Links I Love - 10.09.2015

links I love
links I love
  1. It's Friday.  Take a break and watch a few of these.  This guy will crack you up.  He works at BuzzFeed, and films these video where he drinks wine at work (and may or may not become inebriated) and comments on life.  HIL-AR-I-OUS!  (
  2. Pictures can say certain things better than any words can sometimes.  Here are some beautiful/inspiring/heartbreaking images to make you thankful/happy.humbled. (
  3. Anything that can simplify life is a good thing in my book. Some of these beauty hacks are so simple I wonder why I didn't think of them on my own.  (
  4. Who doesn't love mac'n'cheese? Isn't it like the unofficial king of comfort food?  Not that it takes super long on the stove top, but here's a quicker microwave version from scratch. (
  5. It really is fascinating to me how differently men and women see the same thing.  Sometimes I am so confused about what my husband thinks is attractive clothing on me.  Apparently I'm not alone. (
  6. Holiday time is fast approaching (can you believe it?!!)  Time to start thinking about holiday gifts.  I think these DIYs are super pretty and also look like they take more skill than they actually do.  These make impressive, attractive and useful gifts.
  7. Netflix is really killing it with quality original programming lately.  But in case you forgot, they also have movies from the big screen.  When you're done with your latest binge series, here's a list of the best films on Netflix. (
  8. Isn't the color of this glass soap dish so gorgeous? It reminds me of my wedding invitations, actually.  Maybe that's why I'm partial....  (  
  9. There have been studies that show that coloring is actually a good thing for adults to do, to books mental energy and creativity.  I'd forgotten that its actually fun until I started it at home with my toddler.  Here's some free printable sheets that are better than Mickey Mouse and Goofy.  (

Friday Favorites - Instagramers

Another week is ending, which means another weekend is beginning! I'm late in the day with this, but better late than never (since never has been the past few days :( )  I'm loving these Instagram accounts that I've stumbled across, so I wanted to share with you as well, I don't think you'll be disappointed to have these ladies lovely images and talent show up in your feeds as well.

Bree Hannemann (@breehawaiii)

My husband and I love Hawaii (I mean, come on, who doesn't?)  We got married there, we honeymooned there, we've been back almost yearly since, and even gone with our then one-year old (which was the worst trip, but only because he got sick 2 days in.)   We always daydream about moving there, and Bree appears to be living our daydream.  Her photos are beautiful, her family is beautiful, it's all just beautiful.

Images belong to @breehawaiii

Margie Keates (@thelovelyave)

Margie's feed is lovely to look at: perfect, colorful flower arragements of various sorts and sizes.  What is amazing - and you'll do a doubletake when I tell you this - is that all the flowers you see are handmade from paper by Margie.  That's what she does (I didn't know it was a thing until now) and she is so good.  I don't know how she does it, they look so real. And since they never die, they are perfect flower investment. I may have to order some for my home.

Images belong to @thelovelyave

Dana (@23Danilla)

Dana clearly travels well, eats well, and dresses well, and takes good photos while doing both.  There are a lot of travel/fashion bloggers out there, but Dana's feed has a nice feel to it, and her images are well constructed.  I would think it's safe to say she has a fondness for the color blue, which I do too, so maybe that's my draw to her?  But regardless your feeling of the color, you will appreciate what she is sharing (although you may find yourself yearning for an overseas vacation.)

Images belong to @23Danilla


What will your legacy be? A moment of reflection....

I hope everyone had a good day yesterday celebrating their mothers (and being celebrated, if applicable.)  Our weekend was bittersweet.  On Saturday, we had the memorial service for my late Grandma, my mom's mom. (If this sound like deja vu, yes, my dad's mom passed just about a month earlier.)

My grandma, while petite in stature (she was barely 5 ft.), was big in life and love.  During the memorial service, attendees were given the opportunity to share their memories or feelings, and quickly hands went up and nearly every single person commented on how she made them feel special and loved, even upon her first encounter with them.

I always knew my grandma was a loving person, but having her in my life from the beginning, I knew nothing different of her and probably took it for granted.  It was just how she was, the whole package of grandma, and not something that stood out specifically to me growing up.  But to have it named specifically by all these people from various time and places in her life really awed me and made me so proud to be related to such a great person.

I made a comment that it was amazing that 87+ years of life were able to be condensed onto 2 sides of one sheet of paper, for the service bulletin insert.  And it made me think: what are the key things people will remember about my story when my time comes?  My grandma's story started in Iowa, where she was born, and then to California, where she met my grandpa shortly after WWII, then back to Michigan then back to San Diego where they settled for good.  She had various jobs and 3 kids, and was able to travel a lot of the world with my grandpa in their retired years.  Everyone in the service (and her life) had shared different aspects and moments of her life with her, but what everyone shared was their acknowledgement and appreciation of the loving person she was.

Grandma and Grandpa's wedding photo. Don't they look like movie stars?  

Grandma and Grandpa's wedding photo. Don't they look like movie stars?


