discovered: hanging planters

 planters

it’s no secret that I love plants. soon I’ll be making a long awaited for and very exciting move, and I’m hoping to create a kind of sunroom space, or at least decorate the front porch. some of these planters are kind of small for the traditional big bushy greenery that’s found on front porches, but I think several small ones would look cute mixed in with a big one or two.

p.s. in a way this is also an etsy éclat post, since all of these came from etsy. for things like planters it’s a better bet finding unique and/or modern designs handmade, rather than at home depot etc.

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nature/nurture

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this nature/nurture is very special, as it features a school bus that was turned into a camper! featured on design sponge not once, but twice, marco khalil and caroline west have incredible taste and lovely, creative minds. the ‘nature’ is somewhere I would die to take their home on wheels- the redwood forests. can you imagine?!

discovered: shopping on a budget

okay so I know that I’m plunging into new territory here and that outfit posts are a dime a dozen. but shopping is also one of my favorite past-times (unfortunately) and I’ve never tried to make an outfit layout like this before and thought it would be a lot of fun. turns out I was right! there’s nothing very special about these summer outfits but I enjoyed putting them together and that’s what blogging is all about. they’re also both under $75.

outfit 1

this first outfit is from h&m. nearly all of my clothes shopping is done online right now, and I find it much easier to sort out what items are the best value and exactly what I’m looking for. shopping in person is so distracting and it’s nearly impossible to see every item in the store, and usually the selection isn’t as good as online… plus other people have tried the clothes on and rumpled them up and put them back in the wrong place and gotten deodorant on them etc. blegh. anyways I know h&m isn’t always considered the best quality, but in my experience if I don’t wash items in unnecessarily harsh conditions and generally treat them nicely like things I plan on having for awhile, and not like disposable clothes, they last a long time considering how cheap they are. (people say things like that about ikea, that they make “disposable furniture”… I find that ridiculous. yes their furniture isn’t going to be a huge investment for most people and some of their cheaper stuff isn’t the highest quality, but if you don’t treat it like it’s disposable then it’ll last you. and a $500 couch isn’t disposable! for the most part their stuff seems to be crafted with care and good quality for how lightweight it is and the fact that it is built to be a bargain.) okay back to clothes… the main thing I don’t like about h&m is the shipping charge. $5.95 really adds up after you’ve ordered, returned, requested an exchange, etc. but for the most part I can weasel enough discount codes and sale items into my cart that it evens out. I also like that h&m is pretty trendy with their new stuff so if I want to try out something iffy, it isn’t a huge risk.

outfit one: tank $10, shorts $13, shopper $25, necklace $8, sandals $15

outfit 2

for this outfit I drew from gap and asos’s sale sections and h&m’s regular section. this is obviously a little less casual than shorts and a tank top and could be adapted for a more professional situation.

in the past, I’ve seen outfits posts that were less than $100 or less than $75 and I thought, geez, that’s still not very affordable… but in reality it’s hard to build an outfit that isn’t total crap for less than $75, including one or two accessories. plus things you already own can be combined with new pieces for a variety of looks without spending more. I guess when I shop I usually focus on several different styles of individual items that can fit with what I already own, rather than building looks… also I feel like it spreads out the “new” if I get a couple pairs of shorts and a few shirts, for example, to wear interchangeably with each other and old clothes than a whole outfit that wears the new all at once. that’s pretty silly now that I think about it 🙂

maybe I should also disclose that actually, my closet is mostly grays and blacks, so these looks are unusually colorful for me! it’s good to step out of the monochrome box every once and awhile.

outfit two: dress $35, espadrilles $20, belt $10, aviators $8

etsy éclat: note writing

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what is it about a blank notebook that feels so inspiring? crisp white pages with nothing on them, the smell of new paper… I’m always reluctant to start a new notebook because I feel like I should have a “theme” to be justified in messing one up. in any case, here’s a little roundup of materials to use for thank-yous or just saying hello. or you can gift these items as a kit, and maybe you’ll get a thank-you note back made with your supplies!

gift tags/geometric notebook/hello stamp/grid notebooks

radio silence

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I just wanted to provide a little personal update. I haven’t been posting as consistently as I was at first- it’s because my laptop screen is broken, so I don’t have a personal computer to work off. I do what I can from public computers, but I am not able to post as often. I’m trying to still provide fresh and quality content so thank you for your patience!

image via domino gallery

dished: white bean burgers

we had these last weekend for a picnic. they were very easy to make, and I modified them a little bit.

