11/27/13

grateful (a link-up)

I don't even know where to start.

To be honest, I started and stopped this post a million time, trying to find the right words.

So I'm forgetting the fancy intro and explanations.

I am thankful. Right now, I feel really blessed. There are points in life where it was hard to cultivate any sort of gratefulness. About three years ago, in a job I disliked, working weird hours and feeling disconnected from friends and my husband, I was far from grateful. I think at that point I was more bitter than anything.

Things have changed. I'm at a different job with better hours. I have dear friends who love me so well and my husband does far more for me than I deserve. I am so grateful that circumstances change.

I am beyond thankful for my little shop and blog, which has grown into something I never dreamed of. I am thankful for the roof over my head, my warm bed and the opportunities I take for granted.

Right now, it's easy for me to be thankful. I'm sitting on my couch, next to a sleeping pup, warm in my house. But the thing is,  I want to be able to be grateful in everything, at anytime. I don't want to be back where I was three or four years ago, caught up in bitterness, rather than gratitude.

Whether you find it easy to be grateful right now -- or whether you are in a place where things seem a little darker -- I pray that you will be able to find hope in being thankful-- whether it's for big things or something seemingly little.

xo, erika

I hope you join Julie, Leonora and I and share your own thankful post! Link your post up below (please link just your post, not the whole blog, and please keep it relevant.) And be sure to drop in and read others' thankful posts. happy thanksgiving!





11/25/13

poppin' in

 

I feel like I've been a little absent here. 

I used to be a 5-times-a-week-or-more (gasp) blogger but life has gotten hectic and something had to give. And the blog is what gave. 

To be honest, it's a little upsetting. I've always been first and foremost a writer and not having time to pop in here and just type is a little disconcerting. 

so a quick update. 

1. I will be having a massive black friday + cyber monday sale in my shop, so make sure you've liked my page on facebook or signed up for my email! (or both-- can't hurt). ;)

2. I am bitter that it is so.dark.here. I don't really mind gray or cold or rain (although Seattle has been sunny and clear all week-- thank the Lord) but I cannot handle the dark. Catching the bus in the dark and coming home in the dark... the only word I have for it is soul-sucking. (forgive the dramatics.)

3.  Because it is dark-- the whole photos for the blog, the shop, everything gets pushed to the weekends. And the weekends are hectic. 

4. Looking at this outfit, I feel like I look like a librarian. Or a grandmother? Neither sounds that bad to me actually. #pleatedskirtsaremyjam

5. I am so grateful for so many good things and I'll be sharing them here tomorrow for the annual thankful link-up with Leonora and Julie. Will you join us? 


What's going on with you? Does it get dark at 4 p.m. where you live? Can you send some daylight to me?

xo, erika

wear:
blouse: jcpenney
scarf: gift
skirt/belt: thrifted
shoes: seychelles



11/20/13

thankful link-up


http://blog.korywoodard.com 
via blog.korywoodard.com

Before we rush into Christmas and the business of that season, let's take a moment for Thanksgiving.
It may be cliche, but Thanksgiving is such a good time to remember what we're grateful for. I know that I have so much to be thankful for.

Join Julie, Leonora and I for our second annual thankful linkup! Write a post about the blessings in your life next Wednesday, November 27, and link it up here, as well as see what others are grateful for.

Already on my list? I'm grateful that the weekend is fast approaching.

xo, erika



11/19/13

comfort and change

 

It's strange to me that just a few short months ago I was wearing this skirt with a sleeveless blouse. Today, it's layered with tights and a scarf and a coat topped over that.

It's funny, really, how quickly things change in a few months. Weather can change, people can change, circumstances can change.

To be honest, I'm not good at change. I used to cry at the end of the school year in elementary school because I knew the next school year things would be different-- a different teacher, a different classroom and at that point I couldn't imagine it being different. I didn't want it different.

I had a hard time graduating college, a hard time transitioning into my first big-girl job with no summers off and a hard time figuring out what it meant to go from dating to being married.

Each fall, I relish the changing leaves and the cooler temperatures, but at the same time, a little part of me fights against this inevitable change, the transition from summer to a new and different season.

It's funny looking at my life right now in this moment because I feel like I've found my rhythm- - my comfortable place. I know my responsibilities at work. I've been married for four years and I kind of get the Etsy shop thing (kind of).

And a big part of me has started to get a little scared because if life has taught me anything, the moment you think you know what's going on is the moment you are going to realize that you don't know anything at all.  Just as the weather can instantly change, from one October weekend to the next, I fear that my spot in life can completely turn on its head.

But I know, deep down, that change is good. Just as the leaves are required to fall, as it's good to have a cooler season. Change in life is natural; it's not good to stand still.

