iPhone Wallpaper

I love changing my iPhone background frequently and use photos I find from tumblr to put  as my wallpaper. I used to have a tumblr just for posting iPhone backgrounds a few times a week and it grew pretty popular. I don’t update it anymore, but I thought I’d put a new iPhone wallpaper up on my blog every Wednesday. None of the photos are my own – I just find high resolutions of photos I like and size them for an iPhone screen. Check back next week for a different background!

Hold your finger over the image until it asks you to save image to your camera roll, then save it as your wallpaper from there.

P.S. If you have a different phone and would like to see backgrounds sized for it, please let me know and I’ll consider posting ones of different dimensions.

 

For iPhone 5/5s:

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For iPad:

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Bonus for iPhone 5/5s:

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Transitioning from Summer to Fall

We are past Labor Day, and although the first day of fall is not until September 23rd, people everywhere are prematurely adopting a full fall wardrobe of tall boots and chunky knit scarves amidst the 80° weather.  I’ve been there, I understand, and I know that it’s tricky to transition from one season to another.

Why do we jump full throttle into fall? My theory is that our mentality to wear fall clothes the second we pass Labor Day goes back to grade school. Going “back to school” meant getting new clothes, and those clothes were appropriate for fall. When you get new clothes you want to wear them right away, which means when you buy those new fall arrivals you want to work them into an outfit despite how hot it is outside. ** Let me remind you that here in Michigan and many parts of the country, we have cold weather for a good six months. That’s six months you can work in your cold weather clothes into all the outfits you’d like. **

The key to transitioning seasons is to consider both the weather and the time of year. While working in fall clothes into your current summer clothes, let this be a gradual transition making little switches as the weather gets colder. For example, put away white sandals and bring out your neutral loafers.

Falls colors in summer pieces will bring you into the new season without sacrificing your sanity in the heat. Outfits may slowly have more olive greens, navy blues, shades of red and burgundy, grays, etc.

Mix summer and fall clothes seamlessly. Shorts with sweaters, t-shirts with short boots, boat shoes with lightweight chinos, etc.

I put together four outfits that transition from summer to fall.  (L-R) 1. Lightweight sweater layered over an button down shirt with shorts. These khaki colored chino shorts are a great find to transition in both summer to fall and winter to spring. 2. White sweater, jeans, and lace up wedges use a lighter color top with fall shoes. 3. Chambray shirt, olive green shorts, and short boots. Chambray is your biggest friend when transitioning seasons. It’s both lightweight yet appropriate all year round. Here is where I mixed the summer and fall pieces. 4. Using fall color combination in a sleeveless dress is another example of considering the season and the weather. Olive green flats are a great slip on that will bring you into fall.

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The dresses below are not only great for transitions, but can be worn later with tights when it cools down. Accessories with deep tones, such as the leather strap watch, are also a great switch from summer to fall. Silks scarves in fall colors are always classy and also a lightweight alternative to knit scarves.

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Gingham and chambray button downs are a staple for me all year round and can be worn alone until it’s time to layer. Sweaters in fall tones but worn alone with the sleeves rolled up will allow you to wear your sweaters without the fuss of layering in the heat. Screen shot 2014-09-02 at 10.47.15 AM

Neutral pants and shorts in either blue denim, colored denim, or chinos will help you work with what you already have in your wardrobe without having to bring the heavy corduroy out just yet. Screen shot 2014-09-02 at 10.59.08 AM

Lastly, shoes are a great swap to get you to fall without busting out the tall leather boots. I’ve loving the short boots trend and think they are perfect not only for the transition period but can be worn until next summer. Slip on loafers, slippers, and boat shoes in rich tones to give you the fall appearance without the discomfort of overheating. Screen shot 2014-09-02 at 10.26.52 AM

 

Room Tour – Dressing Room

My house has four small bedrooms, and since it is only my husband and I living there, he graciously let me use the spare room to turn it into my “dressing room”, or basically a big walk in closet. It may not always serve that purpose as we grow older, but it is nice to have the whole space to myself to get ready in.

