Friday, June 29, 2012

Chill Friday!

I won't drone on about the temps we've been having because pretty much everyone else has be it through Facebook or Twitter. Instead...I'll leave you with this image as you kick off your weekend because that's all you see in my office garbage can - popsicle sticks! Truly, it's hilarious! And don't they just hit the spot as the perfect summer treat? 

On the baby front, Dos finally turned around. She was sideways. Which was incredibly comfortable as you can imagine. And at this time in my pregnancy with Olivia - I was delivering! My doc hi-5'ed me for making it thus far which felt pretty good. 

On that note, I suppose this weekend calls for packing an official hospital bag. Kind of crazy! We'll be fixin' up the nursery a bit, visiting with friends and drum roll...waiting on the arrival of our new couch which happens to be quite grown up in comparison to past couches. 

It's exciting stuff, I tell ya. Hope your weekend is chill and full of icy treats! xo

**Last chance to enter my giveaway before Sunday!**

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Let's get wallpaper'in!

Lately, I am all about wallpaper...secretly yearning to wallpaper something...anything for years. And to ease into it, I've decided the girlies' bathroom is just the space. I have a few prerequisites - it has to be majorly whimsical, colorful and scream KIDS! After all, how many spaces do you get to go all out? Here are a few choices from Ferm Living that I'm loving - recently featured on Cup of Jo, too.

Which one's your favorite? Can you guess mine?

Do you have any other fun wallpaper sources worth sharing?

**Enter my giveaway!!**

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Picnic Style

Summer means a lot of time outdoors...well, that and intense heat if you're from the Midwest. And because we are officially into the season; I've rounded up some of my favorites for the ideal picnic ensemble. I am especially smitten with the polka dot flats. Can you believe those adorable shorts are from Old Navy? They come in a variety of colors, too. Go get some!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Enter my fabulous giveaway...ends Sunday!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I needed to create a second post today to check off some housekeeping items...just keeping you looped in.

  1. Today: my dad's birthday. He's had a lot on his plate these days with work but everyone, please wish him a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY as the guy surely deserves it. In fact, this post's image made me think of my dad - Happy Birthday Dad. Love you, mean it!
  2. Pardon our dust: you may notice some changes and general chaos on 101 things these next few weeks. That's because my awesome-sauce friend, Gloria, is redoing my blog design. Get excited, the finished result is nothing short of awesome.
  3. You guys: ...are awesome. I've seen new faces around these parts and you've been so supportive hence I owe you a big THANKS. Today's post is dedicated to you, too. And I'm really excited to share a final piece of news with you in the coming days but I need to hold out a tad bit longer. I think you'll be as excited as I am. Stay tuned.
  4. Giveaway: there's an adorable giveaway that I launched today. You should get involved, seriously dudettes. Don't delay because it ends Sunday.
That's all folks. Happy Tuesday and remember, tomorrow is Hump Day which could mean a lot of different things to you folks. All of which could be a very enjoyable experience. xo

It's time for a GIVEAWAY!

Ask and you shall receive! You ladies are lucky ducks because Stephanie Johnson has graciously offered a fab giveaway for my 101 readers! {cue cheering!} One lucky winner will receive the MEDIUM flat pouch AND you get to pick your fabric from any one of the following:  Lima Black, Lima Pink, Malibu Lime, Palm Desert Denim, Palm Desert Orange, Palm Desert Moss, Palm Desert White, Palm Springs Mint, Palm Springs Sand, Palm Springs Pink, Palm Springs Turquoise.

You'll even get the matching wristlet and snap mirror. Boom!

Here's how to enter:
  • Leave a comment and tell us what fabric you'd choose {don't forget to leave your email address}
  • Become a follower of 101 things...
  • Like SJ on FB & follow them on Twitter
  • Bonus round: Tweet my giveaway
Good luck! Giveaway ends Sunday night, 7/1/12!

