8/30/13

august favorites + giveaway

oh hey August. You're almost gone. 

In honor of the end of summer's final month, I asked a few of my sponsors to share their favorites.



Jaclyn of Jac & Elsie // shop  twitter  facebook
1. enamel bird necklaces : I love the sweet shape and color of each charm, and that gold leaf that extends beyond the bird is so pretty
2. Orange & Spice Herb Tea by Bigelow : one of my fav flavors, great for getting ready for fall
3. Ulta Plush Drama Mascara : great for everyday wear!

Amber of Beautiful & Beloved // shop  blog  facebook
4. Netflix : We are trying to be cable free and this is the only way I am getting any tv watching done
5. kale smoothies : 1 cup of kale + 1 banana + 1 cup of coconut milk = a delicious morning snack I cannot get enough of.  I am hoping to talk my husband into buying me a nutribullet during this move when our old blender "accidentally" breaks :)
6. summer dresses : I don't have time or energy to put together outfits during this crazy season in my life.  A dress helps me feel pulled together and fashionable without much actual effort.

And my favorites!
7. Three felt wildflowers : I just ordered these-- can't wait for blooms that last all year!
8. herringbone hanging planter : I've had my eye on this from the Moorea Seal shop for quite some time
9. Revelon Just Bitten : A great wash of color (that stays!)

to celebrate the end of the month, we're giving away the enamel bird necklace, lip stain and tea! A perfect end of the month gift!

what have you loved this month? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
xo, erika

p.s. want to be a part of next month's favorites giveaway? check out my sponsor options here!

also -- may I have your vote? thanks!




8/28/13

cut-off shorts & gratitude


Lately I feel like I'm running on some crazy adrenaline. I should be tired, but I'm not. And for that reason I am ever so grateful.

I feel grateful for so many things right now. I am so grateful to feel like I have found so much support in my little handmade endeavor from my friends and family. For the first time, I'm being just a little bit more open about this space here and my shop here, and the feedback I'm getting is encouraging to say the least. I feel, for the first time, that I'm being honest with people-- telling them that this is who I am: a blogger, a handmade shop owner, a messy-creative lady trying to figure out a balance to it all. It feels good.

I am also grateful for literally the best summer weather ever. Seattle has just been so dang sunny and warm and when it rained the other day, I was actually confused. Like, what is this? How do I dress for this? Where is my raincoat? Can I still wear shorts-- is that allowed?

I'm not sure if shorts are really allowed when it's raining, but I'm going to try and rock them for as long as I can. Especially this pair-- thrifted and cut-off-- is there anything better?

wear:
glasses: c/o warby parker 
top: old navy (similar or similar)
cardigan: target (similar)
shorts/wedges: thrifted
bag: rouge + whimsy

oh hey-- vote for me?

 Martha Stewart - American Made 2013 - Nominee Badge

8/27/13

blackberry homemade rollups


Do you remember fruit rollups?


Can we just talk about them for a bit in all of their amazing, processed, crazy dye magic?


Growing up my parents didn't usually buy fruit rollups-- it was a special camping or vacation treat-- or something I eagerly ate a friends' house. Maybe it was the fact that we didn't have them, that I loved them so much.

The husband on the other hand did not like fruit rollups. We honestly had a discussion because he never wanted gushers or fruit roll ups and so when I made these, he wasn't a fan.

But I ate them all. In about a day.

blackberry fruit rollups (altered from here)

ingredients:
3 cups fruit (in my case blackberries)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (more or less depending on sweetness level of fruit)
pinch of mint leaves


 

preheat the oven to 150 degrees 
blend all the ingredients until smooth

line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper (not wax paper)
spread the blackberry thickly and evenly all over the pan-- about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. 
Try to keep it as even as possible throughout, otherwise you'll get crispy edges.  

bake for 4 to 6 hours, until it's no longer wet to the touch, but still slightly tacky. Once you remove it from the oven, it will harden more. 

 
 

xo, erika






i am not superwoman



I am not superwoman.

I am here to confess that I do not in fact have it all together. Ever. 

Never was that more clear than this weekend. 

As you may know, we are painting our house ourselves —with the help of family members (a lot of help from family members).

