tee: H&M // necklace: Kintage // belt: Old Navy  skirt: Gap (from high school!)

Happy Monday!

Okay -- I know, Mondays are not necessarily happy things. But I'm going to try to kick your post-weekend blues by introducing you to another fun online shop. And if you're anything like me, shopping online makes the mail soo much better. (I'm like a little kid when I order something -- running out to the mail box every day to see if it came.)

I also just love browsing online shops. It's like the best, most comfortable window shopping -- from my couch with a glass of wine. :)

Like my necklace? I ordered it off Kintage, a shop I highly recommend you head over for some shopping and browsing. Aileen, the creator of Kintage (don't you just love that name?) is a sponsor of Rouge & Whimsy and I asked her a few questions about her shop.

How did you start the shop?
Kintage technically started over a year ago as an etsy vintage and handmade shop. But I had bigger dreams and at the end of 2011, I began working on the Kintage you see today. I have a love of vintage, romantic inspired fashion. My hope is that Kintage continues to grow and to one day maybe turn it into a local boutique as well as an online shop.

What's your favorite thing in the shop right now?
I'm in love with the Chased by Lace dress, it's the only items I've allowed myself to buy from Kintage. I'm also pretty obsessed with the Floral Elegance purse.

What's your favorite thing to do in the spring?
In the spring I love just being outside whether it's playing with my dogs or reading a book. My husband and I love to go on drives with the windows down and explore the town or drive up into the mountains. This spring I'm starting a garden!  (I'm starting a garden too-- fingers crossed I don't kill it all!)

Kintage is filled with romantic dresses, fun jewelry and cute purses and Aileen is generously offering 10% off any order with the code ERIKA. happy shopping (or browsing)!

xo, erika


shop update + random story

I don't always like to bombard you all with shop updates but I just added the first two items from my new wristlet line and I'm pretty pleased with them.

They're sized just right for a few cards, your phone and a lip stick or two. You can buy 'em for 10 percent off with the code "BECAUSE" or you can try your luck winning a $30 shop credit over on Sandy a la Mode

How was your guys' weekend? Mine turned out to be a bit exciting. I was visiting the in-laws and my half-hour run turned into an hour and half-plus run when I got lost...

Two miles turned into seven miles. I even stopped at a bikini barista stand for directions and let's just say she was more embarrassed than I was. (And she wasn't even wearing a bikini top... but I won't go into details. Let's keep it at least PG over here.)

So then I ran to a car repair shop where I was able to use a phone to call the husband...

who was out driving around looking for me. As was his mom. And my husband's friend.

And it turns out I was on the outskirts of town.

But, I do have to say, if you're looking for a good run or workout-- get lost. It's amazing how far you will go when you're trying to find your way back.

xo, erika

p.s. I'm still pretty sore.


friday finds and favorites #3


1.  first off- one of my favorite things this week is probably the comments on my post yesterday about dreams. I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one that sometimes feels discouraged or weary pursuing dreams. Let's continue to encourage each other, and do as Valerie wrote, keep our "dreams in sight at all times. They seem far away, but hopefully every day they get a little bit closer!"

2. bracelets!  I rarely wear bracelets cuz I have such dang bony little wrists, but ohhh I am loving them lately... here's a few of my favorites:

3.  these fun handmade skirts by dottie adele

4. this post on how to make fabric tape!

another huge thing that was my favorite this week was talking with friends who told me that they found my blog and liked it... and for once I tried not to get too embarrassed talking about it. :)

happy friday! have a splendid saturday + sunday! it's still birthday celebration for the husband and i-- we'll be seeing in-laws and my family for dinners and presents. I'm a little excited.

xo, erika


big dreams

I have big dreams.

I think a lot of us do.

But, I also have big fears.

And I'm sure you guys do too.

But the struggle with my big dreams right now is not fear but more like less time.

To be honest with you all, I'm tired a lot. I feel like I tell the husband I'm exhausted every day.

My day job takes a lot out of me and I like it a lot, actually, but I also love this: blogging, creating, sewing and my little Etsy shop.

And then there's real life. My wonderful husband, my little furry monster, friends, a house, family, and laundry. ugh.

And sometimes all my big dreams seem really far away.

So I wonder, is it me being ungrateful to try and have it both? To try and blog and have an Etsy shop and work full-time and be a loving wife to my husband, a good friend and daughter? As well as have some clean clothes, eat decent food... the list goes on you know.

And yet, I have more ideas and more things that I want to do. But it seems like 24 hours is so little time for everything.

So, I'm asking if any of you has figured out the solution. A time machine, perhaps? If so-- let me in on your secret.

Or maybe you're just like me-- with so many ideas and passions and dreams that you want to pursue but maybe so little time to go out there and do it.

