Weekly Roundup 34/52

Ahh, the glory of a routine. Or at least the semblance of one. This month I've had two temporary homes while relocating cities. Zach and I are living in Dayton currently, where our families are from, while working on making the transition from Columbus to Cincinnati. It's been a little crazy - Zach's still been working in Columbus and I'm trying to get ready for the Fashion Meets Music Festival - but it's something we've wanted to do for a while, so we're making it work. I'm currently renting a room with my friends for a couple of months and then, job-status-depending, we'll eventually make the move further south. I've felt like a vagabond at times, so it feels good to finally be settled in and getting back into the swing of things.

I haven't posted a links roundup in a couple of weeks, so that means I've got a lot of great finds for you! I've also got a few giveaways I'm excited about planned over the next few weeks, so you probably want to make sure you're subscribed to blog posts so you don't miss out! Now, onto the links!

1  Karen Walker's campaigns are always impactful, and the most recent, Magic Hands, a collaboration with Ari Seth Cohen of Advanced Style is a match made in heaven. It stars the hands of a couple of truly fascinating women decked out in the coolest rings, proving style gets better with age. (Karen Walker)  |  2  The nosy Nancy in me really loved reading these stories behind the tattoos of strangers. (Man Repeller)

 

3  I love learning about the schedules of artists. It's a fascinatingly tough balance to achieve between strict self-discipline and creative freedom. This look into a day-in-the-life of designer Rachel Castle is a part of one of my favorite blog series, Extraordinary Routines. (The Design Files)  |  4  I am so inspired by the inventive silhouettes and textures in Claudia Li's Fall '16 collection. I'm especially impressed with how she uses common materials, like denim and yarn, to create such dreamy pieces. I mean, look at those sleeves! (Honestly WTF)

 

5  So I'm not exactly in the "back to school" demographic (like even a little bit), but I still thought all three of the styles in this tutorial were really pretty and perfect for adults and teens alike. (Kayley Melissa)

Also click-worthy...

Loving the prints and pj-shapes in the Drakes x J. Crew collab.

A lovely lavendar and vanilla body butter DIY.

I'm crazy for these earrings.

Love this series and these pics.

This just might be the sports bra of this busty gal's dreams.

Have you entered my giveaway with Latherology yet?

 

What links are you loving this week?

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Latherology Giveaway!

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Hair, hair, hair... As we sweat it out in the final days of summer this seems to be one of my most talked about, or I guess I should say griped about, topics. You see, it's a Wills family trait to have very, very (I'm talking abnormally) thick hair. Enough hair for several people thick. This is both a blessing and curse, but amidst all this humidity it's definitely been feeling like more of a curse as of late. In the heat, my hair gets dry, frizzy, and just completely massive.

In times like these, my hair requires some extra tender lovin'. It needs hydrated, it needs managed, and it needs to be cared for as gently and simply as possible. Less fuss = less frizz = a much happier me. Latherology-Giveaway-Shampoo-Conditioner-Formulas

So I was THRILLED to get the opportunity to try Latherology, a hair care company that believes in high-quality ingredients and a simple approach. Their Cleanse and Condition products are made with 100% essential oils, so they are extra nourishing, and are sulfate- and paraben-free, so your hair won't get weighed down with unnecessary build up. They are also non-toxic, cruelty-free, and contain no formeldahyde, lye, parabens, sulfates, phosphates, phthalates, SLS, or sodium chloride. Bottom line: it's what my hair wants and needs and nothing else.

But I haven't even told you the coolest part yet. When you order a Latherology set you get to create your own custom mix from start to finish! The first step is choosing a base, either one for natural or treated hair. I went with the latter to give my processed hair some extra nourishment, and because, like I said earlier, it is D-R-Y.

Next, you get to choose between five different carrier oils. These bad boys don't carry a scent, but each essential carrier oil provides unique nourishing benefits, so you can choose based on what your hair needs most. I knew I needed a lot of moisture, but I have also been feeling like my hair is just so heavy these days, so I inevitably chose grapeseed oil for it's conditioning properties but also because it is lightweight.