I have also been pushing myself really hard to grow my shop (and some of it is paying off.)

The house painting and shop crashed together spectacular on Saturday when I started attempting to prepare my backyard for a bridal shower I was hosting Sunday afternoon. My parents and brothers had spent the morning helping me paint and I was sweaty, wearing a hot pink t-shirt from high school, trying to weed and water my neglected yard before I headed inside to sew. 

I was covered in sweat, dirty and tired when I headed inside to find two of my best friends in my house—they came over to borrow a dress. 

One of them looked at me, and said “You look tired.” And, I being in the place that I was, burst into tears. Hot, choking sobs. 

My friend pulled me in for a hug and was like, “I am so sorry! I didn’t mean it that way!” 

But that wasn’t it. I am tired. And trying to keep it together was exhausting. How was I supposed to host a Pinterest-worthy shower the next day that would show my friend how much I loved her when I can barely stay on top of laundry? 

It was as if my friends sensed this, and one of them, cupped my face and said, “You do so much. You do not need to do so much.” And the other asked me, gently, if we could move the shower to her yard. 

My first reaction was to say no, I could host it at my house. To do otherwise would feel like a failure. I was about to say so, when they both insisted that it could be moved. 

And with that, a giant weight lifted from my shoulders. It was okay to admit I was floundering and to take the grace that my friends were freely offering me. 

I still helped host the shower—cooking and prepping—but I didn’t have to keep weeding or scrub my toilet or move the stack of totes I’ve been working on for a wholesale order from my living room. 

I tell this story to say with utter conviction that we don’t need to be superwomen. I don’t know where this idea came from—that we need to cook perfect meals, and look perfectly put together and host a bridal shower when our backyards are covered with paint chips and our house hasn’t been cleaned in weeks. 

I am not superwoman. I am messy; I have too many things on my plate as I try to chase my dreams. I need more sleep and less caffeine and I need to learn more on the grace given from my friends and from God.
This next season is going to be busy—I know that. I know that there are going to be some things I need to take completely out of my hands so that I can focus and just survive, honestly. 

And I know that I am not alone in this—I know there are other women, other people, maybe you—who feel like they’re trying to be superwoman and can’t be. Please rest in the grace that God gives you—He is enough so you don’t need to be. You don’t have to be superwoman. And if you happen to have friends, who will stay up late and help package orders, or tell you with love that you look tired-- cling to them.

xo, erika

8/25/13

simple




I love being creative with my outfits -- layering things together that I haven't before -- trying different color combinations or just making something old and forgotten on a lonely hanger feel new.

But then there are days when I just need to wear something simple. I want to wear something brainless that I know will work and be comfortable. Those are the days I reach for a few of my favorite items-- comfort pieces:


This denim top-- which I thrifted about a year ago and have more than got my $4 worth.


This floral red scarf -- something I bought in Paris four years ago in some small market stall

My favorite pair of wedges (another thrifted find).

Add in a great pair of skinny jeans and I feel like I just can't go wrong.

What are the things in your closet you always grab?

xo, erika








8/22/13

thoughts on jealousy

I feel like lately it's gotten easier for me to be jealous. It's easy to compare myself to others.

That's hard to admit.
But I get jealous.

I'll start with confessing a little thing I get jealous over.

I get jealous of over people's toenails.

No joke, but I am missing a few of my toenails and the ones that I have aren't so pretty (blame it on running). So I see people with perfect pedicures, rocking wedges with confidence, and I get a little jealous because my toes are not pretty. And even when I paint them, I don't really want anyone getting too close. (One reason to hope for boot season?)
That's a little thing. Toe jealousy.
But then there are bigger things that I find myself bogged down with jealousy about.

And what I have just realized is that my jealousy is often my way of making excuses.
Take for example, my jealousy of others and their success with a handmade shop or blog.

