Friday, July 26, 2013

Karli's Exterior Project Done...For Now

Ok, so here it is! The big reveal of our exterior project. By now you know all about the tree projects, the trim projects, paint choices and flower bed plans. It all came together in something I am really proud to call ours!

After all the old evergreen shrubs and bushes were removed (and the giant cottonwood stump was ground out), we started planting flowers. Finally, the flower beds are making all that effort worth it! The flowers are blooming and spreading and, hopefully, growing strong roots. I picked mostly perennials so those beds won't require a ton of work to look great year after year. Here are a couple of progress pictures of the beds.

After the sidewalk was poured we had an even larger space to fill next to the driveway.

Earlier in the summer, this pic was taken before we put in edging bricks to define the bed. We also planted a couple more things on the left part of the bed.

We picked Sherwin Williams Pewter Tankard for the body and it is exactly what I wanted. While we were painting my sister and brother in law kept calling it brown. I called it gray. PERFECT. I wanted a gray that didn't turn blue or pink. I wanted it to be almost brown.
This shows that side flower bed filled in. The plants are still growing.

We used Sherwin Williams Extra White for the trim for a really nice crisp pop. And then I ordered black shutters from Home Depot, so we didn't even have to paint those.

And I got my lime green door!

The bench mom made looks amazing on the front porch. As do the black chairs I picked up earlier this summer.
Love that bench! You can also see the door better here too.

I can't wait till the flowers fill out a bit more. (And it will be nice when we re-sod the lawn next year)
Here's the full "after" view with the before picture too. What a difference!
We still have all that empty space where the tree stump was. You'll probably see more posts about that next spring!

Just a reminder of where we started. It was all worth it!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Power of White Paint

We were just having a conversation this afternoon about how many white interior paint schemes we've been seeing. The perfect crisp white paint looks clean and serene. And the immediate bonus: any color you choose to use in that room will automatically pop.

Here are some of the examples we've found on Pinterest lately. (Consider following Karli or Kandy on Pinterest to see what's inspiring us.)

Because the wall is white, the headboard almost creates a "frame" for the bedding. Even though the rug, furniture and bedding are dark colors, the room still feels bright! Source

This living room feels comfortable and cozy, yet fresh and clean. Those windows are amazing, right? Source

Sensing a common denominator here? Blue seems to go so well with crisp white. Colors in nature! Also notice how the artwork and frames just bounce off the wall. What a great way to make the pictures and artwork you've chosen really shine!  Source
This is actually from a blog Karli started following for hair inspiration. The jewelry display draws the eye in. You notice every detail like its in high def. Look at the sequins on that pillow. Source

Wow. So simple, yet so impactful. There is actually very little going on here, but each item is bold against the white background. (Those black doors keep showing up!) Source

Hopefully this has inspired you to consider a bright, clean white as one of your next "colors" in a room.

~Kandy and Karli

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

One Shirt, Five Ways: My Favorite StitchFix Top

In a previous post I mentioned how much I love StitchFix--an online retailer who assigns me a stylist to shop for fun a unique clothing. In my very first "fix" I received a shirt I never would have thought would look good on me. They proved me wrong.
It is a slightly sheer fabric, so I have to wear a cami underneath. And you're not seeing things, it is cut shorter in the front and longer in the back.
Not only did they prove me wrong, but this shirt has become one of my very favorite pieces of clothing. It's full of colors that are easy to mix with, it's comfy, it has great details and the cut is so versatile!

 Up-close so you can see the colors, light material and detail at the neckline.

I decided it would be fun to do a few posts about how I change up the items in my closet and get lots of good out of them--especially with something as trendy as this top. If you're going to buy something that's "hot" one season, you'll want to make sure you get your money's worth. (It may be "not" next season!) 

Style #1: Business Casual Office Wear
I've actually worn this outfit to the office a few times and to a meeting. It's comfortable, yet stylish while looking professional. I simply throw on my black leggings, a black cami, then the top, a bright orange cardigan and my go-to reddish orange ballet flats. I kept the jewelry simple, so just some woven black earrings.
Daytime office wear

Style #2: Casual Friday
I also like to wear the shirt on the outside of skinny jeans. Since the top is long and loose, I feel like I need to keep the bottoms rather slender. I paired this with my "I can't believe I just found this on sale" leather jacket, brown riding boots, a tomato red textured scarf and some large silver earrings.
I like that this could transition to a Friday casual date night too

Style #3: Saturday in the Park (I think it was the 4th of July)--sorry couldn't resist finishing the lyric
In this case, I tucked the shirt in and bloused it out a bit with my black Bermuda shorts. I added some sandals and lots of silver jewelry.

A skinny colorful belt might be nice here too, but since I bloused the shirt, I didn't feel like it needed one.

