4/30/13

put a bow on it

 top, shoes: nordstrom rack // sweater: target // skirt: h&m // bangle: thrifted // wristlet: collaboration!


 Leonora is an amazing graphic artist and a friend of mine. And we have been throwing out doing something together for quite awhile, but it wasn't until she shared an adorable bow print she designed, that things started moving.

It took awhile. This project has been in the works for months, with both of us dying to share it but trying to work out the details before we could breathe word. Turns out both of us are really right-brained people, so the whole details aspect -- i.e. the math part-- is a bit tough.

But math is worth it when you're creating something you love, and both Leonora and I love what we created and are so excited to share it with you.


We're selling these wristlets as a presale for the next two weeks for $5 less, at $30 with $3 shipping. After the two weeks is up, they'll be listed for $35. They'll be mailed out May 30 and we have a super limited quantity, so no pressure, but you should probably get them while they're hot. And we think they're hot. :)

You can check them out in the Yellow Heart Art store envy shop!

xo, erika

p.s. you should see Leo rocking her bow clutch over on her blog, too :)

linking up to pleated poppy, style elixir, real girl glam







4/28/13

hosting my pity party

sweatshirt: c/o Evy's Tree // t-shirt: H&M // necklace: Nordstrom Rack // pants: Dorothy Perkins // boots: Macys



I think being positive, and maybe a little silly (see photo numero uno) is a good coping method of mine, and maybe a good coping method of most people. We joke, we make small remarks to deflect when we feel like the bottom beneath us is not quite as sturdy as it once was.


I don't like a lot of doom and gloom on the blog, not because I'm trying to be fake or pretend that I have it all together, because I certainly don't have it all together, or even any of it all together.


But I'm going to be honest. It has not been all roses and sunshine lately, even though Seattle has finally decided to have spring weather. There has been some disappointing things. To be brief: the future the husband and I so carefully planned out -- or rather the timeline that I so carefully plotted -- is less certain. The shop has been so much work lately to the point where I know I love it, but I wonder if I can keep these late nights up. My poor, little crazy dog had to go and tear his ACL. Yes, dogs do that and it's painful and horrible and I won't go into details except that having it happen while we're dogsitting two other dogs has just made for a weekend that wasn't exactly what I had planned.

And I'm not saying this to expect a pity party -- I've already hosted that event -- except to share what I've been thinking in light of all of this.

When some things happened last week, this weekend, my first reaction was "This is SO unfair!" and to get angry. But when has life been fair? And where we ever promised that life would be fair? If there's anything I know, life is hard and God even told us life would be hard.

But I also know that when life is hard, we learn things. We learn how to depend on God, how to depend on others and we learn about compassion and empathy, and ultimately what it means to grow as people.


So here's to being honest about life and it's challenges. I know right now is just a blip in the road, but I know it won't be the only one I ever encounter.

xo, erika






4/25/13

etsy finds: all that sparkles

I spend a lot of time on Etsy-- not just working on my shop but also window shopping and I nearly always can find one or five things that catch my eye. These are my current faves:
1. Turquoise geometric hexagon stud earrings by Vivid by Esther // I love these nearly every pair of earrings in this shop!

2. Gold dipped amthyst by HFinn Jewelry // I am seeing natural stones everywhere but I can't resist this gold-dipped stone!

3. Resin bangle bracelet by daimblond // The gold flakes in the hand-formed resin are stunning and would be awesome stacked.

4. Mint green studs with gold foil by The Purple Balloon  // Mint and gold, need I say more?

5.  Delicate Raw Brass Triangle Necklace by Catabot // I love simple, minimal jewelry and this shop has amazing pieces. Also, if you're eying anything in the shop, the owner Cathy is generously offering free domestic shipping to r & w readers with the code CATABOT29... and her prices are already pretty reasonable. I may have to give in...


Do you have any favorites or favorite shops on Etsy?


xo, erika

4/23/13

the shift dress

 polka dot shift dress: c/o kintage // belt: off another dress // shoes: nordstrom rack

I think for a long time everything in fashion was super, overly fitted.

Or maybe that was just me-- because I was in high school and wearing the tightest Gap tee I could find was just what teenage girls did.

I love that now there's an ease to clothes-- clothes are looser, more natural, more curve skimming rather than curve hugging.