I start making excuses-- that they live in a place that's far more affordable that Seattle, so they can afford to make a handmade shop their only income. They are married to a photographer. They know people who work for magazines. They have connections. They have this, they have that. I begin to make excuses for why it's ok to for me to be jealous.
And that's not OK.
The thing is we are all here, right at this moment, in one place and it's going to be a different place from someone else. We are going to measure success differently than someone else, we are going to have experiences and friendships and moments that are different from others so it's no use becoming jealous. Jealousy can only bog us down.
In the moments where I find myself becoming bitter-- scrolling through someone's instragram feed and thinking that they must have it so easy, and that's why they have this success, I stop and remind myself that everyone comes to places differently; everything is cyclical
I need to remind myself that I don't need to copy what someone else is doing, or wondering about what they do to find success. I need to worry about what I'm doing to find success.

What is a good time for them now, may not be a good time for them in a year. I need to trust that God has me here, right now, in this place and He has them in a different place. I need to continue down the map He has marked for me. And that route He's traced is going to be my own, different from anyone else's.
It's actually quite beautiful to think about.
So I'm on my own path. There's no need to compare to anyone else's path. Or anyone else's toes.
What do you do when you're jealous?

xo, erika


8/21/13

influence & why you should go

 

Can we just say right away that yes, making internet friends sounds weird, but it's kind of the norm now.

I remember in one of my college classes there was a women who was talking about meeting her fiance online and I remember thinking "so weird. that is so weird."


But it the internet was new. I mean, I think Facebook was still "the facebook" and there was no twitter. I didn't have a blog and so I thought it was weird to meet people online. I mean there was AOL messenger in high school but you didn't chat with people you didn't know. (unless it was some cute boy that your friend knew that went to the rival high school... but you get what I'm saying.)


And look at me now.


I write to you all. I talk to some of you. I have even MET some of you because of this little blog and my shop. That's weird. It's still sometimes weird but it is also so.good. You know?


There's this grand big internet that does have the power to bring people together who otherwise would never meet-- people who encourage each other, laugh with one another and become good friends with one another.


So if there's an opportunity to meet these crazy internet people in life, I say take it! Go for it!


This September I'm going to the Influence conference which is centered around faith & online influence. And I want you to go, too. If you're on the fence, maybe have one leg over, or are totally and completely committed to going, let me know. I want to meet some of you crazy Internet people there in real life. We can have coffee and giggle and just be weird Internet friends together. Sound good?


also, happy Thursday. It's been a really long week and praise GOD it's almost Friday.


xo, erika

8/20/13

last minute skirts



Sometimes I'm a last-minute person and in the moments before I'm supposed to have Thai food with some dear friends, I whip up a pencil skirt out of that knit fabric I bought months ago.

And then I wonder why I am constantly running late.

I think it's because I do things like this-- try to fit things into the margin of my day. Twenty minutes before I need to be somewhere? Sure, I'll fit in laundry or a blog post or some gardening or a knit skirt diy. It's a sickness, people, really a sickness, and I'm sure my friends and family are tired of it causing me to run late everywhere.

But back to the skirt-- I have been meaning to make this for months, so when the perfect hour of free time presented itself, I decided it was going to happen. And I'm pretty pleased with my rushed results.

Would you guys be interested in a diy?

xo, erika

wear: 
shirt: c/o skip n' whistle (fun & super soft tees & sweatshirts-- i bought this one for my sister-in-law)
skirt: self-made (woo!)
shoes: shoedazzle
sunglasses: target

 





transitional style: part two


I'm not ready for fall. I love Seattle summers, and to be honest I don't feel like I have been able to enjoy mine enough! So when I was invited to style something for a transitional outfit for Wallis Fashion -- something that could be worn in summer and fall -- I wasn't too excited for the fall part.

But lucky me, Seattle weather cooperated for a day, and I actually was forced to putting together a fall outfit, even despite my best intentions of holding onto summer.

Don't get me wrong, I do love fall. As a kid, I was the one who couldn't wait for school to start up again. I love new school supplies, crunchy leaves and layering tights with knits and chunky sweaters. And hats. We can't forget wool-felt hats and autumn shades of navy, maroon and olive green.

So maybe I am just a little excited for fall-- but excited in a wait-for-two-months time. For now, after this brief break for a fall outfit, it's back to summer.