Monday, June 25, 2012

5 Summer Essentials: featuring Taylor of It's the Little Things...

Taylor's blog makes me giggle out loud a couple times a week. I live for her Thursday "Coffee Talk" series and her "Friday Randoms" generally lead me to some fashion website perusing around adding items to my imaginary shopping cart. It's dangerous, I tell ya. A bubbly, adorable blonde that dishes on fashion, pop and culture - that's what you'll find over on It's the Little Things... Perfect for your Monday blues...or mine at least! Meet Taylor! 

Summer Staples: Dresses + Sandals

The Perfect Dress

Comfy Flats

Thanks Taylor! That tomato-red Raoul dress is killing me right now. Loving your Summer staples...and I wholeheartedly agree on all your choices. xoxo

Friday, June 22, 2012

Colorific Friday!

Hi everybody! This week has flown by and it's been oh-so-colorful. Instead of an inspirational photo per my usual Friday post; I thought I'd change it up. Here's what's been going on in our neck of the woods. I have so much more to share however I am hanging tight just a few more weeks...giveaways, news, new blog designs -- Summer is the best!
  1. My new t+j Designs necklace. I love their highlighter collection!
  2. Olivia enjoying Touch + Feel books. She now thinks every book is a touch + feel book. 
  3. I am round. Basketball round.
  4. New sheets from an awesome Etsy vendor. Officially in need of chevron counseling.
  5. Blue iris' from Trader Joe's. 
  6. We found a blueberry bush in our backyard. It must be fate that we moved here...blueberries are Liv's favorite fruit!
Hope your weekend's are sunny and relaxing. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Storing your goods.

I'm not one of those people that gets geeked out about technology and gadgets. No, rather I get geeked out about how to store them. I love pouches, clutches, containers, cosmetic name it. And the sleeker the design...the more I fall...hard. Such is the case with Stephanie Johnson. I was gifted this iPad case and had a choice of three fabrics; I chose the Rivera Maya because you know my motto is COLOR this year. Read: makes me smile.

This baby is adorable and my boss won't get upset with me that I've been mishandling my iPad. Win/Win.

Next up...the large, flat pouch. In Bollywood Camel because it doubles as my cosmetic bag and my date night clutch with the hubs. As a matter of fact, I wore it last night with a coral dress. Smashing, I tell you.

You know I love me some metallics. And you can even attach the wristlet to convert it to a clutch like I did.

Voila...two summer pouches that are easy on the eyes, store your goods but don't skimp on style. You should probably go poke around yourself. They make great gifts for your gal pals. could just keep tuning into this lil' blog because a Stephanie Johnson giveaway is on the horizon. Woot!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shut up! You're cute!

Damn you, Aldo and your sales!
This bag - $18 and coming to a closet near you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Polka baby!

I know someone who'd look real cute in this.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pat the Bunny

"Pat the Bunny" - it's a favorite read in our house. And this little cross-body bag made me think of it.

How darling is this? 

I just want to throw on a plaid shirt and cuff my boyfriend jeans...and...and...head out to a flea market!

Yeah, my mind words in really weird ways.

P.S. Our regularly scheduled blog series will return next Monday!

Friday, June 15, 2012

"Dad's are cool" Friday!

Dads deserve more credit you know? They blend into the background all too often and the mom's get the accolades but really, dads work their tail off and lift heavy things and do yard work and fix stuff. I saw it growing up with my dad and now I see it with my own husband. So instead of spending one day celebrating dads...I'm thinking maybe we should celebrate all weekend! Being the expert gift giver that I am...I've lined up some way cool gifts for our resident dad and of course, for my pops, too. I can't wait to see their expressions when they open them!

What are you doing for your dad this weekend?

And for some Friday fun - check out my feature on The Yuppie Files

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Neon is here to stay!

1, 2, 3, 4

I don't think there's much to say other than that I am loving this neon moment we're having. You can find a piece on just about any website. The above pieces I've been obsessing over. Neons and neutrals... #favoritetrend

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Olivia has been saying "dad" for months now. It's a very sharp "dad" with an emphasis on the "d" at the end. It's quite endearing. And while any new vocabulary she acquires deserves many-a-golf-clap and a "bravo"...I've been secretly waiting for the "mom". Perhaps getting a little sad, too.