Here are the closets in the room. I use the left side for shoes and tops, and I store hats, purses, and other accessories on the top shelf. It goes a little deeper in than the pictures shows, so it’s handy for tucking away my hamper. The right side is for skirts, dresses, and in the fall I hang my blazers on this side. It goes in deeper to store my bigger totes, and the top shelf is used for more hats and a basket with my headbands in it.

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Here is the view with the closets closed. I had three hooks in the center to hang a top, bottom, and accessory on the side. I plan what I wear the night before so it’s nice to hang it up. The left closet door has my wedding veil on it.

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I got this ottoman at Marshall’s Home Goods, and it’s great for seating and has storage in it. I use it for folded sweaters in the winter, and in the summer it holds hats (yes, more hats).

photo 2This chandelier was from PB Teen and hangs right above the ottoman. The ceiling medallion is an inexpensive find from Home Depot. I have a plainer one in my dining room and it adds some extra elegance.

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My vanity is my favorite piece of furniture in this room! It was a present from my parents for my bridal shower. I do my make up here and store my jewelry in the drawers.

photo 1The center drawer of my vanity is where I keep my favorite necklaces and bracelets for easy access.

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Picture 6 I have an old dress form that my wedding dress fits on perfectly, which makes a nice display allowing me to enjoy the dress rather than tucking it away somewhere.

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Lastly, my dresser holds my jewelry box, my alarm clock, and a small blue ginger jar lamp.

 

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My lamp is from TJ Maxx and is Ralph Lauren. Picture 7

A few FAQs about this room – I hand stenciled the walls with this stencil, which is an inexpensive alternative to wallpaper. The paint colors are by Glidden – here and here. All the furniture  (with the exception of the ottoman) was built by the Amish and is brown maple with a coffee stain. You may contact me if you want further information on a piece.

National Bow Tie Day!

Today is National Bow Tie Day and I’m proud to be sporting the Floral Bow Tie that Bull & Moose sent me. I’m a big advocate of girls wearing bow ties (see my post about that here), so I couldn’t wait to wear mine. I’m proud to say I tied it myself!

via Bull & Moose instagram

via Bull & Moose instagram

I chose the floral bow tie, and think it’s a style that’s gender neutral and would look fantastic on anyone. For ladies – I’d pair it with a light blue or pink oxford cloth button down shirt, and for the guys – it would look great with a white or light blue oxford cloth button down shirt or a chambray shirt. This would be my pick for a guy for an outdoor wedding outfit! I was impressed with the quality of the bow tie, and even more impressed with the company itself.

All their neck wear averages $25-$40 and every order is shipped free. I’ll be thinking of them when Christmas shopping rolls around for my husband.

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Here are my top 3 picks from Bull & Moose. Cotton Floral Bow Tie  /  Narwhal Silk Bow Tie / Orange Silk Bow Tie Screen shot 2014-08-28 at 9.52.57 AM

Lastly, I think this company does social media very well. They create unique, original content on both their instagram account and their blog. Check out their instagram to see some of these photos below and a few incredible videos by our friend, Paul Havel. Screen shot 2014-08-28 at 9.46.42 AMScreen shot 2014-08-28 at 9.47.51 AMScreen shot 2014-08-28 at 9.47.25 AM

How I Curl My Hair – 4 Methods

I’ve gotten a few people who have asked me how I curl my hair so I decided to show the four ways I use most to do so. I am not a hair expert by any means, I’ve learned almost everything I know from youtube tutorials.

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Here are the four tools I use, none of them are top of the line, but I’ve been very satisfied with each of them.

1. Regular 1″ Curling Iron ($32.88)  Many people use this as a wand, but I’ll be showing basic curls using the clamp on it.

2. ½” to 1″ Curling Wand ($24.99) I use this for tiny curls that last a long time.

3. 1″-1½” Curling Wand ($22.09) A larger wave for a more mature, glamorous look.