How about you? Excited for fall, or grasping the last straws of summer?

xo, erika

wear:
blouse: c/o wallis
jeans/hat: thrifted
boots: nordstrom (it was hard to decide between those & these ones during the anniversary sale)

p.s. If you have a moment, I would love your vote in the contest I entered this look in! Just head over here. please and thank you :)


Fashion & Faith

top: target
skirt: macys
heels: c/ o sole society
live bracelet: c/ o
triangles bracelet: c/ o cents of style
pave bracelt: c/ o oia jules
taupe tote: mango
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8/18/13

blackberry date night

 
In Washington, where I grew up-- and where I live now-- there are wild blackberries everywhere-- even in the city. They pop up on the sides of roads, take over backyards and parks, and come August, are bursting with delicious black fruit.

It almost seems sacrilegious to buy blackberries at the store, when they are lining nearly every road right now, just waiting to be picked.



The husband and I had a quick after-dinner date night, wandering a few blocks over to fill a tub full of blackberries. It was the perfect pause to our day and I can't complain about the pounds of fruit we brought back. (I will complain about the thorns, however! Wild blackberry bushes have the must intense thorns and my legs got quite a beating from this weekend.)





I've already made blackberry jam (I know, jam-making addict,) and I made homemade blackberry fruit leather (like an old-school fruit roll-up -- remember those?), which I'll share later this week. Also on the blackberry menu: blackberry scones, blackberry pie, and of course, blackberries just sprinkled over vanilla ice cream.

 

p.s. like my shirt? It's from my friend Leonora's shop Yellow Heart Art. I love that it reminds me to be gutsy, because in a lot of things, I definitely am afraid.

wear:
shirt: Yellow Heart Art
sweater: thrifted
shorts: thrifted & cut off




8/15/13

transitions


I am not good in transitions.
I am good at thinking of the past.
Dreaming of the future.

But the here and now, in the messy -- where things are hard and not perfect and there's a lot of waiting and working -- that is hard. 

I am learning this in a tangible way with my house. If you've been around the blog at all (or follow me on instagram) you may know that the husband and I are painting our house. Painting the exterior of a house is nothing like painting a room. You have to scrape paint off, sand and prime and then paint. It is a process that we are stretching out over several weekends. So in between those weekends, we are living in the in-between-- the transition where our house is half-painted, half-scraped and absolutely ridiculous looking.


I joke with my neighbors that we ought to park our car on the grass or stick a toilet on our porch for good measure; our house looks that bad. But the thing is, it's fine that our house is looking pretty sorry right now because it's in transition. At some point it will look beautiful-- a deep charcoal gray with off-white trim and a burnt red-orange door. Right now, it's not there yet and that's okay.

This sense of being okay with transition-- the mess, the peeling paint-- I need to apply it to my own life. I need to be okay with the fact that I have not "arrived." I do not have it all, or frankly, anything figured out. I'm not sure what my future is-- I have some big dreams that I'm working through, but in the meantime, I'm in transition, waiting for the right time, and that's perfectly fine.

happy friday friends.

xo, erika

wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. psalm 27:14

linking up with Casey!
 

8/14/13

homemade rhubarb jam


One of my (unspoken) goals for this summer was that I wanted to make jam. By myself. I wasn't sure what kind, but then my rhubarb plant ever-so-helpfully mass produced this summer and the only feasible way to use it all was to make jam.

I went and bought a water-bath canner, jar tongs (yes-- definitely needed), and jars. Then I read up on water bath canning for a long time before I settled on following this rhubarb recipe along with this guide to water bath canning. If you have never canned before, I highly recommend the site Food In Jars. (so much helpful information.) Also, I highly recommend not reading about botulism on wikipedia.



I thought that making jam would be a really stressful activity. When I was little, I remember my mom making jam each summer and she would send us kids out of the house while she made the jam. We weren't allowed back in the house until she heard the little "pop" of each jam jar sealing. With this in mind, I set out expecting canning to be both frustrating and incredibly difficult. I was pleasantly surprised that not only did I manage to make the jam, but all the jars sealed and the jam actually tastes really good. (And there have been no reports of botulism. Phew.)

As my rhubarb plant is still enormous and set on producing at least 50 more pounds worth of rhubarb, I'm sure that I'll be making more jam soon. (Christmas presents-- done!)



Have you ever made jam?  Or tried something you expected to be difficult?

xo, erika




8/13/13

a fashion blogger story

 

A quick story. 