Finally, the part I found the most fun, choosing your scents! I spent more time than I'd like to admit happily making scent mixes. I finally decided on frankincense and eucalyptus because I wanted something meditative and relaxing, and I have no regrets. It smells really nice, but more than that, the scent makes me amaaaaazing. As in zoned-out, trip-to-the-spa, pure bliss amazing.

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I kind of knew what I wanted going into the mixing process: moisture, more moisture, and a calming scent combo. But if you want a little bit more of a guide, Latherology also has this really cool quiz tool to help you come up with some combinations for your own specific needs.

Would you like a chance to try a custom blend yourself? Well, good news! The kind folks at Latherology are offering a FREE custom blend to one lucky reader! Just hop on over to this post on Instagram and follow the super-simple entry rules for your chance to win! The giveaway will run until this Sunday (8/28) at 11:59 pm, so get tagging!

And if you just can't wait to try your own, you're also in luck! Latherology is offering readers $7 off their first order when you use the code SAVE$7FWS at checkout. Your hair will be so happy.

 

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Photos by Laurel Marie Photography.

Our 'Last Days of Summer' Happiness Challenge: FIND MORE FUN!

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I feel like a broken record, but life for me and Zach has been pretty crazy lately. We moved out of our place in Columbus and into a temporary place (for a few months) in Dayton. After which, career moves depending, we'll likely be moving farther south to Cincinnati, but that's still a little up in the air, which is an unsettling place to be, to say the least. Our schedules are thrown, my work resources are scattered, and I'm frazzled at best. But you all have moved, you know this. It's STRESSFUL!

We had been really enjoying keeping up with our monthly Happiness Project goals, but last month came and went and, amidst the chaos, we did absolutely no work on the chapter. I thought about trying to throw the post together, riddled with apologies. I thought about completely skipping it. I even thought about quitting the project altogether. Especially since the current month's "work" is all about taking time to play. Play?! How do I possibly find the time for that right now?! But, in fact, because of all the stress, I think that's possibly why it's more important than ever to find time to fit it in. We could both use a few fun mental breaks during this time.

So we've made a plan! We took the aspects that stood out most to us in the chapter and picked some things we'd both like to focus on. Some together, some separate. If you'd like to take these prompts and put together your own little challenge to have some fun over these last few weeks of summer, I'd love to hear about it! You can tell me your goals in the comments and even check back in the beginning of September to share your results!

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1. Find fun in the everyday.

Fun does not have to be a week-long Disney vacation. There are lots of ways to enjoy yourself even on the most mundane of days. Whether you like to do the daily crossword in the paper, spend time gardening, or even organizing your sock drawer- hey, whatever floats your boat! Figure out something simple that you truly enjoy (not something you wish you enjoyed) and find a way to notice it and practice it more in your everyday life.

For Zach and myself, we really like to be creative, so we're opting to take more photographs everyday. It's an effort to notice beautiful moments we may be overlooking.

2. Be a kid again.

Think back to your 10-year-old self, what did that child LOVE to do? If it was building model cars, roller skating, or belting out show tunes, it's safe to say that your adult self still loves this activity (or at least a version of this activity).

For me, when I think back on my childhood, it seems like I was always either jumping on the trampoline or making choreographed dances with my sisters and friends. So I'm choosing to dance more and Zach picked playing basketball. Both of these are also exercise, so I'm going to go ahead and give us like 1000 bonus points. Feel free to do the same.

3. Start a collection.

I can't say either one of us is much of a collector. I appreciate it from a novelty standpoint, but definitely not from a clutter standpoint. According to Rubin, however, a collection "provides a mission, a reason to visit new places, the excitement of the chase, a field of expertise (no matter how trivial), and, often, a bond with other people." Looking at it that way makes it seem a lot more appealing to me.

I had gotten a vintage merkabah kind of decorative object, similar to this, for two or three dollars at Goodwill, and I really love it. I'd like to make it a point to keep my eyes open for more things with those geometric and vintage qualities and start, what I'll call for now, an "orb" collection. Zach's idea is a bit more sentimental and I'll share more about it when we recap in September.

