Do you remember me? There are things I’ve been doing well lately, but blogging definitely hasn’t been one of them. I’m always trying to find better balance in juggling my multiple “hats,” but lately I got to a point of overwhelm and burn out. Mainly because I’ve been putting all of my creative eggs into one basket, which is my clothing line, HOWL Brand. I’ve been making some updates there and getting ready for this year’s fashion events. It’s been a lot of REALLY DEEP mental work regarding branding, vision, and planning that just left me depleted. I spent this past weekend way more relaxed than I usually let myself be, and all of the sudden the brain fog cleared and I saw the solution to so many problems and decisions I’ve been trying to make. I may need to evolve this corner of the internet to move with me as that continues to take up more and more time, but I’m trying to let that evolve naturally. In the meantime, I’ve pulled together some evocative images that really speak to my brain’s current state. A focused blend of exhaustion and epiphanies that, for the time being, is yielding results. Updates on everything HOWL to follow this week, so please stay tuned!
You guys, I can’t believe I’m saying this again, but I have been so sick for the better part of last week. AGAIN! It’s starting to feel like I’ve been sick almost all winter, and it’s been making it hard to keep things balanced and stay on track with my goals. It’s an inner struggle of self-care vs. progress that I’ve been thinking about and reading about a lot lately. How do you stay moving forward when things like physical or mental health issues are constantly interfering with your well-laid plans? A post on that will be coming soon, but in the meantime, if you’d like to share your input feel free to comment or message me. I don’t usually post these roundups on a Monday, but as it has been going lately, I’m pretty much on a rotation of cough drops, Theraflu, and schedule adjustments, so I’m trying to roll with it. I hope you can, too.
Now, onto the fun part! Here are some things I’ve been bookmarking, pinning, and just generally enjoying lately.
1 I always get excited to see Cassie’s style and creativity, but this post on her own home update blew. my. mind. It’s absolute color- and print-mixing mastery and is just so inspiring. (Hi Sugarplum!) | 2 Did you know you could marble concrete?! And according to this DIY planters post, it’s actually a very easy medium to work with. So cool. (Row House Nest)
3 Sometimes it’s the very little things that can change your life, like realizing you might not be using bobby pins correctly. (Camille Styles) | 4 I love these custom code word rings from Lulu Frost, which you allow you to mix and match letter stones for a personalized message. I’m adding the word CREATE to my wishlist because the color combo is gorgeous. (Lulu Frost)
5 There are so many funny things to appreciate in this video: the daughter’s confident dance intro, the frantic dive-bombing mother, the father desperately trying to escape into his eyelids. I’m pretty sure any parent/caregiver can relate. (BBC News)
No one has ever accused me of being a minimalist, but lately, I’m finding myself drawn towards this very simple color palette of black and white with pops of gold and natural materials. Add in some opulent, scrolling Baroque focal points, like a large gilded mirror or an artful lighting fixture, and I’m completely smitten. An over-the-top Baroque piece in an otherwise minimalist space is the stuff très chic dreams are made of.
Happy weekend, pals! Holy cannoli, I have been sick as a dog for an entire week. I’ve basically been in hibernation from the real world. I would love to tell you the blog schedule didn’t take a hit because I was prepared in advance, but that is just not the story of my life these days. I have, however, been making some solid progress on my brand, Howl, which I’m excited to share with you soon. I also have some posts coming up that I’m pretty pumped for, including a home and style post based on La La Land and a fun art giveaway. So stay tuned! This girl is starting to feel better and things are looking up! And in the meantime, here are a few click-worthy posts from the more productive as of late.
1 I always get excited to see local people featured in non-local publications. This home tour of Columbus-based couple Brandon and Stephanie, of Stuff Steph Does, is chock full of uber-stylish furniture finds and attainable ways to make the most of your space, like their tiny bathroom-turned-show-stopper. (Design Sponge) | 2 Can you ever have too many scarf-tying tutorials? I say no. This guide features some newer styles in simple photo format and is a must for anyone wondering how to master the bandana trend. (Style Bee)
3 With her designer-clad girls and their exaggerated features, Bijou Karman’s illustrations tap into the awkward-cool side of fashion that is very of the moment. Her recent collab with Rhianna for Stance Socks solidifies her status as one to follow. (Bijou Karman) | 4 How have I not discovered ombre candles until now? They make the perfect toppers to this gorgeous but simple spring party tablescape. This post also features a giveaway with Cheeky Home that ends this Saturday, so click on over! (A Kailo Chic Life)
5 This dream-like short film by Petra Collins for Gucci Eyewear is giving me hella inspiration. There’s so much to look at, it’s basically a feast for the eyeballs.