I believe that God doesn't want us to become comfortable. The moment we become too comfortable is the moment we don't see opportunities in front of us. We don't see the possibility of a new friend, we don't see the time to leave an old job or start a new one. We are blinded by our obsession to staying comfortable, right where we are, because change-- the possibility of the unknown -- is scary.

We weren't designed to be sedentary and comfortable, with everything just laid out in front of us. We are made to be living life to the fullest in every moment-- changing, growing. 

Change is good. I'm telling myself this. It stretches us, makes us better.

In this moment of being too comfortable -- of feeling like I know everything that I am supposed to know -- I am trying to embrace the possibility of change. I am trying to look to God to see where I should go, what I should be open to. I am trying not to be afraid of the possibility of things not always being exactly where they are. Because change is good.


Deep thoughts based on wearing tights with a skirt, right? You probably just expected comments on mixing and matching. Next time, I promise. ;)

xo, erika

wear: 
skirt: hand-me-down from a friend
top: Forever 21
scarf: gift from Mom
tights: Target?
heels: Steve Madden via TJ Maxx


11/18/13

diy faux fur scarf



I used to really hate faux fur. And furry things in general. But I don't know what's slipping... maybe I can blame Pinterest? All I know is that I want furry things in my life (besides my doggy).

So when I saw faux fur on sale at Joann's this past weekend, I bought some.


First project -- an easy, diy faux fur infinity scarf.



1. I got a 1/2 yard of faux fur, fold it in half length-wise and cut a 6-inch panel. (My panel was 6 inches wide by 36 inches long.)

2. Fold the faux fur panel furry side to furry side, length-wise again. You'll have long side with a fold and one non-folded side. Pin the non-folded side and sew along that edge. 

3. Turn the panel right-side out so the furry side is out again.

3. You'll have two open ends on either end of the furry panel. Fold the fur in half so that one edge is on top of the other edge (you'll have basically four layers of the fur at this point.) Sew along this edge.  When you finish, you'll have a big furry tube-- or an infinity scarf!

What's great about the faux fur is that it hides nearly any error or raw edge. You don't really need to hem or turn any of the edges in.



xo, erika

p.s. next up, faux fur vest.

11/17/13

i need help dress shopping

I'm not a formal person. I grew up on the West Coast (born and raised in Washington State, baby) and so I've never known anything else but casual. My parents are from California, which doesn't help any more.

The last time I wore a "formal" dress was at my own wedding.

Weddings here are casual, chill affairs- outdoors- where bridesmaids mismatch cotton dresses and grooms wear khakis. So when the husband and I got an invite to a formal wedding this December, I was stumped. I called my mom, and she wasn't any help, either. I took to Twitter, asking, if the guy had to wear a suit-- i.e. jacket and pants matching... and what I needed to wear.

Turns out, yes, the guys need to wear suits. And I need to get a cocktail dress. While I usually jump at the excuse to buy a dress, this has me stumped. I went out shopping, in search of one, and bought a Free People sweater dress on the clearance rack instead. Fail.

To be honest, I'm just not much of a formal, glitzy, sparkly person. I am getting a bit more into sequins, but besides the glitter I wore in 7th and 8th grade, I don't do sparkles that well.

So I found some dresses online-- but I need your help. I usually am the one answering fashion questions, but when it comes to formal, I have no clue.

Which one(s) do you like? And can I get away with wearing a simpler dress if I add bling-y jewelry? I have heels-- black patent leather, peep-toe pumps-- so I just need a dress to match.

Help a girl out.

1. This is a dress I normally would never, ever wear... but I kind of like it. (but not its price tag)

2. I am really into the jacquard look lately-- and love this dress from asos.

3. This one from Macy's is more than I want to spend, but I love the subtle detailing.


4. The lace on this green dress is stunning but I'm not sure it's fancy enough.

5. Simple dress but with a little added bling.

other options: this one I love and it's on sale! not sure if it's dressy enough? Also, are there any other places you'd suggest for cocktail dress shopping?

xo, erika



11/12/13

make: pumpkin gnocchi with white sauce

I feel like as soon as it hits October, it's all about the pumpkin recipes.

But now that it has hit November, can we still get on board with pumpkin? Specifically, pumpkin pasta?

I've been wanting to make gnocchi for awhile, and I saw a recipe for sweet potato gnocchi but when I went to make it, I didn't have any sweet potatoes!

But I did have a can of pumpkin puree. And it turns out, they work the same.

 
 
pumpkin gnocchi
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cup flour (I did a mix of wheat and wheat. Gluten-free folks, try almond meal)
1 egg
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper


Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. The dough should be thick and slightly sticky. You can add more flour here if you want. 

Place the dough on a floured surface and cut the dough into 4 equal parts.


Roll each part into a 1-inch thick roll and slice off 1-inch squares.

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.