4. Challenge yourself.

These first three fun prompts have value: they're relaxing, they inspire creativity, they promote positive energy, etc. However, when you really get down to it, taking on the category of challenging fun is the most rewarding. It's also the most taxing, because it requires time, hard work, and planning ahead. Plus, it can lead to more frustration, anxiety, and the fear of possible failure. In this, however, lies the key. Because we must put more into challenging fun, we will also get more out of it. It can lead to better relationships, mastery of a craft, and important personal growth.

So think of something that you know you enjoy but have a hard time devoting yourself to, be it from fear, lack of commitment, whatever. That should be the focus of your challenge goal. For me that's illustrating. I hobby I consider both incredibly rewarding and almost impossible to actually sit down and do. And for Zach it's writing, of which he has similar feelings.

Are you inspired to take part? You can work on one of these categories or tackle all four.

Share the ways you're challenging yourself to have more fun in the comments so I can cheer you on! Plus, make sure to check back in early September for our recap!

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Weekly Roundup 31/52

Hey pals! I'm up to ears in moving and moving-related stress this week, but it's all good because I see the exciting changes on the horizon. I've been doing a bit of the in-between-homes limbo so I'm really excited to be finally getting settled in the upcoming week. Structure has never sounded so good.

Speaking of good, congratulations to Candy, the winner of the $100 gift card giveaway with The Limited and Tanger Outlets! I've got several giveaways lined up over the next few weeks, so make sure you're subscribed to email updates so you don't miss them! And for some more good, let's dig into some of my favorite links of the week!

1  I stopped in my web-surfing tracks when I saw this handmade ombre clay bead chandelier. The colors, the texture, the classic style- it's just SO good! The other styles are just as gorgeous, too. (Klaylife)  |  2  I thought everything about this baby girl nursery makeover, from the inspiration to the diy projects, was just perfect. (I Spy DIY)

 

3  I just loved looking through these comparison images of how much your hair part can affect the look of your face. It's inspired me to do a little experimenting. (Refinery 29)

 

4  This year has really held a lot of career ups and downs for me. I've been given some really amazing opportunities while also facing more rejection that I ever have in my life. My sister sent this to me this week and I thought the message was pretty powerful. (Elle)

Want a few more...?

The prettiest fireplace/mirror situation ever.

I loved reading about this rainbow blanket project.

Jonathan Adler is so clever.

Are new moon manifestations the new #goals?

I wish this notebook existed when I was a teen.

Free People is rocking my world! Check out these boots and this jacket. So dreamy, right?

Plus, my favorite follow of the week: @americasgotnotalent. This IG account is exactly what it sounds like: ridiculous, cringe-worthy, and a total guilty pleasure.

What are your favorite links of the week?

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FRIDAY VIBES // Summer Braids

Braids in summer are the perfect combo: you get to keep your hair off your face and still rock some major style. Plus they're pretty much the ultimate solution to less-than-perfect hair woes, from hiding roots to extended your wash for another day. This week I'm looking to the ladies of Instagram for their endless braid creativity. I'm crazy about these looks, especially the newer trends of braid rings and mixed textures.

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Have you tried any of these braids?

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Giveaway with Tanger Outlets and The Limited

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The Limited and L Brands were founded right here in Columbus, Ohio, and they're a MAJOR reason why Columbus is considered the third leading fashion city in the US. Obviously, I love any chance I get to work with and celebrate them, so I was thrilled when they reached out to me about The Limited Outlet, which recently opened up in Columbus' new Tanger Outlets. I loved my visit to the outlet and was pleasantly surprised with the selection (and ALL those discount tags!). The store was full of stylish finds and was merchandised and organized just like the standard store. Outlet shopping has really come along way!

But enough about my shopping trip, you want to hear about winning a spree of your own, am I right? Well, you're in luck! The Limited at Tanger Outlets has been kind enough to offer one reader a $100 gift card! Read on to find out how you can win!