4. Sponge Rollers ($1.25 for a 10 pack, get two packs) Easily found at any convenience store, I use 1″ sponge rollers. This is the easiest way I curl my hair.

 

photo 31″ Curling Iron

1. I have my hair parted to one side, making one side have almost double the amount of hair than the other. I clip half of the hair up on that side to begin. The key to the curling iron is to curl away from your face, and start in the center of the hair as seen in the first picture. Curling up, back down, moving the iron down to grab more hair.

2. Continue the above method until all the hair is in the iron, and the outside of the hair is hot. I learned this method best from watching this youtube video. She explains it very well and it will change the way your hair holds a curl.

3. When you release, don’t pull the iron out, gentle loosen the clamp and let it fall out. If you want subtle curls, continue curling the same way. If you want your curls to stay longer, use a duck clip or bobbi pins to pin the curl to your head and let it set so it holds its shape longer.

4. This is how my hair looks like when I’m done with my whole head. I wait about ten minutes while getting ready for my day to let the curls set, and then I’ll brush the top of my head and the ends, and then use my fingers to soften the curls.

5-6. After softening my curls, I have a look that holds the curl in the ends and keeps the top smoother. Although I use this method the least, I like the way it looks when it falls out throughout the day turning into a subtle curl.

photo 2 ½” to 1″ Curling Wand

This wand tapers from a 1″ to a  ½” at the bottom.

1. The key is the wrap your hair away from you face, hold it for a few seconds, and then slowly let it fall out. Keep the wand vertical as seen in the photo. You may notice my black glove I use – that is a heat protectant glove that lets me get really close to the ends of my hair while curling without burning myself. I wouldn’t use the wand without one!

2. Notice this will give you really tight curls, so you will want to make the sizes of the hair pieces and their location a little more random to make it look more natural.

3. The curls will seem tight at first, and a little like Shirley Temple, but they will fall out and look beautiful after a few hours.

4-6. I brush the ends a little bit, and push a few pieces around so it gives me more volume on the top of my head. These pictures were taken right after I curled, but they will loosen up over time. I can usually make these curls last 3 days.

photo 11″-1½” Curling Wand

This is by far my favorite method of curling. I’ll wear this look anywhere from an everyday style to attending a wedding.

1. Like the last tutorial, keep the wand vertical and wrap away from the face. Hold it until the thickest part of the piece is hot and then either lightly let it fall or clip it up for a more long term hold. If I have a wedding, I will clip up the curl and let it set, but normally I release it.

2. You’ll want to curl in the same direction and same curl pattern. Notice in the second photo the curl all goes in the same wave.

3. This is how it looks when I’m done. I let it set for at least ten minutes before I do anything else.

4. You can end here and keep the big curls. This is a great look, but if you want a softer curl you’ll have to loosen them up.

5. I like to gently brush out the curl by starting at the bottom and brushing the ends, using my fingers (not the brush) on the main part of the curl, and then brushing the top of my head.

6. This is the end product, and notice I used the same curl pattern and softened them up. A great tutorial that I use is from the Beauty Department.

photo 41″ Sponge Rollers

1. These things are my go-to curl for when I know I want have time to curl my hair in the morning but still want an easy hair style without heat. I used sponge rollers as a kid, and my hair dresser told me a few years ago that they will still work in my hair but to get larger ones (1″) so they don’t look as childish. They are super cheap, and easy to find at any Walgreens or beauty supply store.

2. Hair prep – do not skip this step – dampen your hair slightly so it’s not wet but not completely dry. I even put some product such as hair spray just to help it hold the curl. Take small pieces and roll them up into your hair away from your face. I don’t like to overload a roller with a lot of hair, but you don’t want it to be too small either.

3. When your done, your entire head should be covered in sponge rollers. This normally takes me no more than a few minutes to get all my hair up in rollers.

Next step – Go to sleep.