In particular, I'm seeing shift dresses everywhere, the straight, looser-fitting dress. The look is definitely classic, a little bit 60s, and so effortless.


And if you feel like you need a little shape, you can always belt it around the waist. Perfection.

Oh by the way, yes my nude shoes do perfectly match my very pale legs. And yes, it's only 65 degrees out, but I'm rocking the bare legs because I'm from Seattle, and that's what we do.

xo, erika





4/22/13

recipe: cinnamon wheat bread


Honestly there is nothing in the world like fresh bread. And it's even better when said fresh bread has a swirl of cinnamon sugar in it.

I feel like kind of a cheater when it comes to homemade bread because I use a bread machine. You just dump ingredients in the bread machine and it does everything: mixing, kneading, rising and even baking. You can make pizza dough in it, bagel dough in it and even cinnamon bread dough in it.

We got ours secondhand from a friend, but I see them all the time at Goodwill. And I think they're worth the $10 or whatever that Goodwill would charge for them. Seriously. Bread machine equals life changing.

Even if you don't have a bread machine, you can make this bread. I made it whole wheat to make it a teensy bit healthier, but let's be real here: it has a swirl of sugar and cinnamon in it. It can't be that good for you, which, by the way, is totally fine with me.



cinnamon swirl wheat bread recipe altered from here
bread ingredients:
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup softened coconut oil (or butter)
2 cups white flour
2 cups wheat flour
1/8 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast


swirl ingredients:
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 tbs cinnamon
3 tbs softened coconut oil (or butter)


bread machine directions:
1. Pour in liquid ingredients first, topping with dry ingredients.
2. Place sugar and salt in opposite corners and using your finger, make a well in the center of the flour to add the yeast.
3. Select the dough cycle.
4. Once dough has finished, remove it from the machine and divide dough in half.
5. Roll each half into a rectangle about 9x14 inches. Spread 1 tablespoon softened butter over the top of each dough rectangle and evenly sprinkle dough with half the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll dough rectangles, starting from the short ends, and pinch seams closed. 
6.  Place in greased pan, seams down, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 
 
non-bread machine directions:
1. Mix liquids -- milk through coconut oil-- and sugar together in one bowl, stirring until well blended.
In another bowl, mix remaining ingredients and add slowly to wet ingredients, stirring as you add.
2. Once stirred together, remove from bowl and knead on a floured surface until the dough is soft and smooth
3.  Place dough in covered bowl in a warm place to rise until doubled in size
4. Remove dough from the bowl, punch down and knead for a minute or two. Follow directions 5 and onward in original recipe.

enjoy!

xo, erika

4/21/13

shared days

 the husband and I-- 2005

When you first meet someone, there's a moment after the introductions where you consciously, or unconsciously, attempt to find something in common. You dance around stories and topics, settling on one that you both latch onto and get excited about.


The husband and I first connected over our commonalities like this.


We met like this:

I came home from my college classes exhausted, dumping my backpack onto the ground and sinking into a chair. One of my housemates was sitting by the fireplace with a guy. Looking up, she smiled and introduced him as Evan and they were in accounting together.

I'm trying to recall now if I thought anything-- if I thought he was cute, or if there were sudden sparks as our eyes met. I just remember smiling and nodding as I introduced myself.

Later, I was eating cereal-- the typical college snack-- perched against the kitchen counter when he came into the room. He noted I was eating Honey Bunches of Oats, which we can all agree is a near-perfect cereal, and said it was one of his favorites.

And I responded, "Mine too!"

From there, we discussed favorite movie (Top Gun), band (Coldplay), and I remember thinking: "I like talking to this guy. We have a lot in common." Little did I realize what other similarities we had.

Of course my housemate being the instigator that she was (and for that I am forever grateful), told me the next day how much Evan enjoyed talking to me. I remember telling her how much I enjoyed talking to him. The seeds were planted.


2006

It was just a day or two later when we realized that we also had the exact same birthday: April 22, just a year apart. I think it was again a casual conversation, touching on small things like you do when you're getting to know someone, when we hit on birthdays.

One year apart, over 50 miles apart, we were both brought into the world. It was too much of a coincidence to not keeping talking. We had the same birthday! Of course we would be friends.