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I really love the essence of The Limited brand in general, which, in my opinion, is to make the lives of busy women both stylish and easy. These pieces are classic and well-made, so you can get a lot of wear from them, and they're also the perfect choices for days that require you to wear your many hats, from career gal, to mom, to life of the party. The styles can help you feel polished and put together but also have enough comfort and ease to make them your everyday go-to looks. That's a combination that is pretty hard to beat!

I styled a few outfits with some of my favorite finds at The Limited Outlet.

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1. Bell of the Ball.  How great is this bell-sleeved boho top? And I'm crazy about those wide leg flares. Toss on that layered gold chain necklace and some chunky platforms and you've got a super stylish, easy look.

2. Easily PerSUEDEd.  I love the rich tone on this teal faux-suede shift dress. From a work presentation to a wedding toast, this dress could go anywhere with you in any season. I added coral, white, and gold accessories to give it a fresher, more summery feel.

3. Skirting the Issues.  More faux-suede, this time in the perfect ballerina pink, paired with a fun fringe skirt and denim shirt. You could wear this look with sneakers and a top knot for a cool daytime look or throw on the marble stone necklace and some heels for a dressed-up, downtown vibe.

4. Fringe Benefits.  The picture doesn't do this fringed knit top justice. It's got some texture, some stretch, some metallic, and is basically my dream shirt. Teamed up with a pair of very on-trend destructed-hem denim and a coordinating tassel necklace and bag, this look has so much fringe and yet is still so chic.

 

ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The winner will be announced next Friday, August 5th.

 

Good luck!

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ON THE RADAR | July 2016

I'm sorry for the light posting schedule last week, but I've got a really good reason: WE ARE MOVING! You may remember when I worked wardrobe on the film Tiger this past winter in Cincinnati. Well, the work itself was a dream but the commuting and staying out of town was tricky, to say the least. Ever since we've been talking about moving from Columbus to Cincinnati for a while and we've decided to take the leap! Zach is smack dab in the middle of interviewing and making a career change so it's all really exciting... and stressful. We'll be moving to our hometown of Dayton for a few months while we solidify jobs and look for our new home. There are SO MANY things I'll miss about Columbus, but at the same time both of us our really excited to be back around family. Lots of positive change is brewing!

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1  NEEDING  //  Area rugs.  New home equals new decor! I've been shopping for area rugs for a while now and am really loving the finds at Hesby. The colors and patterns are total knockouts and the prices are better than many other places I've been looking.

2  COVETING  //  These blue suede shoes.  The pale blue on these No.6 stacked heel loafers sets my heart aflutter. I think they're a perfect combination of pretty and practical, polished but fun. They're out of my price range, but a girl can dream, right? I'll be keeping an eye out for a pair that fits better in my budget.

3  PINNING  //  Colorful collections.  I'm often inspired by the color palettes of found objects, like this pretty spectrum of gummy bears. It can be anything really - pastel pieces of gum, brightly colored soaps, and on and on. My Color Wheel board on Pinterest holds all my favorite sources of color inspiration.

 4  WANTING  //  A pretty wax seal.  I love paper mail and, with blogging and design projects, the opportunity to send a thank you card comes up quite often. I'd love to up my stationery game with a classically cool, personalized wax seal. Backtozero on Etsy has some great affordable kits.

5  APPLAUDING  //  @alliepal's #the100dayproject.  Local creative boss lady, Allie, has challenged herself with the impressive task of creating a painting every day for 100 days. I'm a big fan of the series and her fresh color choices. They're really unlike anything else I've seen. You can check out her paintings for #the100dayproject on Instagram or sign up for news of when they become available for sale.

6  PLANNING  //  Our photo shoot for The Columbus Book Project.  I've been working on creating looks for an upcoming photo shoot as part of The Columbus Book Project, which will eventually become a Columbus-based coffee table book featuring high-fashion spreads to celebrate local creatives and landmarks. Our shoot is this week and I've been going crazy over the sneak peeks they've been leaking on Instagram. The photos are so impressive and I feel really honored to be a part of this project.