But then, last week, clear as a bell, she looked at me and said "MA" and then "ma ma ma ma"! And after a lot of cheering and waving of diapers...she stared at me perplexed and then gave me a coy smile as if she knew how to say it all along. She was just testing my loyalty, if you will.

Enter last week and the kid is standing and drinking from her own sippy cup solo. Did someone hit a fast forward button? I mean, no complaints but the rate at which they grow and when they decide to grow is baffling. I am pretty sure tomorrow I will fetch her from her crib and she will be speaking fluent Spanish or something.

Mission Big Sister in full force!

...and the winner of my Company Store giveaway is Alaine88! Be sure to email me your address and congratulations!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Looking back...

all photography courtesy Alison Yin Photography

Last month I had the pleasure of coming into contact with The Collection Event Studio via my wedding photographer. Brides, if you're getting married in wine country - this site is a great source of inspiration! Our wedding photographer submitted our wedding for posting and I wrote the copy to be featured and yesterday was our post! Above are a few collages put together by the team and truth be told, I miss that day. I would do it over 100x's. We worked with an amazing team of amazing that we've still kept in touch with them! Like I said, if you're a bride and getting married in CA, be sure to check out our vendor list. You won't regret it!

Monday, June 11, 2012

5 Summer Essentials: featuring Frances of It's Sew My Style

Morning kids! You're going to love today's post from Frances! Her blog is bright and cheery and has so much style inspiration. What I love about her choices is that they are affordable which is a refreshing change from so many blogs out there. As much as we love the luxe life - it's nice that a simple girl like me can replicate great looks at a fraction of the price without skimping on style. Enjoy this Floridian's best looks for the beach...she's right on trend. Meet Frances...

Hi everyone! Frances here from It's Sew My Style. I am so delighted to be bringing you today's post in Johanna's Five Summer Essentials series. When Johanna posted that she was looking for guest bloggers to write about summer trends, I jumped at the chance. I have been reading 101 Things I Love for a couple of years now and have discovered that we have a lot in common when it comes to fashion. I thought for a while about what to share with all you lovely readers. Then it came to me: the beach! Being a Florida native, nothing reminds me more of the summer months than the hot sand and sound of waves crashing at the shore. So why not incorporate this season's five must haves {mint, orange, crochet, a big floppy hat and straw} on the beach?
  This first look is for the more demure ladies out there (myself included). There's a classic chicness to this ensemble with a hint of mysteriousness. Ruched One Piece - The hottest color of 2012's spring and summer is mint! Sporting it on your swimsuit is unexpected and fun. Blind Love Cover Up - This white cover-up will let the mint of the bathing suit peek through for a great color combo. Plus, the crochet is right on trend for the warmer months. Stripe Floppy Hat -Protect yourself from the sun with this classic floppy hat. Orange Square Sunglasses -  Add to the mystery with over-sized sunglasses in a fun pop of color. Orange is huge this season! Straw Rope Tote - Going to the beach requires some swag. Carry your towel, money, keys phone, sunscreen and iPod all in this stylish bag. The black goes well with the hat and adds that demure factor to the whole shebang. Sandals - Nothing is easier than slipping on and off a cute sandal when at the beach. These neutral ones are great for a day on a the sand and a night at a beach front restaurant.
  The second look is for you ladies who like a more boho/relaxed style when at the beach while still utilizing the same must-have summer styles. Cut-Out One Piece Swimsuit - Also in mint, this one piece shows a little more skin while still being "covered up". Racer-back Dress - This crochet dress has a relaxed vibe about it. Wear it to the beach as a cover -up and then to dinner as your dress. Polka Dot Ribbon Floppy Hat - This floppy hat has that natural straw color which lends to the boho vibe while still protecting your face from the sun. Oversized Sunglasses - Still the fun orange hue of the season, these sunglasses are a little more sporty than the ones in the look above, which is perfect for lounging or playing a game of beach volleyball. Roxy Tote Bag - Carry all your beach gear in this natural straw colored, striped bag. The colors in the stripes pick up the colors in the sunglasses and swimsuit. Steve Madden Sandals - These sandals are perfect for taking a walk in the sand. The back-strap ensures that the sandal stays on your foot, while you stay active. So Frisbee away!