Drop gnocchi pieces into the water (I did in batches) and when they float to the top, remove from the water and let cool on a paper towel-lined plate.


white sauce
(I'm sure there is a fancier name for this sauce, but growing up, my mom just called it white sauce.)
1 tbs butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp of pepper

Melt butter over low heat. Once melted, slowly stir in flour, constantly stirring until mixed together.

Slowly pour in milk, stirring constantly while adding.

Continue to stir over low heat until mixture begins to thicken.

Add pepper and remove from heat.

Pour over gnocchi and serve immediately.







11/11/13

wear: thrifted suede skirt





I'm on this fall skirt kick. I've pinned a ton of them, window shopped for them (online and off) and finally made time to thrift for them.

And luckily, I had some major luck crossing something off my fall thrift list. It's not exactly the leather skirt I envisioned (and I'm sure I'll find that one of these days), but I've decided it's even better: it's suede and a gorgeous red-plum color. Perfect for fall, right?


Side note: once upon a time, I had a faux suede skirt in high school and it even had FRINGE. Imagine that, if you can. I kind of wish I still had it.

xo, erika

top: Old Navy
scarf: gift
skirt: thrifted!
tights: Target
boots: DSW

linking up to style elixir

11/10/13

little shop update

I don't talk a whole lot about my shop on here, but I'm taking today to share two little things.

The first thing is that I finally created a separate website from Etsy at rougeandwhimsy.com. I am not, in any way, leaving Etsy-- I have a lot of great customers there-- but you can find me at both places, although my new website will often have newer items!

Like--- my newest item, charcoal gray totes and crossbody bags. These are super limited right now; I'm desperately trying to source some more of this fabric. I've sold these at craft fairs this year but this is the first time I'm selling them online, and they won't be posted on Etsy.

They're a gorgeous charcoal gray and they are very Pacific Northwest to me-- very casual but classic. I did a little photo shoot with a friend at the beach at my house this fall, and the colors of a fall/winter beach-- grays and blues-- have been a big inspiration for this little mini collection.


You can find them for sale here!

xo, erika

11/6/13

tips for shopping secondhand-- online


I write a lot about thrifting. I looooove to go to thrift stores, but a lot of you have shared that the thrift stores near you are not that great. While I would love to bring you all up to Seattle with me for a day of thrifting (we could even blast Macklemore), I know that's not possible.

So instead, I offer you some online thrift options. I feel like just in the last few months, a lot of options of secondhand clothing shopping have been popping up online and if you didn't know about them, I thought I'd share.

Poshmark
What is it: An app and website community to buy and sell used clothing. People upload photos of their clothing to sell. Photos, negotiating, shipping are dealt with by the seller.
My take: I have yet to sell or buy anything on Poshmark. I have liked searching through the site and it's fairly easy to use, but I think the photo quality, selection and information about each product can be lacking.
> See my profile here.

twice
What is it: Buy and sell gently used, name-brand clothing. In this case, the buying and selling is handled by twice, just like any consignment store. You send the clothing to them-- they market, sell and ship.
My take: Super clean, easy to use and great layout! However, the brands are limited-- which can be a good thing (Forever21 knit tops don't last that long) and a bad thing (nothing indie). Also, I'm not sure how often they take things. I never have luck selling at consignment shops and not sure if Twice would be the same thing.
> Use my link to sign up and get $10 in credit off your first purchase.

Dresm
What is it: Similar to Poshmark, a place to buy and sell secondhand and vintage clothing. Unlike Poshmark, vintage is a category on here. But similar to Poshmark, photos, selling shipping are handled by the sellers.
My take: It's headquartered in Portland, OR (cool!) and it looks to have much more of an indie vibe than Poshmark.

eBay
What is it: If you can think of it, eBay has it. You can bid or buy instantly nearly anything. I have bought fabric on eBay and vintage University of Washington apparel (for the husband) on eBay to great success.
My take: eBay is really, really overwhelming but there's a fabulous selection and they've rolled out better organization of their clothing sections, which is helpful.

Etsy
What is it: A handmade and vintage marketplace and one of my FAVORITE places to shop.
My take: As a seller, I really have a lot of good things to say about Etsy and I think that the vintage sections are great. Read the reviews, talk to the seller to get further details but overall, I think this is a great place for vintage and handmade clothing.
> Check out these great vintage/handmade clothing shops: fleet collection | belle whistles thrift | necessity is the mother | friendly fox vintage | custard heard vintage | miskabelle vintage | trove vintage boutique (this store is just 3 miles from my house!)


Tips/tricks to buying secondhand
Like buying anything secondhand, you need patience. You are not going to find the perfect party dress your first foray through eBay. But that's part of the fun! Take your time, set up alerts on eBay and keep hunting.