I’m so glad I live in a world with Vogue.com, where it doesn’t matter that I’m at home in middle America, I can still keep up on all the fashion week updates. My favorite part of all the coverage is always the behind-the-scenes detail shots. They give the perfect peek into the atmosphere at each show and an instant sense of the statement the designer is making. These are a few of my favorite shots capturing the magic of it all. Check out more great backstage images on Vogue.com and get all the coverage, including the top collections and the best fashion and beauty street style looks of NYFW.
Happy Monday, friends! With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I hope you are feeling the love in the air.
For this edition of the LISTS, I’m loving the soft, romantic color palette in this wishlist, which was inspired by a pink sunset. It’s ultra feminine while the darker tones add a bohemian feel. I always think when you’re going for romance that vintage-inspired styles are the way to go. They instantly invoke a sense of a classic love story without the cheese factor that often comes with the holiday.
Speaking of the cheese factor, it can be hard to find the balance between romance and cool when it comes to love songs. Men especially, I think, can have a hard time embracing the genre without feeling like the songs are silly. Last year I asked Zach to come up with a list of songs that walked the line between the very romantic and the very cool. It got a great response, so I asked him to add to it again this year. Here are some of his recent additions that I think would make the perfect backdrop to any Valentine’s Day party or a romantic dinner at home.
I say “Dude-Approved,” but really, these are the kind of love songs I prefer, too. It’s basically just for anyone who needs a little grit with their romance for it to feel authentic. You can check out the full list, including last year’s songs, on Spotify.
Happy Friday, pals! Ever since the New Year’s I’ve been focusing a lot on simplifying my life. Part of that has been focusing what I do in this space. One of the things I’ve realized if that, as much as I might love the “fluff” pieces, like this series, I needed to shift the focus a little bit so I can have more energy for my design work. So, unlike in the past, I will be posting these links roundups every other week instead of weekly and will be alternating them on Fridays with my Friday Vibes series. So the names and schedules are changing slightly, but it’s basically all the same. It’s just a way to simplify my content while still keeping two of my favorite series.
So, now that you’re clued into the over workings of a blogger’s brain, let’s focus on the fact that two weeks of links provides twice as much great content to choose from and share. Now let’s dig into the recent favorites!
1 I’m loving these DIY boots, a nod to Dior’s bug-embellished tulle moment last fall. The process is super simple and the bug/velvet combo makes me really happy. (Honestly WTF) | 2 I always think it’s cool to see how artists work, and this tour of Katherine Zener’s studio gives a great glimpse into how the designer makes her space work for her innovative menswear accessories line. (Design Sponge)
3 I was so excited to see that one of my favorite designers, Justina Blakeney, just launched a furniture collection with Selamat. The Ida Mirror and Vela Pendants are among my favorites, but if I’m being honest, I love every piece. (The Jungalow) | 4 Can you believe this bouquet sculpture from artist Ann Carrington is made from spoons? Using just dull metallic utensils she’s able to create pieces so realistic and detailed you’d almost think they’re painted flowers. (Bored Panda)
5 I finally saw La La Land a couple of weeks back, and when I got home I immediately saw this and thought it was pretty hilarious. If you’ve seen La La Land, I’m dying to hear what you thought. I loved it more than words can adequately express, but I promise I won’t throw a chair if you’re Team Aziz. 😉
Welcome back to the weekly roundup! It’s been a while since I posted my regular roundup, and I’ve missed celebrating my favorite links in style, art, design, and more from around the web. Here are some of the finds I’ve been loving lately.
1 I’m crazy about the thoughtfully-layered items in Anna Valdez’s still life paintings, especially the intricately patterned rugs. They feel so fresh and vibrant, but also homey and comfortable. (Anna Valdez) | 2 Do you like to read the original book before seeing the big screen adaptation like I do? If so, here’s a list of 10 books to read before they hit theaters in 2017. (The Everygirl)
3 These DIY rose petal bath salts seem pretty simple to make and would make seriously gorgeous gifts for your friends on Valentine’s Day. (Paper & Stitch) | 4 This Brooklyn home tour has loads of creative inspiration and organization ideas for the home that’s big on artistic vision but short on space. I’m particularly fond of this rolling rack/plant hanger/book shelf combo. (Apartment Therapy)
5 Sometimes I like to share thought-provoking videos to make you question your entire life’s philosophies. This is not one of those times. I hope you’re all okay with that situation. (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)
Whether or not you take part in resolution-making, it’s pretty hard to deny the power of the new year for motivating change. If you caught my Resolution Blueprint post you know that this year I’m focusing less on breaking habits and more on adding one simple positive action to add growth and happiness in areas of my life that I’d like to improve. These cute-yet-powerful illustrations by NY-based artist, Jeremyville, fall right in line with that positive momentum. Started as a daily online art project, these Public Service Announcement prints aim to “explore such concepts as self empowerment, personal growth, human virtue, love, loss, and what it means to be human, through simple imagery and words.” I’m digging that. Happy 2017!