4. When you wake up, you’ll need to take your rollers out. This will take you about two minutes, but there are two methods for the curl. The first one shown is to roll the sponge roller out of your hair.

5. You can also pull the roller straight out of your hair to create a different look.

6. Notice the curl on the left has been rolled out, and the curl on the right has been pulled out. I tend to do a mix of both because I take them out pretty fast. They’re different looks, and you can see what one you like better.

photo 57 & 8, This it the final result. Notice that it gives me larger at the bottom with a little volume on the top. This method usually lasts the entire day, but by the next morning it is just a wave. This is a back pocket method for when I want curls without all the heat. It’s inexpensive, quick, and gets the job done!

 

I hope you enjoyed the four methods I use for my curls. A few overall tips – I normally do about 400 degrees on my curling iron and wand, but I also have thick, coarse hair. If you have finer hair, you’ll need to turn down the heat. I also use a heat protectant spray before I do any curling, with the exception of the sponge rollers. I do not hair spray before I curl, only sometimes after, because heat and hairspray together can do a lot of damage to your hair. I try to make my curls last as long as possible, and I use Psssst! Dry Shampoo to help keep my hair fresh.

 

 

Antique Finds

I’ve always loved antique shopping, and I believe finding antiques for your home are the way to go. Here’s why –

1. More often than not, they are better quality than their modern day counterparts. “They don’t make them like they used to” is true in many cases, and you’ll realize that the more you shop antiques. For example, you’ll find something made of solid brass rather than just spray painted to look like brass.

2. The pieces you find will be unique and have a back story to them. This makes a home more interesting than just filling your home with current trends at popular stores.  I have great items from places like Target in my home, however, I just love the increased interest that an antique piece adds to home decor.

3. It can be inexpensive, even for the quality items. Most of the art on my walls I’ve found “antique-ing” and I’ve spent significantly less than what I’d pay getting pictures and frames for the wall from a formal store. The difference is, my inexpensive finds are matted nicely and of better quality than if I bought new materials myself. Tip: Instead of buying a brand new frame for a photo or canvas print you want framed, buy an old painting in the same dimensions and swap out the painting. I have several paintings in my home that I used this trick for that have beautiful, old frames.

My husband and I recently took a quick trip to Ohio for a conference and managed to stop at an antique store while we are there. Ohio is known for their many antique stores, and I found the prices were even lower than the antique stores in Michigan. I already want to go back just to shop more antique stores. Here’s what I got:

Old boxing gloves with the strings attached that will look incredible on the wall in my living room. photo 5

I always keep an eye out for pennants, and this one from 1962 is pretty cool with the moose. photo 3

I paid $27 for this 4′ tall old wood sled. I’ve seen similar ones go for much more elsewhere. I’m planning on hanging this on my wall during the winter. photo 4

Mason jars are pretty cool but I’ve never owned one myself, until I found this giant, blue one. I plan to use it as a vase. photo-2

I’ve wanted a mantle clock for some time now, and I was thrilled to find this one for $4. Just needed a battery change and it was good to go!photo 2

Lastly, I found this cool, old canteen for my friend. Her house has a lot of cool south western antiques and I thought this would look great hung on her wall or on a shelf. photo 1

What To Wear: Shopping Trip

It’s that time of year when one clothing season ends and the new arrivals come out for the next season. The transition from summer to fall is an even bigger time to shop because there’s “back to school” shopping and lots of sales as people get back into their normal routines.

You may not put much thought into what you wear when you’re going shopping, but I have a few simple tips that you won’t want to overlook.

Outfit: Your outfit when shopping should not be complicated. I love layering, but if I plan to try on clothes that day, it can be a hassle changing and then putting my whole outfit back together. I also opt for button down shirt because it’s less risky than pulling a shirt over your head and getting make up on it or messing up your hair. Lastly, go for a separate top and bottom rather than a dress. Let’s say you’re wearing a dress, and you want to try on a shirt. You’d also have to grab pants in the same store to try on with the shirt or else…well you can figure it out.