 2008

And later boyfriend and girlfriend.

And today, husband and wife, for nearly four years. (!!!)

People are always astounded that we have the same birthday-- like it's just too crazy to believe. Bartenders when checking our IDs are known to ask us if we knew we shared that date.

We then joke that it's the reason we got married: our shared birthday.

Of course that's not true, but I have to think that it's one of the things that brought us together when we first met. And so for that, I think it's pretty cool.

So happy birthday to my best friend and dear husband. I am so glad we share our birthday and our life together! Here's to several more shared birthdays together.



xo, erika

4/19/13

vacation moments

dress: dorothy perkins // blouse: jc penney // tights: target // shoes: target, via goodwill


I thought I'd drag out my Europe photos to just one more day, if that's okay with you.

Our last night in Scotland, we decided to go somewhere nicer and I told the husband I was wearing a dress and tights-- no matter what the temperature was!

As I write this now, in a sweatshirt and jeans, my hair pulled back with a terry-cloth headband, rain slamming against the roof and the clock ticking just two minutes to midnight, it's easy to forget that I was on vacation once. We were once wandering Europe. It's already easy to be caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities, the alarm clock that cuts into sleep, the laundry that (always) needs to be done.

So today, on Friday (already-- dang I need to get to bed!), I'm going to pretend that I'm back in Scotland. We're not going to a fancy restaurant, or even any restaurant-- we're planning on just eating whatever leftovers we can find on in the fridge and cuddle up to something on Netflix. I won't wear a dress, I'll pull on my holey pajama pants and there will be no cobblestone streets-- but it will be enough of a vacation moment for me.

I hope your Friday will hold a vacation moment as well, even as a small dose.
xo, erika

p.s. my dress was on super sale at the amazing Dorothy Perkins in London and I couldn't resist. You can buy their stuff online and I just checked and they're having a 20 percent off sale right now on dresses...

4/17/13

your questions answered (part two: blog)

Quite awhile ago, I asked you to send me any of your burning questions. I answered a few of the personal questions, but now I'm tackling the ones regarding the blog. (see your questions answered part one)

 typical evening at my house... ;)

q: I love that your blog feels so personal. I'm working on trying to be more open on my own blog bit I seem to be struggling. Any advice?

a: What's funny about this question is that this is something that I feel like I struggle with! I think what helps me is that I imagine myself writing or talking to a friend. What do I want to share with them? What would they like to read? I think there is a fear of oversharing, but to be honest there are some blogs where I feel like I don't see enough of the real person -- their likes, dislikes, etc -- and so I'm not as attracted to the content. It's a fine balance, to be sure.

q: I know you've blogged before about being afraid of people you know in everyday life finding out about your blogging/online shop. Have you overcome this at all? Do most of your friends in real life know about blogger Erika?

a: To be honest, I live in a dream world thinking that no one knows about this blog. I do have quite a few friends who lurk here and read daily, (you know who you are!), but I definitely still feel really weird talking about the blog. I am working on it though-- especially with my friends! It's become such a huge part of my life and if my friends don't know about it or don't understand it, they're missing out on a big part of my life.

One thing to note is that with the internet so widespread today, so many people have heard of blogs, or maybe even read blogs or write their own blog so having one isn't quite as strange as it used to be! But again, I am still working on this and I don't post a lot on instagram partially because of this fear of my blog world and real world colliding. (silly fear, right?)

q: Do you have any blogging-advice for us new bloggers?

a: Have fun! No, really-- if you don't enjoy this, it's not going to be worth it. I genuinely love to blog. I love dreaming up ideas, I love writing it-- I just really really like it and you should really like what you're blogging about too. (Even though you will have off days, everyone does.)