7  REMINISCING  //  With Marissa and Summer.  I've been re-watching seasons of The OC while I work and it's been hilarious and amazing. The main attraction has definitely been the early aughts fashion time warp of pretty much every ridiculous thing I wore in my teen years. Plus it poses the ancient philosophical question: who is the true sartorial queen of the OC, Marissa or Summer?

Are you Team Marissa or Team Summer?

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DRESS YOUR NEST // Vintage Summer Boho Style

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.

 

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header images: Sarah Mahini | Fausto Puglisi | Veronique Branquinho | Giambattista Valli | Elizabeth and James

pins  |  dish  |  pillow  |  dress  |  scarf  |  plates  |  tray  |  choker  |  rug  |  shoes  |  clutch  |  lamp

 

Where do you like the vintage summer boho style best: your home or your wardrobe?

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FRIDAY VIBES // Time & Tide

Friday-Vibes-Caris-Reid-Teal 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.

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Have a magical weekend!

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Weekly Roundup 28/52

 

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.

These are the shoes that dreams are made of.

How cute are these painted thrift store suitcases?

A crazy impressive bathroom makeover.

And who knew that so much pink in one house could be so cool?

I'm fascinated with bullet journals but have yet to actually "bite the bullet" (sorry). Do you use one?

Some exciting Misty Copeland news plus her gorgeous interview for Cosmo.

And my favorite site of the week: I Heart Vegetables! I love Liz's fun and simple approach to health and have been pretty much drooling over this recipe for pineapple chia ice pops all week.

 

What links are you loving?

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OUR HAPPINESS PROJECT // Month 4 Recap: Family Traditions

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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.


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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.


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2. Smashbooking

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.


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3. Mini-Anniversaries

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.


Cooking Citrus Salad

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?

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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!

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FRIDAY VIBES // Viva Vivetta!

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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!

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Are you a Vivetta fan?

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Weekly Roundup 27/52

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.

And check out these...

The secret to thicker braids.

28 things to consider framing.

My style needs a boost lately so I'm excited to try this 30-day closet confidence challenge.

#growingupshy has been trending on Twitter and some of these are pretty hilarious.

7 totally free career-advancing classes you can enroll in now.

This was eye-opening: Sheryl Sandberg on the Myth of the Catty Woman.

And my fave blogger of the week: Elise Blaha Cripe for this adorable 1 second everyday video, which I didn't even realize was a thing but now definitely want to do. And also for her #100daysofelisepeptalks and her Elise Gets Crafty podcast. Oh, and her Get to Work Book, because she does everything ever and is amazing.

What were your favorite links this week?

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A Wills Family Fourth of July Weekend + an HP Update

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!

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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!

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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.

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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. :)

 Do you have any Fourth of July family traditions?

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FRIDAY VIBES // You're a Grand Old Flag

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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?

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Will you be sporting stars and stripes this weekend?

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Weekly Roundup 26/52

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.

Want a few more...?

I saw so many great party ideas this week. This hip-hop birthday is my new personal life goal.

Plus, THE MOST adorable party for an equally adorable two-year-old.

And the most brilliant idea ever: the pity party.

A coffee table book about butts.

I love these short + sophisticated names for a baby girl.

On my radar: tie-dyed t-shirts and short-sleeved jackets.

Loving Lucy Hale's new 'do (and that lipstick).

Oh Joy!'s Summer Target collection is so good.

The prettiest and the coolest shoes for your Fourth.

And have you seen @fashiondads? Because it's a national treasure.

 

What are your fave links this week?

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Spring FAVORITES + Summer GOALS

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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.

YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

+  3 ways to face your fears

+  this artsy DIY brushstroke mani

+  8 sites to shop for unexpected wedding dresses

+  tips for gaining more self-knowledge

+  trying to just keep swimming

+  a "get creative" wishlist and playlist

+  the power of acknowledging the feelings of others

+  my favorite: this #bts look at our HOWL runway collection

 

THIS 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.

 

SUMMER GOALS

+  rock THE COLUMBUS BOOK PROJECT photo shoot (more on this soon)

+  make some major home decorating progress

+  continue promoting and developing HOWL

+  bite the bullet on some sort of wedding plans

+  update the Free Wills Studio website

+  celebrate Columbus by finally taking a waterfall hike, seeing a classic movie at the Ohio Theatre, having a family day at COSI, and taking advantage of how much vintage shopping can be done around town

 

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What things are you looking forward to doing this summer?