Thanks again for today's post, Frances! I love your mint-y choices...the perfect way to chill out when the temps really heat up. You can also find Frances on Twitter, too. xo

Don't forget to enter my giveaway - winner picked tomorrow!

Friday, June 8, 2012

"Stand-for-something" Friday!

You guys were awesome this week {well, you are every week}but this week was brimming with insightful commentary and good news all around! Just wanted to say thank you for that!
I particularly loved reading all your comments on yesterday's post...which was a very long one so I am glad you found it somewhat relatable.

On that note, temps are going to soar so break out those loose shift-y dresses and pour yourself a nice, chilled glass of rose`. At least that's what I would be doing if I could! Tonight includes a happy hour of sorts with our little nugget - kiddie cocktails for her and I - and an early dinner. Tomorrow we shop for kitchen counter tops {!!!!} and a car for the mister. That's as far as our plans go. And good thing because sitting down is my preferred position these days.

Make it a great one!

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

Designed, with love + a giveaway

If you've ever been in need of luxe, affordable bedding that screams comfort - I am sure you've come into contact with The Company Store. I've been shopping their quilts and cozy comforters since I can remember. And when approached by them to help promote a Kids Design Contest...let's just say it was a no-brainer.

Here's the scoop:
NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 28, 2012) - The Company Store®, one of America's largest home décor and bedding companies for more than 100 years, is proud to announce the launch of its Kids Design Contest in which children nationwide will have the opportunity to design comforters to be donated to military families. This year, The Company Store has partnered with Operation Homefront, an organization that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of the United States' service members and wounded veterans, to give away more than 10,000 comforters to military families in need across the nation.

Last year, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched the Joining Forces initiative to mobilize all Americans to 'step up and do what they do best' to support veterans, service members and their families. Roughly 75% of the military families served by Operation Homefront live at an income level substantially below the median income for their communities.

"The Kids Design Contest is a way for a child's creativity to brighten the spirits of thousands of military families facing difficult times," said The Company Store Director of Marketing Karen Feldman. "We couldn't think of a better way to engage children to support these incredible servicemen and women by giving them the comfort and care that they so deserve."

 The contest runs from Memorial Day Weekend May 28, 2012 through June 22, 2012. Voting will take place on Facebook from June 23-30, 2012 and the winners will be announced on the 4th of July 2012. Three winning designs will be made into thousands of comforters and donated to the families of servicemen and women around the nation.

Pretty awesome, right? And in celebration of a super fun contest - The Company Store has bequeathed me with one of their amazing blankets to give away to one lucky reader - that's you! Let me just tell you the Naturelle Blanket is the best snuggle blanket around. We have one and it's become a bit of a fight as to who gets it at night. 

Giveaway - next steps:

That's it! Winner announced Tuesday, 6/12/12! Good luck!

And more important guys, spread the word about the Kids Design Contest - you could make someone's day just a little cozier and brighter! Follow contest deets with the hashtag #KidsDesignContest on Twitter.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Round table: Negotiating your worth

Background story:
New business opportunities are what keeps me going outside of my personal life. It's why I continue to work. Recently I was approached by a entrepreneur regarding some freelance work. She had read my blog and liked what she saw. We agreed to meet in-person and discuss the size and scope of the work needed. After spending 1.5 hours with her, I thoroughly liked, admired and respected all that she had accomplished in the business world. Truthfully, I was excited about the prospect of a potential partnership. And while I don't perform a ton of freelance work {yet!}; I have quite a bit of said work under my belt from my FT gig and some recent projects in the last 12 months. I felt confident and I did my research so that my pricing had room for negotiation. After all, every good sales person knows you start high so that you can always negotiate down and be at a comfortable pay structure for both you and your client.