Style #4: Dressy Date Night
I feel really put together when I wear something like this. Since we aren't really "dressy" people I think I've only worn this once. But it's still a good look! I tucked the shirt in smooth--not a lot of blousing this time--with a slim fit black skirt. I added a tan belt and tan wedge sandals. Since I wore a blue cami underneath, I punched up the color with bright blue woven earrings and an orange bangle.
My "I've got it all together" look

Style #5: Sunday Brunch
While we're being colorful, we may as well embrace it. In this case, I paired the shirt with my tomato red denim skinny cropped pants and kept the shirt on the outside since they're skinnies. To add another color to the mix, I wore my turquoise ballet flats and lots of turquoise jewelry.
Embrace the colors!
You might not have even noticed, but I didn't do any necklaces with this shirt. I'm sure you could, but I wanted to let the fun neckline speak for itself, so I just stuck with larger, statement earrings instead. With my short hair, I also think the earrings keep it looking feminine.

I hope you enjoyed this post. It was really fun to put together. I'm already scheming a few more soon (maybe my mustard yellow cropped pants--who knew those could be so versatile?)!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Let Me Introduce You to StitchFix...

One day my friend Jenn let me in on a secret and I've never been the same since. It's called StitchFix. Prepare to be amazed at the brilliance of this company and what it can do for your wardrobe.

It starts out simply enough. You sign up for StitchFix by filling out a profile about your style. Are your clothes more classic and preppy or maybe romantic or bohemian? (They have pinterest boards and a blog if you're not sure what your style is.)

You answer questions HONESTLY about your size and body and how you like your clothes to fit. You can even decide how much you want to spend on each item. For example, I'll maybe spend $75 on a dress but I want shirts to be less than $50. Then you decide when you want your first "fix."

And you wait with baited breath for your package (free shipping, mind you!). StitchFix sends you five items based on your profile--a complete surprise! The beautiful packaging sets the stage for what's to come.
This shirt and silver cuff were from my second fix. Love that this shirt is so quirky, light and colorful!

You open your package and are greeted by a note from your stylist and each item comes with two ways to style it. I like to lay everything out on my bed and examine it so I can see the details.

Then the fun begins. You get to try everything your own closet, with your own shoes, skirts, bras, jewelry. And you have three days to decide what you want to keep (meanwhile all that's been charged is a $20 styling fee--so no large amount already charged or necessary to return).
My third fix was around the fall/winter. I asked for a versatile blazer. And I fell in love with this vest too. I've gotten the good out of both of these items. Perfect for the office!
The details of the vest are wonderful. Black and white pattern with suede covered edging and buttons.
The blazer is made of forgiving, stretchy jersey. It feels like wearing your favorite t-shirt! And the details--the inside is navy and white striped. I love to turn the cuffs up so you can see this nice style!

Simply return what you don't want in the PRE-PAID package. (That $20 styling fee goes towards anything you keep)

Here's the MOST IMPORTANT part about StitchFix...fill out the questionnaire at the end of your experience so your stylist can learn why you did or did not like the items she sent you. I can vouch from experience that the more detailed and honest you are, the better your future "fixes" will be.

My most recent fix was the best yet! I loved every single item. (Sadly one dress they sent was just a bit too short on me, so I returned it)
My fourth and most recent haul. I asked for light-weight, flowy tops and boy did they deliver!

Another bonus? StitchFix sends me things I might not pick out myself. I never would have guessed this top would flatter me, but every time I wear it I get compliments.
This was from my first fix--the only item I kept. It is what they call a hi-low top. It's cut shorter in the front and longer in the back. I'm planning a post on how many different ways you can wear something like this. Stay tuned!
What I love about items I get from StitchFix...the attention to detail and special touches. Love this gathered neckline.

And frankly, I like unique clothes that I don't see on everyone else. But I don't have the time or money to shop small boutiques to find these cool items. Answer: StitchFix.

And the prices are comparable to any online retailer I've found who carries the same items.

Seriously in love with this company, the concept and now my stylist!

If you're feeling compelled enough to sign up, please consider using this link to my referral code.

You can thank me later,

Friday, July 5, 2013

Simple, Delicious Food: Canteloupe Salad

I won't often post about food, but when I do it has to be simple, delicious and beautiful. This salad meets all those requirements. I also tend to not make the same recipe twice (Brent wishes I would break this habit) unless it's easy and amazing.

I was inspired to create this salad when I was at a photoshoot for work a week ago. Our photographer always has the most unique yet simple food for us to eat. I arrived in time for breakfast and was greeted with a plate of tomatoes, arugula and ricotta salata. It seemed out of place at breakfast. But then I ate it and it all made sense. It was sweet, peppery, salty and creamy. So many lovely tastes and textures achieved in so few ingredients.

So I came home and made this salad. Now I can't stop!

It really couldn't be any easier! Here's the rundown:

  • Baby arugula
  • Cantaloupe cubes
  • Blueberries
  • Ricotta Salata (my store carries this in a section of special cheeses, near the fresh mozzarella)
  • Pistachios
  • Fresh Mint (from the garden)

Simply layer the ingredients in a shallow bowl. NO dressing is necessary on this salad. I love that!

And the reason I crave this salad is because it's perfect! It peppery (arugula), sweet (melon), tart (blueberries), salty (nuts and cheese), crunchy (nuts), creamy (cheese) and refreshing (mint). The combination of these ingredients knocks it out of the park. And each ingredient sings through as you make your way through the dish.

Try it, you won't be sorry. And remember: Simple foods are often the best foods. Don't mess with perfection.

You're welcome,