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FRIDAY VIBES // The Rainbow Connection

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Happy National Pride Month! It seems like world news and political opinions, especially here in the US, get progressively more aggressive and tense all the time. While we are in such a weird political space, I'm happy to see support for LGBT rights becoming increasingly more universal. Amidst chaos and tragedy, it seems like a bright beacon of hope that LOVE and PRIDE are also prevailing. As fashion generally expresses the political culture of the times, it's exciting to see so many designers embracing the rainbow trend. Love and color- two things where more is always better!

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If you saw my behind-the-scenes look at our HOWL collection for AFW, you know that I've been loving all things rainbow-colored.

What about you? Would you bring these rainbow bright looks into your wardrobe?

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Weekly Roundup 25/52

I feel like I've been trying so hard to catch up on my normal life after last week's fashion show that I've been doing tasks at a marathon pace lately. It's like a constant cycle of reading back emails, doing dishes, responding to so-and-so, writing, more emails, laundry, getting to back to whoever, editing. Lather, rinse, repeat over and over. I do finally feel like I'm getting caught up, but man, I am ready for a break! You, too? Great! Let's procrastinate on life's busy work for a while and get to the good stuff. Here are a few of my favorite links from around the interweb this week.

 

1  I found this elopement (complete with a Katz's Deli reception for two) to be so endearing. Plus it's one of the few wedding posts where I can actually see myself doing something similar. Hmmm... (Apartment Therapy)  |  2  Have you heard of "off register" tattoos? I loved these by artist Mattia Mambo because they're like nothing I've ever seen before. (Brown Paper Bag)

 

3  I found this Alice in Wonderland themed editorial so beautiful and so inspiring. Nothing beats fashion with a touch of whimsy. (Shine by Three)  |  4  So I have this weird aversion to holiday decorations. I don't know, I just never really want to do it. But this DIY American Flag weaving seems so chic and unexpected that I'm actually dying to try it. Maybe this will turn over a whole new festive leaf for me. (The House that Lars Built)

 

5  Ahhh, I just love these floating cloud hearts. I want to touch them and feel what they're made out of so badly! (Khmer Cloud Printer)

 

And a few more...

Lol.

There were so many great DIY projects this week! I LOVED these Juju hats...

...had no clue you could hammer your own floral fabric...

...and thought this chair upgrade was brilliant.

Slumber sloths?! These are so adorable.

In drool-worthy food news: these chocolate cake gems and these roasted peach pops.

I want this for my "studio" room.

Heart eyes emoji for this bed.

And the look of the week: a maxi dress/moto jacket combo that couldn't be cooler from Fashionably Kay.

 

In case you missed these from FWS...

Trying to just keep swimming.

And be a better friend by acknowledging the reality of people's feelings.

I shared the looks from our HOWL collection for Alternative Fashion Week.

And posted my ultimate "get creative" playlist.

 

What links were you loving this week?

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Our Happiness Project // Tip #4: Acknowledging the Reality of People's Feelings

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Zach and I have been working through chapter four of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, which is essentially about parenting. Since we don't have kids I wasn't sure going into it how it would translate to our lives. Happily, I've noticed that the advice in the chapter, while especially useful for parents, is really more about families and loved ones and is applicable for all relationships.

One thing that really struck me, and it's something I've been personally working on for a while, is the importance of acknowledging the reality of other people's feelings. It seems like a simple enough concept, but it's much harder to actually apply to real-life situations. Think about it for a minute, how do you respond when someone shares feelings like anger, fear or shame? Do you dismiss them with suggestions like, "Oh, don't be silly, of course they like you," or, "You always try to get out of plans. Just go and you'll end up having fun"?

