Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Favorites: Favorite Fall Looks

One of my favorite things about fall is the fashion. I mean, fall does have the best fashion of the year, is anyone even denying that? Sure, winter has its coats, spring its cardigans, and summer its dresses, but fall gets scarves and boots so they win by default right? What I love most about dressing for fall is that you always feel warm and comfortable. Skinny jeans, boots, plaid, and camel... I am loving it all.  And if you're lucky, the clothes you wear can feel like cozying up with your softest blanket. Here are my favorite looks for the best season of the year.

1. I am obsessed with look #1. First off, how comfy does that top look, especially paired with that amazing cowl?! The boyfriend inspired, cuffed jeans are my favorite every day style and those floral TOMS and sunglasses seal the deal. I personally would lose the watch and bag; they aren't doing anything for me. I would wear this all day running errands with Cayden; it's comfortable and casual!

2. This look is just effortless and reminds me of something I would wear to class in college back in the day. I love stripes paired with camel boots and the feather earrings just tie the whole look together. However, I would probably swap out the boot cut jeans with a skinny jean!

3. The jeans in look #3 are the perfect example of a good skinny jean. I love the dark wash paired with that striped cardigan. The outfit is accessorised perfectly, except that awful gaudy gold watch. Am I the only one who cannot stand watches? Isn't that what your phone is for? I think this outfit would be perfect for a Friday night movie with your honey!

4. This look is a lot more put together and reminds me of something I would wear to church or brunch. I love the grey/teal color palette and all of the layering. I would wear those jeans every single day of my life, and those gray flats are what dreams are made of!

5. Can we just have a moment of silence for that AMAZING yellow hobo bag in look #5? I need it now! This outfit is effortless... a white tank, cardigan, and that adorable vintage inspired belt. I also like the idea of switching it up with vans or those strappy wedges. Perfect for a coffee date with a girlfriend!

6. Can you sense a theme here? I love stripes. I literally can't get enough of them. This striped shirt with jeans, and ballet flats is casual and put together. I would wear it to a play date with some mama friends. I love the aviator glasses and that across the shoulder bag is the PERFECT size and color. I die!

7. Look #7 is something that I would literally wear every day in fall. The off-the-shoulder top looks super comfortable and flattering and the skinny jeans and boots work perfectly with it. The accessories are really simple and easy. This would make a great weekend outfit for being lazy around the house.

8. Stripes again! What a surprise! This striped top in look #8 is super cute and I love the unexpected combination of the floral scarf. The bag works perfect and the boots? Gorgeous! This look is so fresh and cute, I would wear it to lunch with friends!

What trends are you loving this fall? I need to find the perfect boots. I say this every fall which explains my 7 pairs of boots, but I still don't think I've found the perfect pair! I can't wait to go shopping to try and re-create some of these looks! XOXO

**Please note, I am not the original curator of these looks. To find the original image sources you can go to my Pinterest Fashion board here.**

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wedding Planning Wednesday: THE CAKE

I love, love, love lace. It is so delicate, feminine, and just plain pretty! I'm incorporating it into so many different aspects of our wedding from our table runners and bouquets to hopefully even my dress! When looking for wedding cake designs I of course to turned to Pinterest to find lace inspired wedding cakes. I stumbled upon this one by Martha Stewart and fell in love. (Does Martha ever disappoint?! I die for her!) And surprisingly, when I showed Mando several pictures of different cakes, this one was his favorite too!  I love the neutral color palette of white and ivory. It's classic yet the lace applique gives it a pop of texture that I really love. This cake will definitely be the inspiration for our wedding cake.

As far as bakeries go, we haven't started seriously looking at our options yet. I don't have a favorite one, because I normally do my own baking which means we're pretty much starting from scratch! (pun intended) I do want to visit Sweet & Saucy shop in Long Beach. I discovered that they coincidentally designed not one, but TWO of the cakes I had in my inspiration folder... what are the chances of that?! Hopefully sometime in the near future we'll be able to stop by for a consultation and taste testing to see if they are a good fit for us!

