Happy Monday! I'm excited to share some recent design work with you today!
Alma contacted me wanting to completely redo her design. She told me about how she had stopped blogging because she had lost the desire to post due to frustration and boredom with her simple design. I wanted to bring everything about her blog back to life. We both agreed that what she needed was an entirely new look to accompany her new blog and blog name; that way Alma would be able to blog without the limitations her current blog was posing. And she needed a place to post freely and comfortably, a place that felt like herself, and to have everything posted beautifully.
Alma was a dream to work with. This girl has some serious style, and that style is adorable. The day after we began hashing out ideas she posted an image to instagram of her bike. The basket on her bike was stuffed to capacity with letters and packages for a trip to the post office. I knew immediately I wanted to incorporate that into the design; it fit perfectly! Inspiration for this design came easily, Alma spewed it out in every direction and I sure ate it up! I also took a lot of ideas from mod fashion and her adorable wardrobe. Polka dots were a must, but keeping them calm colors was key to them not overpowering the design. All the other colors were selected by flipping through her instagram and the great mood board she created for me on pinterest!
Be sure to head over to Alma's blog to get the full tour, say hi, and let her know what you think of the new design! She's starting over with this design, so show this new blogger some love! And don't forget to check out her About page. We did an adorable design for it, including an illustration of her pup and other doodles :)
And of course, if you're looking to redesign be sure to click that "DESIGN SERVICES" link up on the Navigation Bar to see the Design Services page. I'd love to design for you! You can read more about what a complete custom design from me includes here.
If you're wanting my opinion on the matter, these last days of summer are the least lovely of the year. Not terrible, by any means, just the least lovely. August always seems to draw out longer than any other month as I'm always anxious for it to be over. Will is always out in the field (for work) around this time too, which will surely make these next few weeks seem even longer. I'm sure feeling ready for shorter and cooler days filled with crisp air and that special renewal of inspiration only Autumn brings.
The fact that I work in retail isn't helping how much I'm longing for the change of season. We've already gotten in so much pretty fall items at Anthro — I tried on both the dress and cardigan above the other day and fell in love immediately. Now I just need the daily temperatures to not rise to 80 or 90 degrees. The mornings have been getting a lot cooler lately, though, which has me even more hopeful for autumn air. It also has me baking (isn't autumn just perfect for baking!?); if I bake before noon I don't burn up the house by simply turning the oven on :) I'd also love a few more cozy pieces for our place for the cooler months; like this beautiful Mitla Moda woven rug, some dreamy curtains, and lots of comfy blankets.
Raise your hand if your pining for fall, too.
I first discovered Twice a few weeks ago by clicking on an add for the site on Facebook (which is something I never do). I was shocked I had never heard of the company before! Twice is an online resale store. Most items are gently used clothing, but some items are still new with tags. And the brands they offer are exceptional — were talking Anthropology, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Free People, Madewell, Gap, etc. Not to mention all items are marked down 70% to 90% off their original retail price! And of course, because Twice offers gently used clothing, that means you can send in old items from your closet! They only accept "classic brands" off their accepted brands list, but you will get paid for items they decide to sell (instead of having to wait for it to sell to get paid)! They will even send you a free shipping kit to help you clean out your closet.
I ended up picking out six items for my first purchase from Twice. I was surprised by how much some of these pieces were marked down! Especially since two of them were new with tags (the limited skirt and zara top). I did end up sending half of them back, though, rather unfortunately. I kept the Ann Taylor Loft dress and skirt and The Limited skirt. I would have kept the pants, but they were a little to small in the waist — which was really a bummer, because I've been wanting a pair of black corduroy pants for a long time and they were such a good price and in pristine condition. The Zara top looked cute online but was an immediate no when I tried it on; it made my boobs and shoulders look super weird. The piece I was really disappointed about was the Lucca Couture dress. The pictures on Twice made it look super comfy, structured, and in great condition. None of those things were true. I should have noticed before buying that it was made out of viscose, but even still that dress felt like nothing close to viscose to me. The material was atrocious, the fitted waist stretched right over my belly and looked rather stretched (and sheer) and lumpy on (and was super itchy).