I'd love to say I avoid these pitfalls, but the truth is I'm often dismissive and corrective when I'm faced with an emotional scenario. It's with good intentions. I usually start out being understanding, but then the temptation to fix creeps in and takes over. I'm a researcher, a studier, a self-improvement junkie, and it can be almost painful not to offer my own suggestions regarding other people's feelings.

This chapter shed light on something I've been learning more and more as I get older, that this form of "help," while coming from a good place, can actually feel disrespectful to the person on the other end of the conversation. It's important for me to realize that it's not my place to judge, fix, or dismiss someone's feelings. As Rubin notes, experts agree that denying bad feelings intensifies them, while acknowledging bad feelings allows good feelings to return. The simple act of listening to someone's feelings and acknowledging them shows that you appreciate their point of view. This is often enough in itself to bring peace to bad feelings.

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My oldest friend (since Kindergarten) is a true living example of this, and thus, she is my favorite person to go to when I did to get the feelings out. Zach and I, many years back, had a period of about six months where we broken up. And to me, this meant done forever and I was devastated. I felt like I had no control over the situation or myself. I called my friend sobbing and she just said, "I know it hurts so much. It feels like you can't breathe. This is going to be really painful for a long time until you're through it." Now, that might not necessarily sound uplifting, but as I was floundering in a sea of, "You just have to get back out there," or, "I never thought he was right for you anyway," or any of the other one million well-intentioned-though-very-unhelpful anecdotes I heard during this time, this simple acknowledgement of, "Yeah, that sucks." felt like I was being thrown a life preserver. I felt understood and supported and, most of all, I felt like I was free from the pressure to feel happy anytime soon and she would be just fine with that. That was the real gift.

I'm definitely not as good as she is when it comes to this, but I'm working on it. For me, it's easy to be understanding in the midst of some overwhelming, traumatic feelings. It's harder when it's the everyday small things. It can be a challenge not to offer up a bright side to a colleague's gripe or suggest ways to cheer up to a friend in a funk. It can be a struggle not to want to fix the feelings of others.

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If you can recognize any of these dismissive behaviors in yourself, here are a few approaches from the chapter that I think are helpful in trying to be more understanding when someone is reaching out for emotional support.


  1. Don't disagree with someone's feelings. I would like to make the argument that telling someone about our bad feelings is something that no one really wants to do. It's hard to be that vulnerable. So if someone is sharing their vulnerability with you, try to respond without being dismissive ("It's not that big of a deal"), judgmental ("I think you're over-reacting"), or trying to fix the feelings ("You'll feel better in no time"). These reactions can cause the person who is having the emotion to feel defensive, like no one is hearing them. Even if you don't necessarily agree with them, you could say something to the effect of, "Yeah, I can see that that frustrated you." As Rubin notes in the book, when talking with children it can be as simple as not using the terms "no" or "stop," changing a response from, "No, not until after lunch," to, "Yes, as soon as we're done with lunch." The simple switch from negative to positive can help them feel heard.
  2. Admit that something is difficult. Like my story of my friend above, when I was hurting, I really needed someone to acknowledge that it was, I guess, normal or acceptable to be that upset. We need our feelings validated. A simple statement like, "Wow, that does sound stressful," can be music to the ears of someone feeling overwhelmed at work. While on the other hand, saying something that seems helpful like, "Don't stress. It'll be easy for you," can do the opposite by adding pressure to perform quickly and calmly amidst what feels like chaos.
  3. Don't feel like you have to say anything at all. Silence, especially in the face of emotional hardship, can be a real blessing.  Zach's pretty minimal when it comes to his daily word usage, so for this he is a perfect example. Whenever I'm really struggling, I'll often unload all of whatever I'm stressing about onto him to which he almost always says something super simple to the effect of, "Sorry you're dealing with that," and then hugs me or just kind of stays around me. I've realized over the years that a lot of times, that was all I needed- to be heard and supported- and then I'm fine. I didn't need advice or I would have asked for it. I didn't need him to weigh in on anything. I just simply needed heard. So sometimes if you don't know what to say, just go with that. Offer a hug, offer your company, whatever. Simply being there is a highly underestimated quality.

 

Do you agree that having your bad feelings acknowledged helps you to feel better?

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