So what do you think? Love it or hate it? Have any of you locals ever been to Sweet & Saucy or do you have another great bakery to suggest? I'd love to hear! XOXO

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Trick or treat banner + Halloween cupcake toppers!

 I just wanted to pop in quickly and give you all a sneak peak of some new holiday items I made for Mama Matryoshka and The Threadery! I meant to post this yesterday, however an angry, teething toddler kept me busy most of the day. I hope you'll forgive me!

I really wanted to make some fun Halloween items this year so I focused on a color palette of orange, purple, and lime green. I think these colors just scream Halloween and I love how it turned out. First, I made this 'Trick-or-Treat' banner which is perfect to hang at a pumpkin carving party or Halloween celebration! It features Frankenstein, a witch's hat, and a jack-o-lantern! I braided 3 colored ribbons together to hang it which gives it a little pop and texture.

And of course I had to do some cupcake toppers! I did the same theme of Frankensteins, witch's hats, jack-o-lanterns, and ghosts! These look so cute on cupcakes; I am obsessed! I think Frankenstein is my favorite!

If you're in Orange County, make sure to come see me at The Threadery on October 22nd! If not, you can purchase these Halloween items in my Etsy shop here.

I have a lot more new items to share coming up! I've been crafting it up over here! XOXO

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Favorites: My favorite pins for children!

One of the things I love about Pinterest is all of the amazing ideas I get for Cayden. You can find anything from toys and adorable outfits to learning and art activities! I am constantly finding new fun things for him to do which is helpful for weeks like this week when he's been especially restless. Of course I also stash away pins for any baby girls that may be in my future someday (I can't resist the shoes!). Here are a few of my favorite pins that have anything to do with babies and children!

I've been really into teepees lately. I'm always building forts and play-houses for Cayden out of anything I can get my hands on... boxes, sheets, chairs, and pillows; the possibilities are endless! Anything that encourages imagination and pretend play is a plus in my book. I'd love to get him something like this black and white striped teepee when he finally has a big boy room of his own! He could use it as a clubhouse or reading nook or just to play explorer with his friends!

When I was a little girl I was obsessed with dress-up dolls. I (like every other girl in the world) begged my mom to get me an American Girl doll complete with a stocked wardrobe. I would have D-I-E-D for this doll, no joke! Her little fur jacket, patent leather shoes, and polka dress... omg. I would play with it even today. And that little hanger and tiffany blue box? I can't even handle the cute.

Creativity is super important to me. Growing up, my sister and I were always doing arts and crafts and making SOMETHING. I really want my kids to be the same way so I want to encourage artwork from a very young age. Right now Cayden is still in that puts-everything-in-his-mouth stage so it's hard to do much, but I'm stashing away tons of ideas for the future. I love this idea of using twine and clothespins to display artwork on the wall (easy to rotate, too!). And how adorable is this turkey hand puppet? All you need is a brown bag, some buttons, and construction paper and you have a fun holiday project for your kids! LOVE.

I just bought Cayden his first set of finger puppets and I'm really excited about it! When he's older I want to get him a little theatre for plays and puppet shows. If you haven't checked out this Etsy shop, you need to do so immediately. She makes adorable felt finger puppets of all different types. This woodland set is my favorite... dying over that moose!!

I am so, so excited about this idea. Fill jumbo muffin tins with shaving cream and a few drops of food coloring and your kid is able to "paint" a masterpiece in the bathtub. The best part? When they're finished you just spray it with water and clean-up is done! No stained clothes, dripping paper, or messy brushes. Genius!

Remember when you were a kid and you were SO excited when you got a loose tooth? My sisters always joked they were going to tie a string to my tooth and the door so when they slammed it, my tooth would be yanked out (terrifying!). I love the idea of having a special tooth fairy pillow and this one is just too cute for words. I love the smiling tooth on the front and the little pouch. No more stumbling around the dark trying to find baby teeth under pillows!