Regardless, I was super happy with this first purchase from Twice and will definitely buy from them again. The free returns does help out a lot, too! The pieces I did keep were so nice and I've worn them all already. I wore the Ann Taylor dress immediately the day it arrived and didn't take it off for days because it is so comfortable and effortlessly stylish and pretty. They are all pieces that will become staples in my wardrobe. And let's talk a minute about how much I saved! The Ann Taylor Loft dress was originally priced at $84.49, and Twice priced it at $27.95. The Limited skirt was originally priced at $68.99 and Twice priced it at $18.95. The Ann Taylor Loft skirt was originally priced at $58.98 and Twice priced it at $9.95. Now, I also had a promo code for 50% off my order so really I paid $13.97 for the dress and $9.48 and $4.98 for the skirts or about $28 total for the pieces I kept! That's almost $200 worth of savings. For the quality of the pieces, I feel like this was a steal!
SOME OTHER GREAT THINGS ABOUT TWICE:
+ Sign up through my referral link and we'll both get $10 store credit (when you make your first purchase)!
+ Download the free iPhone/iPad app and get another $10 in store credit.
+ Use promo code FIRSTPURCHASE50 for 50% off your first order (worked for me, hopefully it will still work).
+ Like Twice on Facebook to follow their daily giveaways!
+ Free shipping on orders over $49 (only $5 on orders less than that!), and they ship fast!
+ Super lovely Free Returns.
Have you shopped with Twice before?
Last Tuesday was my mom's birthday and we planned a lovely little party for her to celebrate. Because it was a weeknight, we decided it would be fun to cook her dinner at her own home. What's better than a birthday party that comes to you!? We cooked some of her favorites; she's a huge fan of Mexican food, so the menu included fish tacos, fresh pice de gallo and guacamole, and chocolate angel food cake for dessert (my sister, Bee, is the best baker ever).
When I sent out an invitation to my mom telling her the details, she responded enthusiastically and made a joke about a piñata filled with laffy taffy. Keep in mind she had no idea the menu was Mexican food and that her party would be fiesta themed. I don't take piñata suggestions lightly, especially when it fits a party theme so perfectly! So, naturally, I made her one. And filled it with laffy taffy, obvi.
I contemplated just simply buying a piñata, but I was surprised by how expensive a classic donkey piñata from Target was. I ended up buying all my supplies as well as the candy to fill it from the dollar store for $6.00. That's half of the price of just the piñata! Plus, I'm sure you might have some of these supplies already taking up space among your craft supplies. Especially since I used cardboard to eliminate the time required for paper-mache. If you're confident in your craftiness, I highly recommend going the DIY route. I mean, it is going to get smashed anyway :) See how I created this colorful piñata below.
+ large pieces of cardboard (I used one of those big display boards, but a large cardboard box would work great)
+ streamers in different colors
+ duct tape & masking tape
+ a sharpie
+ craft glue
+ twine or rope (to hang)
+ assorted candy (to fill)
+ Make sure you have two large pieces of cardboard of equal size. Sketch out the shape of the donkey's body with a sharpie. Once satisfied with the shape, cut it out. Use the cut out piece as a stencil and trace the shape onto the other piece of cardboard. Cut this out as well. You should now have two identical donkey shapes.
+ You will use the remaining scraps of cardboard to create a frame between your two donkey pieces, creating a 3D piñata. Cut strips the lengths of all the sides of the donkey's torso. Secure these pieces to one side of the donkey, using duct tape on the inside and masking tape on the outside.
+ Fill the piñata with candy.
+ Secure the other side of the donkey to the rest of the piñata, reinforcing all of the corners and joints with extra tape.
+ Pull out a few feet of streamers and fold it the length up onto itself as many times as you can. Fringe the streamers by cutting half way up them.
+ Cover the entire outside of the piñata with the fringed streamers. Start at the bottom of the legs and work up. Overlap the previous streamers a bit every time. Switch colors after a few rows of the same color have been glued.
+ Once everything is dry, your piñata is ready to hang!
A few pictures of the piñata in action below:
Our blindfold just happened to match my mom's outfit perfectly. She had the first go at it, followed by an entertaining round by my brother-in-law, and my sister ended up breaking it open by channeling her work frustration ;) (I got a video of that one). Overall, I'd call this first piñata making endeavor a success! A special thanks to Will to holding the beam for us, as I had to use a ladder due to my mom's yard having no large trees.
Hope your Monday is treating you well!