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I didn’t have any fresh basil, so I used dried instead, about half a tablespoon. instead of parmesan I used mozzarella, and I had a can of white beans that I used in place of navy beans (not sure what the difference is but I think there is one). and I used some gluten free bread for breadcrumbs. also I did not make the tomato olive relish… too lazy 🙂

these tasted great! we had pretzel buns that I buttered and toasted in a frying pan.

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my boyfriend likes onions, I like brie.

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with the giant buns, we both ended up saving our second burgers for the next day. they were good then, too! in the future I plan to make this recipe ahead of time and freeze it in patty shapes for easy cooking.

made: plant stand via abm

even though it isn’t anywhere close to being done, I really love my living room (most of the time). that being said, there are a few things that always make my day just sitting around looking pretty. both are from my boyfriend, and the one I’m sharing today he made me as a birthday present.

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it’s this plant stand, tutorial thanks to mandi. I think the tutorial was fairly easy to follow for my boyfriend, although he was in a bit of a hurry when he did it so it’s a little unsteady. on the carpet it is fine though. before he put it together I spray painted the pieces, two coats for everything. paint doesn’t really stick to the raw edges of the circles and ends of the long pieces, but I actually like that it has the natural accents. the plant on the top is an african violet in a pyrex bowl I found at a flea market, and on the bottom is an aloe vera plant from my local ingles. they’re both doing really well in the indirect light, and I don’t water either of them very often. also pictured is a kitty toy, my area rug, some diy-ed art/old pictures, and my grandparents’ console (“vintage” I suppose) that I repainted earlier this year.

sometimes I can get really frantic and caught up in trying to decorate everything all at once (usually when inspiration strikes after looking at other peoples’ homes), but I’m trying to have the self control to hold off on any more major pieces until I move to a more permanent home. plus my style changes so often that I need to save up for the classic big pieces rather than snatching up lots of cute details that I’ll end up changing out. life lessons, I guess 🙂

discovered: shibori

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shibori (絞り染め just for fun) is a japanese word that refers to a method of dying cloth. it’s pretty much everywhere right now, and I love it. it’s like tie dye is super popular again (outside of the elementary school crowd), except this seems to be a more refined and elegant version of it. the best part is that it’s also very easy to diy. also how incredibly dreamy is that couch?! that was the look I was going for when I experimented with painting one of my couch cushions… never again. it ended up looking like camo. in any case, I was much more successful with some cotton shirts, traditional dye, and this tutorial.

links from left to right

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p.s. I follow rebecca atwood on instagram and she is incredible! I have so much respect for artisans like her and her work is amazing. also how gorgeous are she and her mother?!

succulent shelves

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like I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’ve moved my succulents from my mantle, where they weren’t doing so well, to some glass shelves that my boyfriend mounted in my window for me. and they are thriving! they might not all be true cacti, but the most recent ones came in containers from home depot advertising their easy to care for nature and calling them succulents so… either way they are very happy in my south facing window. once I re-pot my two fig babies I’ll move them under this window, after I’ve made some plant stands.

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only two shelves could fit in the top part of the window, and I can’t open it anymore obviously, but it doesn’t have a screen on it so I never opened it in the first place because I don’t let my kitties outside.