My second half of 2016 was busy, busy, busy. I designed two more collections for HOWL for two more fashion shows. I also moved from Columbus, to Dayton, and finally to Cincinnati, which is my new home. If you ask me, that’s plenty of stress already over six months’ time, but the crazy part is that originally none of that was in the game plan. But in the spirit of my word for 2016, “NOW,” to prompt less thinking, more acting, I went with it. And then some. Here’s a little recap of some of the highlights from the last six months.
2016 in three words: Exciting, challenging, and sleepless!
My common state of being: Tired, but focused and moving. I pulled a lot of all-nighters and created an ever-growing to-do list (I still don’t even have all my boxes unpacked). I’m ending the year absolutely exhausted, but even more in focus with my 2017 goals.
Favorite accomplishments: If you remember back in June, I had the opportunity of showing a collection for Alternative Fashion Week. It was such a cool experience, and to my surprise it led to an invitation to show at Fashion Meets Music Festival and Fashion Week Columbus. All of these shows were on my brand bucket list for HOWL, but I never expected to have them all happen in a matter of months! That took a whole lot of work, but was a very happy and unexpected surprise. Here’s a peek at both of those shows.
FMMF, the Fashion Meets Music Festival, was such a cool experience. It’s basically a weekend of concerts and fashion shows in one place. Highlights for me included the fashion shows by local designers/friends, the coolest-ever finale show by Project Runway All-Stars winner Michelle Lesniak, and of course, having my family there for my first ever solo show. Plus, it was just so cool to be having a show in the same venue as some really big-name musicians, including one of my all-time favorites, BORNS. I even had my models walk to his song, Electric Love, to show my admiration. This collection was called Moonbow, and was basically just a bright, festival-ready take on the Alternative Fashion Week collection.
Fashion Week Columbus came as a total surprise to me this year. It’s been a long-time dream of mine to have a collection at this event. I used to go to the runway show as a blogger every year and my mind would just spin with ideas of what I would want to do one day. Well, back in the beginning of 2016, when HOWL was just the tiniest, newborn brand, I auditioned and ended up being the runner-up for the final place in the show. Little did I know, due to a couple twists of fate, there ended up being an open spot and, all of the sudden, a years-long dream was becoming a reality! The rest of the designers had already been working for months and I had just a few weeks, so it was stressful to say the least, but it all came together in the end.
The show was called, Red Moon, and was a spin on the Little Red Riding Hood. I always love to mix masculine with feminine styles, so this collection really expressed that, with half of the models walking as “Little Reds,” complete with fresh flower baskets from Dummen Orange, and the other half walking as the wolves in masks that my sister put in hours to help me get done, God bless her. They were full-face masks worn backwards, so it came off as a little surprise on the runway when the girls turned. It was my personal nod to the wicked side of an otherwise romantic collection.
Not bad for the brand’s first year, huh? I’m looking forward to continuing the momentum in 2017, but working to be ahead of it and in control of it, rather than frantically riding the wave.
Lessons learned/skills strengthened: I’ve gotten more draping and construction experience this year than ever. I also learned that I can make pretty much anything happen in crunch-time. There were times leading up to Fashion Week Columbus where my workload was seemingly impossible and the pressure was really overwhelming, but I stayed focused and made it happen. Was everything perfect? Not even close. But I kept trying to remind myself about the value of imperfect progress, something that kind of stays on a loop in my head. I also got a little better about the on-camera interviews/public speaking that goes along with all of this. I even presented as a featured speaker at an event after FWC, and I didn’t die! This has always been the hardest area for me. I’ve worked on my on-stage nerves for years with little-to-no progress, and I finally feel, dare I say, slightly capable in this area. Not great by any means, but capable. This is major for me.
Little things I’ve loved: Spending more time with both mine and Zach’s families than we’ve been able to in years. Finding new places to love in Cincinnati. Shopping for decor for our new place. Taking walks to our neighborhood library. Making about 100 bracelet sets as thank you gifts. Meeting so many new people and having so many thank you’s to give.
It’s been a big year and I can’t wait for more in 2017. Check back in tomorrow for a goal-setting checklist to get it started off strong!
What were some major moments in your life this year? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear them!