Other that that...
- go easy on yourself. Everyone starts somewhere. Grow gradually-- write content that you are proud of and that you enjoy and if you love what you're writing, what you're sharing, you'll likely find others that enjoy and love what you share too.
- photos. You don't need a good camera-- heck, use your phone-- but just use great lighting! Take photos in daylight-- not bright sunshine, just good, bright natural light and don't over edit them. I take a ton of photos for diys and recipes on the weekends when I have access to lots of light.
- what do you like to read? I like fashion blogs and recipe blogs and blogs that sprinkle in real life too-- so that's what I write about too! I ask myself, would I want to read my own blog?
- find your people. Read lots of blogs-- big ones, small ones-- and connect with them-- over Twitter, over Facebook, through commenting. And find people that are in the same boat as you and help each other grow.

have any other questions for me?

happy thursday!

xo, erika


4/16/13

whole-wheat cranberry-orange muffins with flaxseed


I love quiet Sunday afternoons. Usually husband is at work and it's just me and the pup for a few hours with the house to ourselves.

Sunday afternoons are perfect for sewing, for reading, and for baking. I love to make bread, soup or some sort of dish to start off my week. This week, it was muffins.

These are a mouthful literally and figuratively: whole-wheat cranberry-orange muffins with flax seed. We could also throw honey in the name as well, as these are made with 1/3 of a cup of honey and less sugar than normal.



whole-wheat cranberry-orange (recipe modified from here)
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup flax seeds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, almost melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup of raw cranberries 
  • juice of 1/2 orange 
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • optional: 2 tbs white sugar

 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour through salt.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, butter, and honey.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Stir in orange juice, orange juice and cranberries. (Alternatively, you can just stick a few cranberries in each muffin before you pop them in the oven.)
Pour patter into muffin pan, filling each tin about 2/3 full of batter

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops become golden brown.


You may want to sprinkle the muffins with some sugar right when they get out of the oven as the cranberries can be a little tart!


xo, erika




4/15/13

oh scotland

I expected to be head over heels for France again.

But we stayed just in Paris, and don't love cities. I don't mind them (I mean, I live within Seattle city limites), but really I dislike the center of cities, the buildings, the crowds, the buzz... I like it a little more rural.

Which is probably why I loved Scotland on this trip. Edinburgh is a small city and it doesn't feel very city-like, at least compared to immense size of Paris and London. Nature wasn't contained to manicured parks, but right outside the streets and accessible. Within a short walk, you could feel like you were a million miles away. I love that.

Scotland also feels wild. Once upon a time I desperately wanted there to be fairies. My friend and I thought that if angels existed, then fairies must be their miniatures. I told her when I got back that if there was ever a place where fairies could exist, it would be Scotland.

The other great thing about Scotland is how much feels unchanged. It feels ancient and even what they call the "New Town" was built in the early 19th century. Living in America (and in a young city), I just can't get over the age of the structures in Europe.



Does anyone else love wandering around old cemeteries? It's one of my favorites.
We stayed in the best little bed and breakfast-- and emphasis on breakfast. It was amazing.
Edinburgh was built on a dormant volcano and there are these amazing crags surrounding the city.
We climbed the highest crag-- Arthur's Seat.
 The Holyrood Palace is where the Queen of England stays while in Scotland and apparently it's her favorite castle.
 St. Margaret's Loch, which oddly enough was filled with swans. Above is a the remains of an abby we climbed to.


All in all-- Scotland, I loved you. You and your people's accents.

xo, erika

influence workshop

shirt: JC Penney // jacket: similar // jeans: Dorothy Perkins UK // shoes: Target

I would not consider myself in expert in many things.
I'm an expert at oversleeping and running late.
I'm an expert at laughing way too loud at inappropriate moments.
I also could be considered an expert in making meals the husband will like (good thing he eats everything), reading too many books at a time, procrastinating and eating lots of chips and salsa.

I am not, however, an expert in fashion.

I bring this up because I'll be holding a fashion workshop at the Influence Conference. The point of the workshop is not for me to hold court as an expert, but to host a conversation about faith and fashion-- something I think most people would think wouldn't mix.

But what I've been learning is that God is in all things-- big things and little things-- even little things like what you wear.

I share what I wear on the blog because I like it. I get a (strange) joy in putting outfits together (and always have-- ask my mother) and I like to encourage other people to do the same: to find a style that makes them feel good. Style isn't about just buying the next best or latest thing-- it's a form of art, really, a creative thing to have fun with. 

If you're thinking about going to the conference, check it out. And if not, that's totally cool-- now you just know what my areas of expertise. :)

xo, erika

p.s. do you like the dandelions in our overgrown grass? Forget weeding them; we're starting a dandelion farm... ;)





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