I warned you about the shoes, right? I am obsessed with kid's shoes and let's face it, they aren't that many adorable options for boys out there (although my little man rocks the slip-on Vans if I do say so myself). I have so many baby girl shoes pinned you would think I'm expecting (I'm not -- let's just be clear on that!). I found this sweet little pair the other day and fell in love. I die for anything with stripes so these striped shoes with their teeny tiny flowers attached found a place deep in my heart! Now I just need to convince Mando to have another baby! ;)

I hope you got some inspiration for the little ones in your life! If you haven't joined Pinterest yet, you better run there now and sign up! The inspiration is just endless! I hope everyone has a great weekend... we finally have the first quiet weekend at home planned since we've moved and I could not be more excited about it! XOXO

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wedding Planning Wednesday: Photographer booked + our engagement shoot inspiration!

Big news in the wedding world: We finally booked another vendor, yay! I'm so excited to have booked Tammie Halcomb as our engagement and wedding photographer! I 'met' Tammie on Twitter and actually designed some party decor for her adorable triplets' birthday party earlier this year. When I saw all of the amazing pictures on her FB, I knew she was the perfect photographer for us and I'm so, so excited to work with her! She's sweet, funny, and has the biggest heart... I just know that we'll work well together!

Our first order of business is doing the engagement shoot. We probably should have done this months ago but with Cayden's birthday, the Oregon trip, and our move we honestly have not had a chance to do it yet. Now we're forced to do it before it gets too cold out which means we have about a month left. EEEK! I have been pinning and scouring Etsy like a mad woman trying to get our concept and 'props' down and I think everything is finally coming together.

We went back and forth over what theme we wanted our engagement pictures to have (because you all know I NEED a theme!) and after my 'country fair' idea was thrown out we agreed on a picnic theme. It's very romantic and timeless (as Tammie wisely pointed out) and I'm getting really excited about it! Here's some inspiration pictures I've dug up so far...

{Original image sources can be found on my Pinterest wedding board here.}

Aren't they all gorgeous?! I seriously can't decide which one I like best! I think if I had to choose it would be the top and middle left pictures but they are all amazing! Right now I'm obsessing over patchwork quilts and trying to find the perfect one for the pictures. Then I'll work on styling the props... I'm thinking a wooden picnic basket, a pretty bunch of sunflowers, and maybe some fruit/bread/wine in there somewhere. I'm also enlisting the help of my sister to make me a few coordinating throw pillows! Then I need to figure out outfits and accessories, and well, as you can see I'm very busy!

What do you think of the picnic theme and what items do you think I should include in the photos? I'd love to know your opinion! XOXO

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thank You + A Giveaway!

Awhile ago I promised on Twitter that when I reached over 100 blog followers I would do a giveaway and last week I finally hit 102 followers! I know this is nothing compared to most blogs, but it's super rad to me. When I first started this little blog a year and a half ago, I never knew how much I'd grow to love it. Now it's a constant source of inspiration for me and I'm more than stoked that anyone other than myself actually read it. So, to say thank you to everyone who's ever read this blog, I want to have a fun little giveaway for you all!

As you know I'll be one of the vendors at the upcoming handmade and vintage market The Threadery. When I found out I was accepted I knew I needed to get some business cards to pass out . After asking around, I came in contact with Diana at Livy Love Designs. I found out that she actually designed The Threadery's logo which I LOVE so I knew she'd be the perfect person to design my business cards. She did a phenomenal job. I was super impressed with her awesome communication, quick turnaround time, reasonable prices, and of course her amazing talent. As you can see above, my business cards came out amazing and were exactly what I envisioned. And when Diana mentioned she'd like to do a giveaway I jumped at the opportunity!