Needless to say, I created a sample of work to share with the entrepreneur so she could see how I envisioned her brand and spoke about it. I would say it took me 2.5 hours when all was said and done. This was after my FT gig, dinner, chores and putting the baby down. However, and there's a catch, the scope of work we discussed required a minimum of 10 hours per week outside my FT job. Willing to do it - yes! Would sacrifices have to be made - absolutely and besides, it was a trial so what was the worst that could happen?

It went something like this...I was owed deliverables that I did not receive but never felt stressed to perform because I was confident in my work. Upon deadline day, I received an email from my potential client asking where my work was. No problem - just putting the finishing touches on. At this point, I felt it was in the bag...we kicked it off well and she wanted my work ASAP. I felt good. My bad! I emailed a PDF over to her and all was quiet for about 24 hours. I emailed to confirm receipt and she responded that she wanted me to send over my work in a text format so that "she could edit it as she saw fit and publish." Oh...and one other thing, not only was she demanding my work with not so much as a please or thank you...she spelled my name wrong. Pet peeve much? Come on - we were going to work together!?! Did I mention there was no compensation involved for this piece?

I called her and asked where we stood for the future and how she felt about my pricing. I was brushed off and told that sometimes you just have to do work for FREE and that she would get back to me later in the week since she had other candidates to consider that were cheaper than I. Yeah, those are called college interns. Bare in mind that I was willing, able and had vocalized that I would negotiate...heavily. Just bring something...anything to the table.

Guess what I did? Well, I was rubbed wrong. I felt we were getting off on the wrong footing and by the way, my name is spelled "Johanna". I didn't say any of this though. Instead, I wrote a short but sweet email explaining that "my instincts said this was not a good fit for either of us but thank you so much for the opportunity - best of luck in the future. Sincerely, Johanna". And I meant it.

The learning:
Knowing your self worth is so important and you can't be afraid to ask for what you deserve. After all, I was sharing my intellectual property. With all due respect to all readers of this blog, I am 34, not 20 and I did graduate as a double major from a Big Ten university with a degree in Journalism and English. I am not near perfect or writing Pulitzer's but I can write a good bit. I know this. And with almost 10 years of writing and working for my clients...I still feel confident in my skills. I know I'm not a novelist but writing I got! And so, no freelance gig but for the better, I suppose.

Your turn:
Have you been in a similar predicament where you were told you were too expensive and treated as entry level?

How did you handle it?

How do you think I handled it?

Is it better to sell your self short for more experience or dig your heels in and wait for the right fit?

Love to hear...and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Outfit of the Day: third sonofagun!

Well, so much for documenting this pregnancy. Here we are in the 3rd trimester and I think I've completed one OOTD and almost zero progress reports compared to last time. Bad mom. I guess the first one does get all the attention but from here on out - I am vowing to document just a little bit more despite my personal loathing for any self portraits right now. If for nothing else so that Dos doesn't have a complex. {and yes, I need to work on using a tripod}

The deets:
  • Dress - Solitaire via Loehmann's {non-maternity...heck, yeah!}
  • Earrings - Stella & Dot
  • Shoes - a random boutique in Chicago
The occasion: work

P.S. Now you have a glimpse of our lovely master bath that also needs a face all of its 80's glory. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Randomness and other things I am in love with...

:: Joey New York Day Gel and Night Cream Eye Duo - The main ingredient is young coconut water complex and that just seems right for summer. I've become addicted very quickly. It's said to promote a more youthful appearance, tighten and give you a more rested look. Sign me up!

:: Zara baby denim shorts - So friggin cute I can't stand it. She doesn't own them yet but man, I am melting.

:: Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis - Does this need an introduction? I am in love with this show...more than any of his other shows. Mix equal parts snarkiness with an amazing eye and you get Jeff Lewis. I just wish he'd branch out of CA!!

