday, my sister Brooke and I went to our friend Kelly’s bridal shower. It was a gorgeous party and the bride-to-be was SO happy! Her family even got gluten-free cookies for me, which was just the nicest. And how cute are those succulent souvenirs?!
Later that night we met up with our sister, Angie, and her family to watch fireworks with the kids. Our niece, Callie, and nephew, Weston, were so excited about the fireworks that they were literally just jumping up and down and yelling by the end. It was so much fun!
The next day was a surprise party for Weston’s 7th birthday. Angie had told him they were going to just do something fun as a family and keep it small, so when he arrived to Chuck E. Cheese and saw all of his friends and family, his mind was blown! Look at that face! It’s pure and total happiness.
Sidenote: How cool is it that they get to go into that ticket machine?! I wish they would have had that when I was a kid.
Weston likes the kind of games where you’re constantly collecting pieces, like Pokemon and Skylanders, and, frankly, it’s hard to know what he already has or still wants. So for our present to him, we made one of those money surprise boxes I kept seeing on Pinterest and it was a total hit!
It was really easy to make. We just taped dollar bills together, rolled them up, and placed the roll into an empty tissue box. Then we taped the top dollar bill to a bow to cover the box opening so that when he pulled off the bow it revealed this dollar chain that kept going and going. He really loved it and was even wearing it around their house the next day.
That night we hit the town with our brother, Dustin, and his wife, Nerony, who had flown in from New York.
From left: Brooke, Dustin, Dad, Me, Angie, and Nerony. We sang, we danced, we laughed, and then the next day we got up and celebrated the Fourth of July, which is also my dad and grandpa’s birthday!
My grandpa turned 91 this year and he’s still going strong! With both birthdays on the 4th, this is always our Wills family’s biggest holiday. People come in from out-of-state and we spend the whole day together. My aunt and uncle hosted this year. They live in an actual log cabin that they built in the country. They even have a chicken coup, which the kids were really excited about. It was such a beautiful place to celebrate the holiday. It was like stepping back in time in the best possible way, like an idyllic, serene little vacation.
I’m home now, hearing the traffic outside my window, and getting back to work. Its nice to be back in the city and back to my normal life, but I’m so grateful for this weekend. It was just the best, most relaxing, most love-filled time. I feel so lucky. 🙂
Happy Fourth of July Weekend! It’s a big one for our family because both my dad and his dad were born on the 4th. It’s pretty much as big as Christmas for us. I’m really looking forward to celebrating them, cooking out, and just having some relaxed family time. It will also be a big weekend for fashion, as stars & stripes are having an even bigger moment than usual as of late. I absolutely love this motif both for its graphic nature and glam rock vibes. It’s classic but also feels a little bit rebellious, don’t you think?
Hey, pals! Can you believe that we’re halfway through 2016 already?! I really can’t. You know that saying, “The days are long but the years are short”? Well, I feel like lately the days are just as short. To quote Jessie Spano, “There’s never enough time!” I was telling Zach the other day that I really want to get better at shutting off and enjoying time more instead of always feeling like I need to be productive. Like I feel SUPER guilty when I have a non-productive day, when really I just need them sometimes to rest and recharge- it’s human. So I’m trying to focus on that a little bit more, to stop chasing time and just try to focus on moments. Especially with upcoming family gatherings, I really want to be able to JUST BE.
Are you feeling the need to take a mental break from the hamster wheel of life, too? Good because I’ve got a lot of distractions for you today. Take a little time and JUST BE with these little gems.
1 This living room took my breath away and the rest of the home is gorgeous, too. (Apartment Therapy) | 2 Can you believe this artwork is made from curled strips of paper? I think it’s amazing. (Gunjan Aylawadi)
3 S’mores are always cool, but these s’mores, with tie dye Fourth of July marshamallows, are BEAUTIFUL! (Studio DIY) | 4 I think this DIY Matisse-inspired rug might be one of the most impressive projects I’ve ever seen. It’s perfect for large-scale or hard-to-fit rooms. (The House that Lars Built)
5 I liked this original blog post a few years back, but Tim Urban’s presentation makes it even better. So funny and so, so relatable.
It is officially summer! As many of you know, I’m not exactly a summer girl. I strongly prefer the air-conditioned indoors to any outdoors adventure. But even as a self-proclaimed “inside girl,” there’s still something hopeful and magical about the season. It seems like there’s more time, more freedom, and overall more excitement, don’t you think? So as I sit at my desk in a cool 68 degrees, I hereby proclaim this season one I’m going to love. Cheers to summer 2016!
Before I get into the summer goals, let’s first say a quick good-bye to spring.
I feel like I started back in March with a lot of personal goals, and then those quickly got pushed aside as my life got consumed with working on HOWL for the Alternative Fashion Week show. But, at the same time, I DESIGNED A COLLECTION FOR ALTERNATIVE FASHION WEEK! That’s been a dream of mine for years. In fact I even wrote an AFW recap post for the Alternative Fashion Mob Blog two years back. Who knew at the time I was foreshadowing things to come?
I also jump-started another longtime goal by launching my personal brand, HOWL. I still have major work to do- shooting the spring line, launching a site, etc.- but as of this current second, I’m trying to just appreciate the fact that I’ve not only taken the first step but, frankly, I’ve taken a massive leap. As for all the other life things I’ve been neglecting lately in favor of brand obsession, well, hey, that’s what the summer is for, right? Relaxing, refueling, and catching up.