Here's the details: Diana is giving away an 8x10 print from her Etsy shop to one of my readers. The winner can choose any print currently in her shop and choose which colors they'd like them in! You can see some of her adorable prints below... I personally am dying over that California one! The giveaway will go until next Friday, 9/30. To enter, you just have to follow my blog via Google Friend Connect (just click follow over on the right hand side) and leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about my blog! For an extra entry you can follow Diana on Twitter here: @LivyLoveDesigns. Make sure to leave an extra comment letting me know you did! Oh, and the giveaway is open to anyone worldwide!

Good luck everyone! And thank you for reading me and keeping me constantly inspired! I hope you all enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy updating it! XOXO

Friday, September 16, 2011

Road Trip Day 5: Portland

After leaving the Redwoods, we decided to skip our stop in Eugene and just drive all the way through to Portland. It was already getting late and I wanted to get us to our hotel at a decent time. When we finally arrived around 8pm we just got settled and hung out for the rest of the night. It was so nice knowing that we could actually un-pack our bags since we would be spending the next 3 days there! At that point, we were so done with the constant packing and unpacking in hotel rooms!

The next morning we woke up and decided to go to the Japanese Gardens. I had actually saw a picture of this place on Pinterest and I knew I had to go! It's the most authentic Japanese garden in the world (outside of Japan of course). The weather in Portland was so beautiful; they say August is the best time to be there. It was a beautiful, clear, warm, sunny day. The gardens were very beautiful and peaceful. We saw waterfalls, koi ponds, a huge zen garden, and of course a ton of bonsai trees. Everything was green and covered in moss, it was so pretty.

 I snapped this picture from the Japanese Gardens. It's the perfect view of Portland and Mount Hood!
 The moss made everything feel so whimsical and delicate.
 Koi pond, waterfalls, and a bridge.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous!
 Japanese zen garden. I can't even imagine all the work that goes into maintaining this place!

After we left the gardens we spent the day in Portland looking at potential neighborhoods and houses.We spoke to a few realtors and locals to scope out the best areas to live in and we got a lot of great feedback. That night grandma baby-sat Cayden so Mando and I could have a date night. I forgot my camera and am still kicking myself for it! Downtown Portland is a dream and I wish I could show you all how amazing it is. The nightlife is just incredible, packed full of restaurants and bars. Most of them brew their own beer locally so Mando and I tried a few local blends. Portland is also the greenest city in the entire country so all the food comes from local sources and is just so fresh. We went to a bar and talked to a lot of super nice people and learned a ton about the economy, job market, best places to live, and schools. That kind of advice from locals is invaluable for us! We had such a fun time, and I think it really proved to Mando that Portland has the best of both worlds... beautiful scenery, quiet neighborhoods, and a hip downtown area with plenty to do.

The next day we went to check out the falls. There are a ton of waterfalls outside Portland, but the biggest and best one is Multnomah Falls. According to Indian folklore, it was built for an Indian princess as a private place to bathe. You truly cannot comprehend how tall and majestic this waterfall is; it absolutely took my breath away. Nearby there was another smaller waterfall called Wahkeena Falls so we checked that one out too. It was such a beautiful day; I swear the weather was like a dream there!

 I loved this plaque dedicated to the Oregon Pioneers. Took me back to playing my favorite game as a kid, Oregon trails! The other picture is a view from the top of the waterfall. The hike was SO worth it!
 Mando and I at Wahkeena Falls. It was hard to photograph well because the waterfall was so curvy and there were a lot of trees blocking the view!
Multnomah Falls. So stunning in real life. You can feel the temperature drop from all of the spray. We hiked to the bridge and to the top of the falls and the view just kept getting better and better! 