:: Mio - I hate that I like this. I used to be an avid water drinker yet I am really struggling this pregnancy to get it down. Perhaps I am tired of visiting the bathroom but my husband bought this and it was a game changer. We tried the mango peach. I swear I can see every leaf on every tree and the colors of the world are more vivid...that's how much I love this stuff.

:: Jonsbo Ilsbo table lamp - I got in trouble when I bought this the other day but it really is such an adorable lamp for a small side table. We have no lighting anywhere and necessity called when I broke Liv's other lamp. You can't buy more cuteness for $20.

:: Watermelon mania - Last pregnancy I ate mangoes as if they were nearing extinction. This pregnancy,  if I don't have watermelon every day...something is off. I crave it like no other.

:: Pink Sugar perfume - I go back to it every Summer. It's to me what sandals are to sundresses. I would drink it if I could. It is that good.

What are you craving?

Monday, June 4, 2012

5 Summer Essentials: featuring Lisanne of Style Servings

The UK has plenty of stylish women to take cues from however, today I am pleased to feature my favorite UK blogger fashionista - Lisanne! Take copious notes, ladies because her blog is pure eye candy for the fashion addicted. And thank goodness for the blogosphere or Lisanne and I would've never crossed paths. Style Servings provides daily style snacks when you're fashion famished and artfully curated seasonal picks when you want to stay ahead of the curve. I'll stop talking...see for yourself! Here's Lisanne!

Hi everyone, my name is Lisanne and I have a blog called Style Servings. I am honoured to be the first international blogger to post about my five summer essentials on 101 Things I Love, and with the weather finally being sunny (for those in Europe) I can’t wait to share a few of my current obsessions!

I have always been a sucker for pretty dresses and this summer I feel completely justified in buying as many as possible thanks to all the beautiful prints around. The high street retailers have done an amazing job at creating expensive-looking printed pieces, and one brand I’m really impressed with at the moment is Oasis. This dress is just one of their amazing creations. It would be perfect for any summer party. Find it at Asos here.

Another trend I am obsessed with this summer is all the retro bikini styles. They may not be the most practical for tanning, but I don’t care, they all look so good! One of my favourite takes on this is from Zinke, which has created some beautiful printed pieces with my favourite bustier styles. This one is available from Shopbop.

I featured the sandal version of this shoe on my blog and I remember Johanna loving them so I thought I’d include the court version in this list. These clever heels build on last season’s ombre trend and mix it with this summer’s lucite heel trend. The result is so sophisticated! From Mango.

We've seen the fashion pack stack their arms with gorgeous bracelets for a few seasons now, and they show no sign of giving this up any time soon. Although I love this look, every morning I feel too lazy to pile on lots of bracelets, but this summer I am forcing myself to be less lazy! If I had a bracelet this beautiful, maybe I would be more inclined to put in the effort. This beauty is from a label called Frieda & Nellie and is available here.

Big and beautiful jewellery is going to be huge thanks to Prada’s stunning collection. Luckily, there are more affordable alternatives, such as these two necklaces. I can’t find them online, but they are from H&M. This picture is from a blog called My Free Choice. This genius girl had the brilliant idea to combine the two necklaces and wear them together to create an extra big statement. You can find more pictures on how she styled them here.

Have a fabulous summer!

Thanks Lisanne! I am loving all your picks and still loving those lucite heels. Gahhh! You can also find Lisanne on Twitter, too. xo

Friday, June 1, 2012

"Officially Summer" Friday!

I know I'm early but I've decided that when you have two weekends in a row with 90 degree's Summer.

Our weekend already seems spoken for but all good things:

The first Farmer's Market of the season.
A new{ish} dining room table.
Some long walks.
Deliveries for Dos' nursery.
Gift wrapping for Dad's day.
Maybe a few naps.
Definite plans for frozen treats.

And you...what about you? What do you have on your agenda?
Welcome to the new readers this week - so glad to have you!

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

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