Heavy thoughts for a Thursday, I know. I just wanted to share. And you should share too. :)

xo, erika

p.s. I have sponsorship spots open for May. come join me  :)


O Canada! a love letter in photos

O Canada,

I've come to visit you many times before and I've met many of your lovely citizens when they come take advantage of our lower sales tax.

But, I have to say, Vancouver is really amazing. Like really gorgeous, awe-inspiring amazing.

And I'm saying that coming from Seattle.

I love that you have signs in French. J'adore tous les choses Francais! Also, it makes me feel like my years taking French in college were not a waste.

The metric system is also a fun change.

I love Granville Island Market and your polite little signs warning of us of seagulls.

Thanks for the beer-- it was pricey but worth it. (Let's face it, Vancouver is just pricey in general!)

And Stanley Park is breathtaking.

Especially on a clear day.

I liked your totem poles.

And I hope you liked my outfit.

cardi, skirt: Old Navy // button-up: Nordstrom // belt: thrifted // shoes: Blowfish 

I picked it out especially for you.

 The husband and I hope to come visit again soon.

Especially if it means more all-you-can-eat sushi.

Lots of love, 
your American friend,


diy: bow belt

 I've been wanting a mint bow belt for quite some time and so when I had made a spare moment, I decided to make my own!

cotton fabric
needle + thread + sewing machine if you have one
sew-on snaps

belt directions:

step 1: measure your waist and add two inches to the length.

step 2: cut out fabric 2 inches by the previous length

step 3: fold the fabric in half "hot-dog" style with the yuckier sides facing out toward you and press with an iron. Fold in the edges at the top and bottom of the belt 1/4 inch and press.

step 4:  Sew along the edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. (not the top or bottom)

step 4: turn that sucker inside out (use a pointy device to help you with this.)

step 5: Sew along the top and bottom (your frayed edges should be neatly tucked inside.) set the belt aside.

bow directions:

step 1: cut out two rectangles of fabric, 1 large, 1 smaller.  I did 4 x 10 for one, and 3 x 5 for the other.

step 2: fold the large rectangle in half, press it with an iron and fold in the edges of at the top and bottom (about 1/4 inch) and press.

step 3: sew along the long edge. turn inside out and press the fabric so that the seam is in the middle-- (see the image below at left)

step 4: tuck one end into the other and stitch it so you have a tube (see above image at right)

step 5: follow step 2 for the small rectangle. This should result in a nice little tube (see image at left).

step 6: Pinch your large rectangle into a bow shape and squeeze it through the tube.

bow belt:

step 1: stitch the bow to your belt

step 2: measure where you want your snaps to be (I wrapped the belt around my waist toward the front and marked with a pen where I wanted the snaps to line up) and sew them on.

step 3: pair your cute bow belt with your favorite dress or skirt!

** if my bow tutorial wasn't so great... check out these directions too-- they're a tad different.

** this belt tutorial is super fun! but it's not for you to make and sell... just to make and wear or make and share. :)

xo, erika

p.s. you still have time to enter my birthday giveaway. it's pretty good. jus' saying.


birthday giveaway

It's not my birthday today. It was yesterday...

but that doesn't mean we still can't celebrate. In fact, it's almost better when your birthday lasts a few days... right?

So I'm stretching out my day with a giveaway of some really good things-- like really good things. In fact, I almost feel like Oprah with this giveaway.

Almost. There won't be a new car given away here. :)

Want to see what's up for grabs?

How about...

the sarah bracelet in gray and yellow from Sara at Twillypop ($19.50 value)
I actaully own a Twillypop necklace and absolutely love it. The quality cannot be beat!

one month sponsorship, which includes a Sponsor Spotlight post and a 150x150 button on Krysten's blog "Why Girls Are Weird" ($15 value)
I've sponsored here and can vouch for the traffic from Krysten's blog :)

I also own this lipbalm-- and definitely recommend it!

$15 shop credit to Along for the Ride.
I'm obsessed with Laura's new ombre necklaces -- especially this seafoam one

$20 shop credit to Sew Beastly
In honor of Earth Day, Citlalli actually just launched a new line of upcycled pouches-- they're super cute!

Pretty good lineup, right?

And if you win, I'll also throw in something from my own shop...

how about this gray and yellow tote? ($50 value)

good luck! 


happy birthday!

Today is my birthday.

But I don't want to talk about me today.

I want to talk about someone else who has a birthday today.

Not my best friend growing up whose birthday is today [happy birthday cathy!]

or a dear friend from college [yay katie!]

or another friend from college [daniel! woohoo birthday!]

I want to talk about the husband because today is his birthday today too.

[collective awwwww.]

Yes, the husband and I share a birthday. That's actually why we got married! (jussssst kidding.)