After visiting the falls we wanted to check out a neighborhood back in Portland. If you're anything like me as a child (read: BOOKWORM) then you grew up reading Beverly Cleary books and you know Ramona and Beezus lived in Portland. When I found the neighborhood that the real Klickitat Street was in I knew I had to go. This particular neighborhood (ironically named Hollywood!) had also been one that the realtors and locals recommended to us. It was like destiny. The homes were all vintage, victorians and tudors just like our neighborhood here in Orange County and we absolutely fell in love with the area. Then we went to Grant Park to have a picnic lunch which is home to the Beverly Cleary Scultpure Garden. The park was dedicated to her and is full of life-sized bronze statues of her main characters. It's also a splash park so we stripped Cayden down to his diaper and he had the time of his life playing for almost a full hour. What I loved most is all the families that were there with their children. Keep in mind this was a Thursday afternoon, in the middle of the day and it was packed full of young mamas like me and their kids, and surprisingly, A TON of dads! I think that made Mando and I the happiest... there were at least 5 dads there playing with their kids which you just don't see around here unfortunately. Everyone was so friendly and it just seems like the perfect place to raise a family.

Our last night in Portland was so sad. I was definitely not ready to leave. We decided to go back downtown to Cool Moon in the Pearl District for some local ice cream, all handmade in their shop. It was 100% the best ice cream I've ever had in my life. I chose this espresso ice cream and I'm literally salivating right now thinking about it. The sun was just starting to set and there was a ton of families out in another splash park enjoying their rare but gorgeous weather. It was then that I think we all realized that yes, this is definitely a place we could see ourselves living.
 Downtown Portland at sunset
 As you can see, we ALL enjoyed Cool Moon ice cream!
 In the Pearl district after the sun went down. This place was magical, let me tell you.

The next morning we packed up and left early. We took the 5 all the way home and only had to stop one night in Central California. I took this picture right as the sun was setting.

All in all, it was a great trip. There were some scary parts, some wonderful parts, and some parts that just made you stare in silence at how beautiful nature can be. I'm so glad we went and I have no doubt in my mind that Portland is the place for us to be someday. We won't even start seriously looking until after the wedding next May, but I feel like we have a long-term plan now and I finally feel at peace with the way things are going. I just can't wait to get back there! XOXO

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Road Trip Day 4: The Redwood Forest

Even after arriving at our hotel at 2am, we were still up early the next morning so we could see as much of the Redwoods as possible. I think all of us were looking forward to this part of the trip to most (other than Portland of course). I've always wanted to see the Redwoods and I knew it was going to be beautiful. We ate breakfast quickly and were on our way. Our first stop was the Founder's Grove where the largest redwood tree once stood, weighing over a million pounds. When the tree eventually fell back in the 90's, it was so loud the whole town thought two trains crashed together. The tree is on the ground now and goes for miles, but you can see how huge the roots are. Being in that forest just makes you feel so small and insignificant, but in a good way. Even though there were a lot of people walking around near us, it's totally silent there because everyone is just in awe of how big the trees actually are. Near the forest is a place with a huge tree that I believe was struck by lighting resulting in a wide crack in the trunk large enough to drive through!

After spending some time exploring the forest, we drove to a little town nearby called Ferndale for lunch. There was one main street with the theatre, grocery store, butcher, and general store; it seemed like it came out of an old movie. Driving through the town we saw huge herds of elk just chillin' on the side of the road. It was insane.

The view from our hotel in Humboldt

The drive-through tree

The gorgeous redwood forest. I was obsessed with catching sun beams through the trees

Cayden loved the forest. He had so much fun exploring and climbing everything

You just can't even comprehend how tall these trees were. This was as far as the zoom on my lens would go!

Me and my honey resting

The roots on a fallen tree

More sunbeams

The Goliath tree. This was just the circumference of the trunk + the roots. The trunk went on for miles!

The road that runs through the forest

Tired boy napping after a long day of exploring

Herds of wild elk on the side of the road
Ferndale must be the smallest town in California!

After lunch we were finally on our way to our last stop, Portland, where we would stay for the next 3 days. I'll be back tomorrow with pictures of that magical city! XOXO