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the wall hanging is DIYed with a stick I grabbed from my yard and two colors of thick yarn. it was very easy and only took me about an hour to do. hopefully I will get around to doing a post about it in the future.

skincare: SPF and the battle against UV rays

it seems safe to say that summer has finally arrived, at least for the south, and after all the cold we’ve had the first thing a lot of people want to do is get out in the sun, take a vacation to somewhere sunny, or head to the tanning bed to get a “summer glow”. I wanted to talk about proper sun care because it is the most important thing you can do for your skin.

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there are three types of uv rays- uva, uvb, and uvc. uvc rays are blocked by the earth’s atmosphere in most places, so they are not a huge concern. however, the other two types are responsible for nearly all of what is considered “normal aging”.
uvb rays are very strong but do not penetrate as deeply as uva rays. they are the type of rays strongest during the summer from 11 to 4 and are responsible for sunburns.
uva rays penetrate very deeply into the skin, damaging cell dna, collagen, and elastin. tanning beds can emit two to five times the amount of uva rays than the sun! (source)

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melanin cells are what give skin color. they reside in the deepest layer of the epidermis, the stratum basale. they are the immune system of the skin, and whenever damage occurs they produce more melanin than they would normally. this is very, very important because it means that when the skin gets darker, damage has already occurred. even if it isn’t from a tanning bed, a tan is a sign of skin damage. when melanin cells are severely damaged they can either malfunction completely, creating an absence of color in one place, or produce far too much color, creating a dark spot. this is referred to as hypo or hyperpigmentation.
(just as a side note- everyone has the same number of melanin cells. people with darker skin have melanin cells that naturally produce more melanin than the melanin cells of people with lighter colored skin.)

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sun damage creates weakness and destruction of collagen and elastin, the framework of the skin. when collagen and elastin are damaged, they create sags and cracks in the “trampoline” holding up the skin, creating lines, wrinkles, and sagging. uv rays also damage the dna of skin cells, which leads to cancer. it is true that people with more melanin naturally occurring in their skin are less likely to get skin cancer, and in many cases, age more gracefully than those with comparable skin containing less melanin. however cases of skin cancer in darker skin are usually much more serious and more likely to result in death. read more about skin cancer here. if you develop any type of mark or spot on your skin that appears suddenly, will not heal, or begins to rapidly change, please see a dermatologist. it is also important to visit a dermatologist yearly to ensure skin health.

staying out of the sun isn’t always possible of course, and even if you don’t plan to be outside at all during the day, it is still paramount to wear some form of spf daily. even driving, walking to and from the car, and being near windows will expose you to uva rays which can penetrate glass (unless it is uv protected, which is available in some cars now). here‘s a great illustration of how important it is to protect yourself, even if you don’t plan to be in direct sun.

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the best types of sunscreens contain the physical sunblocks zinc and titanium dioxide. these minerals create a physical barrier between the skin and the entire spectrum of uv rays. they won’t absorb into the skin or break down in the sun. some people are sensitive or allergic to titanium dioxide, so in the case of an allergy stick to a sunscreen with only zinc. zinc is anti-bacterial, soothing, and anti-inflammatory. these products probably won’t be as user friendly as conventional sunscreens, but it is worth it to keep unnecessary chemicals of and out of your skin and bloodstream. chemical sunscreens also have a high rate of allergic reaction. it is not fun to relax on a towel after a nice swim in the ocean and suddenly begin itching uncontrollably for half an hour, or to apply sunscreen and immediately begin sneezing and have a runny nose for the rest of the day- trust me!

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since these physical sunscreens rely on minerals as uv protection, a product is lying if it calls itself organic with these ingredients in it, since obviously they are inorganic. however it is important that the complementary ingredients in the product are organic if possible, and a good sunscreen contains anti-oxidants and other calming ingredients to treat and protect the skin.

if you are concerned about your vitamin d levels, here is a list of foods that contain lots of it. this is a post for a different time, but I do NOT support or recommend dairy products as a source of calcium- dairy products actually leach calcium from the bones as they are so acidic the body has to use its own store of calcium to balance the pH of the blood. (article, article)