He's a year older but we share the same day every year and it's more like Christmas-- where we do our best to both spoil each other. And he usually wins that war because it turns out that I am spoiled just by being married to the guy.

Now, I'm not a big cheesy romantic person. I don't like pet names and get uncomfortable at public displays of affection but I have to dedicate at least one day to someone who is a huge part of this blog.

He is the guy who takes outfit photos -- multiple ones. And never complains or get embarrassed.

He's the guy who reads my blog daily even though he could care less about sewing, fashion, thrifting or many of the things I post about.

He's the guy who hands out my business cards at work, talks up my blog to the baristas at Starbucks and never questions when I'm photographing our food.

When I call to beg to go to blog conference, he's the guy that always says yes. 

He's the guy who encourages me to work harder and pursue my dreams, yet often tells me it's okay to take a break and nap or do something just for me.

He doesn't question that I have friends I met through the Internet. (as scary as that sounds.)

He's the guy who listens to my emotional tirades and never, ever questions my sanity but allows me to vent and cry without judgement.

When it's rough-going, he's the guy who holds me, prays with me, and makes me laugh.

He's the guy who folds the laundry.

He's the guy I said yes to and married almost three (whoa) years ago and I'm so glad that we get to grow old together and be that old couple who takes advantage of every senior discount. (4 p.m. dinners here we come!)

I am so thankful for my husband and his role in my life, in this blog, my etsy shop and all my dreams of success.

Happy Birthday Evan!

xo, erika


friday finds and favorites: canada edition

I only call this the Canada version because I'm going to Canada this weekend.

Vancouver, Canada. And I just like saying that I'm going to Canada this weekend because it's like-- whoa, a different country in a weekend?

Well, when it's only a 3 hour drive, why not?

I'm excited. I've never stayed in Vancouver, but I'm excited to eat sushi (because apparently they have tons of good sushi places), go to Granville Island's farmer market and walk around Stanley Park. But if any of you have ever been to Vancouver, I'm open for more suggestions!

But before we hit the road, I'm going to share a few of my favorite things from this week.

This post by Amy of A is for Ampersand about owning who you are and what your blog is. She always has the most encouraging posts. I swear she should be a blog motivational speaker.

A gorgeous resin bracelet from Rosella Resin on etsy -- I love how unique it is!

this reminder found here

A beautiful post on RevolutionizeHer reminding us of what we can accomplish!

Chantilly's EP -- I'd seen her around on blogland and decided to give her stuff a listen. So glad I did!

You know what is also my favorite this week? The library. Seriously. Best invention-- I mean books for free? I love it. 

Happy Friday!

xo, erika

p.s. another one of my favorite things is Photoshop for Bloggers! Be sure to go read my review & enter to win your own copy. :)


giveaway! photoshop for bloggers

I am now an accomplished photo editor.

Okay, I take that back.

I am now a decent photo editor. :) [see proof below]:

I bought a digital SLR camera earlier this year and even though I had the nice "big-girl" camera, I continued to edit my photos with freebies online like Picnik. (May it soon rest in peace.) And while there's nothing wrong with free editing services (I've also used Pixlr, Piknic and Fotoflexr,) I wanted to learn more about the entire photography process -- including full editing.

Which is what brought me to Photoshop Elements. I learned a little bit of Photoshop in college but I knew there was no WAY I was dropping a bajillion dollars on it. Photoshop Elements, on the other hand, was a reasonable option-- especially because you can purchase older versions on Amazon for only $50. (The newest version retails for around $80.)

But Photoshop -- even Photoshop Elements -- is crazy-intimidating at best, which is why when Gina of Acute Designs and Leonora of Yellow Heart Art published their e-book "Photoshop for Bloggers" I jumped at the chance to buy it.

Not only is it very user-friendly (read easy to understand for the non-techy people), it's also entertaining and fun to read -- which is to be expected if you've ever had the pleasure of reading Gina's blog or Leonora's blog.

I can not recommend this book enough--and I'm not just saying that. For someone who was looking to start understanding Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, this was a great starting point and from there I have felt comfortable enough to begin experimenting on my own. As a warning, Photoshop a really addictive and fun thing once you get going.  (I even redesigned my blog as a result of playing around on Photoshop late into the night. Benefit, perhaps?)

But enough from me -- how about a chance to win it? (yay!)

Gina is generously offering the e-book to a rouge & whimsy reader! And there are lots o' entries. You have until next Wednesday, April 25. Good luck!

p.s. don't want to wait to pick up your copy? Gina is also offering a 20 percent discount here! and if you're a fan of her gorgeous accessory shop, you can also get 20 percent off with the code rougeandwhimsy. I love this gold leaf headband and these velvet stretch headbands!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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