Shoes: Always opt for comfortable shoes, and if you plan on trying clothes on, a slip-on shoe is your best option. This way you can easily slip them off in the dressing room without it being a nuisance. Most of my boat shoes have laces, but I slip in and out of them without having to untie them thus making them work best for shopping trips.

Crossbody bag: I say this a lot, but crossbody purses have a lot of benefits when you need to essentially go “hands free”. You’re able to shop without lugging a heavy purse that sits on your shoulder or in the crook of your elbow. Do yourself a favor and bring a small, lightweight crossbody bag next time you shop.

Student I.D.: If you are in college, bring your student I.D. to get more money off your purchase. This doesn’t work for every store, but many do offer this feature. For example, students get an extra 15% off at J Crew even on already marked down sale items. It pays to bring it along just in case!

Coupons: My system for getting deals is to sign up for emails from the stores I shop at most. Now this can get out of hand if you sign up for too many, however, if you go to unroll.me, you can add all these emails to one “roll-up”. A “roll-up” takes all the store emails and puts them in one single email that gets sent to you once a day. I normally delete it without opening it, but if I know I’m going to be shopping soon, I keep an eye out if there are any deals or coupons I should be aware of before heading out. Shop smarter, not harder.

I went shopping with my mom yesterday and here is the outfit I wore. Notice I have a simple button down, white denim, slip on shoes, and a crossbody bag. I was thankful for my purse because it was one less thing to carry around the mall.

Hope these tips help!

afterlight

What To Wear: The Country Fair

Last night my husband, some friends, and I headed out to the annual fair to walk around and watch the Demolition Derby. We stayed away from the carnival rides and instead checked out the “prize winning” animals on display. We ended the night watching the Demolition Derby – which is where people drive old junk cars into each other. It’s more fun than it sounds, I promise!

I kept it simple by wearing J Crew’s “Perfect Plaid” shirt, cuffed jeans, and my new booties. I’ve been seeing a lot of short booties for fall, and I’ve also been wanting a pair of boots that are more western. I think these are a good mix of both and I love the gold detail on the toe. There aren’t many left (and I got the last 7.5), but you can find them here on Amazon.

Basic tips on dressing for the fair – dress for the weather, go as hands-free as possible (think crossbody bag), and wear comfortable shoes. Since this was a country setting, I think it’s appropriate to dress down and choose an outfit more suited for that occasion. Denim, plaid, and cotton are all great choices for a subtle country look.

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Check out the rest of our photos from the fair:

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Judging the roosters.

Prize-winning veggies, *not* free samples

Prize-winning veggies, *not* free samples

Blondes

Blondes

Friends at the fair

Friends at the fair

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This is normal

Demolition Derby

Demolition Derby

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Historic Baseball

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Joe and I went to Greenfield Village over the weekend to watch the World Tournament of Historic Baseball, which commemorates the 1867 Detroit Baseball Tournament. Teams from mainly the Midwest and one from New York came together this past weekend to play, and it was quite entertaining. The teams are composed of men from young to old, and they wear the old time baseball uniforms and play by the old rules – this means no gloves, no strikes, and a different baseball. Check out some photos from our time and see the old fashion uniforms. Make sure to scroll to the end to see why Joe got in trouble when we left!

watching the game

watching the game

 

from the Henry Ford Museum website

from the Henry Ford Museum website

from the Henry Ford Museum website

from the Henry Ford Museum website

photo 3photo 3photo 5Now the real moment you’ve been waiting for – At Greenfield Village, there’s a train that goes around the whole place. My husband, Joe, really wanted to take a picture with the train, so before we left, we waited a few minutes until it came around. Joe got his picture, but was too close to the track, which caused the train to have to come to a halt. The conductor scolded Joe because after the train stops it takes a few minutes for them to start it back up. We apologized several times before heading out. Joe is still feeling a tinge embarrassed by his blunder but in the spirit of the game, is being a good sport in letting me share his tale of train treachery.

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