Also, as with anything online, you need to have a dose of skepticism. If something seems fishy, it probably is. Be wary of super low prices. Contact sellers-- ask detailed questions! Most people are great, but there can be a bad grape that ruins the whole batch.

What about you? Ever bought secondhand online?
And did I miss a site? I'd love to know :)

xo, erika

11/5/13

your own brand of crazy



Blogging can be hard. You put your words out there-- your ideas, your recipe, your whatever-- and you hope maybe someone will like it. And there's a lot of blogs out there, a lot of shops out there, and if you're like me, you wonder if it's worth it to add another blog or shop or enter-your-creative-endeavor-here to the mix.

Can I just say boldly yes. Yes, it is worth it.

Let me backtrack to explain why I can say that with such confidence. 

In September I attended the Influence Conference and like most good things, it's still with me. Like a great evening you keep reliving, your favorite dessert you keep tasting, I keep rolling the truths of the conference around.

One of the sessions author Shauna Niequist came and spoke. I am a big fan of Shauna-- of her books and her words and just HER. To hear her speak was incredible and she said a whole lot of good things. But in particular she talked about the gift of words, of creativity and of art.

"The myth is scarcity," she said. "And the truth is abundance."

She continued: "We need more blogs, more shops, more jewelry."

And honestly, I agree with her -- for several reasons.

 You are you. You are "your own brand of crazy," as Shauna put it, and we're talking crazy in a good way. You have a specific story, specific gifts and they are different from anyone else. I believe that God created us each so uniquely, formed us perfectly and the makeup of who we are can so richly bless others.

Our own brand of crazy-- our lives, ideas and stories can teach others, inspire others to big things-- starting a new business! or little things -- like trying something new with a wardrobe or recipe.

I know that I in particular have been so blessed by this weird little internet world. I have stretched myself and started a little business and felt the blessings of others who believe along with me. I have made real friends. I have been challenged by blog posts, I have read that posts that made me laugh, made me cry and taught me how to make a dang good salad. I love all the crazy that's out there because it reminds me that I am not alone in my crazy ideas or schemes. There are others out there sharing their crazy too.

I say all this because sometimes if you feel like you're pushing publish and no one is reading, or you're launching an Etsy shop and no one is buying, know this: you matter. You do your thing, YOUR calling, your brand of crazy that you were called to do. Your gifts matter whether you believe it or not.

And even if you don't see the impact, you are adding to this world. It can be a dark place sometimes and the words you type late at night or the art you create adds beauty and hope.

Final words of Shauna wisdom: "Do your own thing and your brand of crazy. If you shut that down, you will never feel that pleasure of being yourself."

xo, erika





11/4/13

wear: fall outfit


When I put this outfit on, I thought this is fall. The only problem is that it doesn't feel much like fall anymore where I am, and I missed a big part of the autumn bandwagon.

I didn't have a pumpkin spice latte.
I didn't go to a pumpkin patch.
Or even carve pumpkins. (we have a lone pumpkin sitting on our porch; oops.)
I didn't go on a lengthly fall walk to crunch leaves (unless you count me walking to the bus each day.)

But even if I missed all the fall activities, at least I can dress for fall, right?

 
Also, I am really digging the show-your-socks off trend with booties. I'm happy with any excuse to rock more patterns in my outfit.


wear:
hat: Nordstrom (similar or similar)
top: Anthropologie sale find!
jeans: Gap
socks: no idea
booties: wanted shoes, last year. (similar)

linking up to style elixir
xo, erika


11/3/13

workspace


 I've been meaning to share my workspace for quite some time.


Usually my workspace -- the "office" in our little house (which I completely and fully took over) -- is a disaster. I'm a messy creator and my work -- all the little scraps and packaging materials -- makes it easy to be even messier.

This fall, I finally cleaned it up. I bagged up piles of fabric scraps to donate, scrubbed the baseboards and invested in a big Ikea bookshelf with doors to hold some of my leather and fabric. (I'm hoping to buy another soon.)
 


It's not the cutest- most-Pinterest place ever, but it works. I love the corner windows and views of the yard and my giant table, perfect for cutting fabric. I also love that the heater vent is under my desk so on the days it gets really chilly, I can put my toes right over the vent to heat them up.

 
 

These photos were taken by Carina Skrobecki who I discovered through a friend of a friend. My friend and I have a habit of getting lost on wedding photographer websites and Carina was a new-to-me photographer, and, yes, her site is so worth getting lost in. Lucky me, Carina agreed to do a little lifestyle shoot in my workspace and I am over the moon for the photos she took.


Check out Carina's work here and friend her on Facebook. :) (ooh and follow her on instagram, because you know you always need more pretty images to see there!)

Also, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter-- there will be a fun little surprise in it this Friday for my shop!





xo, erika








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