I like sharing what I wear -- and I hope you like seeing what I wear -- but the outfit photo thing is painful for me. The husband takes them for me sometimes in our front yard and I swear I hit the deck every time a car drives down. Which isn't that often, but still. You know. It's awkward.

I decided that you may be sick of seeing the dead grass in my front yard, so I've been on a mission to find new places in my neighborhood to take photos but this of course, requires me to go out into public. And it's scary. No fence and front yard to hide behind. 

I got lucky with these photos. This alley isn't too far from my houses and I knew it was a good place for photos when I spotted the heart with the Frankenstein in it. If that isn't blog worthy, I'm not sure what is. 


xo, erika

wear: 
sweater: Madewell (old)
shorts: Rose Royce
sandals: TJ Maxx
hat: Forever 21


8/12/13

transitional style


If there's anything I like, it's clothing items that can work multiple ways. I love seeing people remix outfits  (Delightfully Tacky does a great job sharing them) and I've been thinking a lot about trying the 30 x 30 project-- where you pick 30 clothing items for a month.

But even 30 is a lot. I'm currently reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker, and I'm in a part of the book where she talks about her month of wearing just 7 items of clothing for a month, which she does, sharing her thoughts with amazing hilarity and candor.

Now I'm thinking a lot about what in my closet can be worn over and over. Take this sheer top for instance. This week, while it's 80 degrees in Seattle, it's perfect paired with shorts. In September, it'll layer well with jeans. The shorts? Not as versatile, but they were on sale and the husband really likes them.

I'm entering a contest hosted by Wallis to share transitional style-- two outfits from one item. You can vote for me, pretty please, here!

Happy Tuesday!

xo, erika

wear: 
top: c/o wallis
shorts: target
shoes: shoemint







8/11/13

anthropologie giveaway ($200!)

I know it's like a blogger thing to love Anthropologie but I swear that I've loved it long before I even blogged.

I was introduced to it my freshman year of college. There was a store near my campus, so my friends and I would trek down there to wander through the store, spending hours looking at everything -- but rarely buying anything, because, hey, we were broke college kids.

Now there's one a few blocks from the day job and try as I might, I can't stay away. I love the creative interior displays, their homewares and, the real crux of it all, their clothing.

And I'm sure there are some of you that loves Anthropologie (maybe too much), like me, which is why I am excited to join with other fabulous ladies to give away a $200 Anthropologie gift card!

Don't know what you would do with $200 to Anthro? Let me give you some ideas:



1. peplum top -- a perfect version of the classic peplum
2.  paradiso necklace -- this would update any outfit!
3. capri blue candle -- the best, longest lasting candle in a reusable, chic container
4. petaluma dress -- pattern mixing done for you!
5. color-blocked wedges  -- all the colors of fall in a great wedge.


the giveaway will be open through this friday, august 23. good luck & happy monday!
xo, erika

8/8/13

10 facts


I decided because it's Friday, I would share 10 random facts about me, just because it's Friday and perhaps, for some of you, these things are news to you.

10. My first plane ride was at age 14. Prior to that, my family road-tripped every year to California to visit family (from Washington state.)

9. My brother threw up during my wedding vows.

8. I am not afraid of spiders or any sort of bugs but I am pretty terrified of snakes and monkeys.

7. I can't sleep on a rumpled or wrinkled sheets; I remake the bed -- i.e. retuck the sheets -- nearly every night before I get in.

6. I am a voracious reader. My mom says I don't read books, I consume them.

5. I love black licorice and really don't like red licorice -- at all.

4. My dad is nearly 6'7. I'm 5'4.

3. I broke my arm in fifth grade when I accepted a piggyback ride from a friend-- who was on roller blades.

2. My go-to karaoke song (yes I have one) is "Good-bye Earl" by the Dixie Chicks.

1. I talk in my sleep occasionally. This past week I told my husband that he was a party. When he asked me if I was a party, I told him "Nope."


My question for you, what are some random things about you? And... are you a party? Chances are, I'd probably tell you yes.

xo, erika

wear:
button-down: thrifted similar or similar
skirt: Old Navy
shoes: Keds similar

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