Not to be a downer, but we never know how much time we have been given.  My grandma was lucky and had a very full life, and we are all the thankful beneficiaries of that.  But even the youngest and healthiest of us can be surprised with our last day sooner than expected.  It wasn't just at the end that Grandma lived lovingly, she was always that way, and no matter when she had left us, I'm pretty confident the sentiments shared would have always been the same.  Some people leave a legacy reflected in material wealth, or professional achievements.  Grandma's legacy is love, and while she set the bar high, I aspire to live as my grandma showed us all how.

My Little Dude meeting his great-grandparents for the first time, a year and a half ago.  

My Little Dude meeting his great-grandparents for the first time, a year and a half ago.


Friday Favorites - Links

Sharing some amazing/fun things I found on the web this week.  Happy Friday! 

Top Row, L-R

Middle Row, L-R

  • Loving all the greenery and natural elements in this interior tour.  Inspired for my own home decor to use more plants. (
  • A trip down memory lane: a look back at our technology from 10 years (only 10 years) ago. Remember what you had? (
  • You don't have to be a parent to appreciate that kids say the darndest things. (

Bottom Row, L-R

What great things did you stumble across out there this past week?


Style Tips - How to Look Expensive


So I was flipping through my most recent copy of Lucky magazine, and I noticed a short piece promoting the web-exclusive brand Datura (  The short article proclaimed that the site is "our new go-to for classic, wear-forever staples," and the founder, Stefania Borras was quoted saying "I saw a void for timeless, quality clothes at affordable prices.

Now, anything that claims to be affordable will get a second look from me.  And after a glance at the collection pieces shown with the article, and poking around the site, it confirmed to me what I've already thought for a while: the word "affordable" to the fashion world means something totally different than it does to me (and I have to imagine to many Americans.)

My income these days is significantly more than it was 10 years ago, but I don't think my budget has changed much (seems like the more $ I make, the more expensive everything else in life is.)  "Affordable" to me is not $150 for a linen shirt.  In fact, unless for special occasion or quality leather, anything over $100 is generally too much.  I don't have an extra $300 laying around for a silk shirt dress, and I confess envy if you are reading this and do (and not because I want the $300 silk shirt dress, but because I have student loans to pay off, and extra cash would help!) ;)

The good news is though that its not the price of what you wear that makes you look fashionable and stylish.  Subconsciously we think stylish = expensive, and that's probably because the 'stylish' people we look up to for inspiration are rich: actresses, models, socialites, reality stars.  We start to think that to look as fabulous as we think they do, we need their budgets.  But that's so not true.

A while back, I read the book How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor's Secrets to Getting Gorgeous without Breaking the Bank, hoping for some secret tips.  And while I'll go in to some details in later posts, here are some key things to get you started and keep in mind when shopping and dressing:

1.  Steer clear of super trendy items in general. Of course have fun with your style, but anything that is too extreme quickly dates itself and is often not very versatile. And versatility is the key to a making the most of your wardrobe.

2.  Black, white, neutrals - you can't go wrong.  They may seem boring at first and on their own, but they provide the perfect foundation for layering and accessorizing, which is really what makes the outfit (see below.)

3.  Proper FIT is a MUST.  Even the most expensive garment will look bad if it fits you poorly.  Everything fits models perfectly not because they are a size 2, but because the items are tailored for their bodies (that's why there are fittings before runway shows.) Take that $30 H&M dress in to a tailor and have them nip it or shorten it or whatever will make the garment just right for your body.  Extensive tailoring can get expensive, but if you save on the dress and pay a bit extra for customized fit, it will be a great investment.

4.  Once everything fits you well, think about LAYERS. Scarves, vests, jackets, etc.  These are versatile pieces and will help transform so many outfits. Jeans and a T are staples, but just eh.  You can change up the entire look with a beautiful scarf around your neck (even ok in the spring and summer in a light fabric.)  If you are going to invest in anything, a quality, classic handbag is a good way to go, but you can also rotate in some fun patterns and colors in cheaper versions and look just as stylish.

5.  ACCESSORIZE.  You can easily spend bank here, but totally not necessary.  Do spend on quality metal if its something you think you'll want to wear and keep for years, but embrace trends here with cheap (but well made) statement pieces or layering pieces.  And BELTS are a great way to change things up, cinching in a blousy dress or top, adding interest to the outfit (another layer) and helping define your shape.  If you're going to invest in anything, a quality classic handbag is a good way to go, but you can also rotate in some fun patters and colors in cheaper versions.

This is a start.  If you pay attention when you see well-dressed, stylish women, you'll notice that them employ all of these elements.  And you have no way to know how much everything actually cost them.

I know, in a perfect world we'd all have walk-in closets and unlimited wardrobe budgets (and there would be no more cancer, or hunger and the world would all just get along.)  But alas, we are clearly not in a perfect world, so we must make the best of what we've got (see my Thankful Thursday posts for reminders.)

What are your key styling tips?