Friday, October 20, 2017

The ruffle trend I'm loving now


Is there anything more feminine yet easy to wear than a ruffle? Casual style that is put together and feminine is my go-to. A ruffle immediately elevates any outfit, and does NOT have to be stuffy. (Are you thinking "ruffle" and thinking of a horrible pink lacy ruffled something in your grandmother's attic?) Think again! I'm seeing a lot of ribbed ruffle sweaters this fall, a new take on the trend.

In other news, SH and I are headed to LA this weekend to see Hamilton for my dad's birthday! I cannot wait, I've heard it's super kick a$$. Have a wonderful weekend, y'all! 

Shop the Ruffle Trend:
 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Spooktacular Halloween Graveyard Dessert


Photo by Palatable Pastime
Halloween is fast approaching, so I wanted to share the cutest edible Halloween treat with you! It's so easy to make and is fun and cute for kids (and adults, alike!)

Ingredients:
  • 1 box of chocolate pudding (try to the Jell-o brand. Check pudding ingredients list.)
  • 1 small package of Oreo cookies
  • 1 box of Milano cookies
  • 1 Orange or black tube of mini frosting
  • 1 small cake pan
  • 1 Ziploc bag
  • Candy corn (optional)
  • Sugar Skulls (optional)
  • Gummy worms (optional)
  • Spooky peeps (optional)
  • Chocolate eyeballs (optional)
  • Pumpkin candies (optional)
Directions:
  • Make the chocolate pudding (follow directions on box.) Refrigerate
  • Take out pudding
  • Place Oreos in Ziploc bag and crush (this is the graveyard dirt)
  • Sprinkle Oreos over pudding
  • Write on the Milanos with the mini frosting (these are the tombstones. Examples: RIP, BOO, a skull and crossbones, etc.) 
  • Place Milanos in pudding mixture
  • Place skulls, candy corn, and worms in mixture as you please
  • Ready to eat! 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wedding Registry Hacks

It's getting real, y'all. SH and I are getting married in FOUR MONTHS! We are super excited!! So much of my brain space occupies the wedding these days, so I want to impart some wedding wisdom on you -- can I get a #weddingwednesday?

Here's what's on our registry and trust me -- I have scoured the internet for every "what to put on your registry" checklist out there. And surprise -- they missed some things.  Here's what the other lists missed:

1. Nice table linens
Is it just my mom and me, or do y'all love table linens, too?! The thing is, I don't like spending a lot of money on them so I scour Target for sales or check out estate sales for a good deal. We have registered for a thanksgiving tablecloth and a Christmas tablecloth (with matching napkins.) I am SO EXCITED to use these I can't even tell you. Plus, they will go great with our...

2. Matching dishes
Oh, the matching dishes. I have always prided myself on liking mismatched dishware. All throughout college, my early twenties, my mid-twenties, I have loved my mismatched plates and bowls. I just decided one day that part of being a grownup is having matching dishware. In fact, I got so hung up on the matching dishes that I wrote a short creative non fiction piece about it. (If you'd like to read the piece, email me at mapleandmint@gmail.com.) We finally picked the Emma collection and let me tell you, they are SO BEAUTIFUL in our home. So much more beautiful than they were in the store! Something about the lighting in the store made the color look off, but in our home they look like the ivory color they are supposed to be :) I really, truly, looove them.

3. Fluffy high quality towels
Nice, fluffy towels are such a luxury. A quality towel turns a routine into a luxurious and enjoyable experience. We registered for these in three colors -- one for me, one for SH, and one for guests. I recommend getting at least two per person.

4. Board games
Codenames is a super fun party game to play with friends! We had 11 people over the other week and this was an easy game to play with that many people because you play on teams. We had an absolute blast! Cards Against Humanity is another party favorite.

5. Camping gear
SH and I love camping and hopefully will start going more often now that we live in the Pacific Northwest. One thing we already have that we love is a two-person sleeping bag. I definitely recommend registering for one of those if you don't have one already! We registered for a two person hammock and a camping utensil set.

6. A carving knife
Because that Thanksgiving turkey isn't going to carve itself!

7. Invitation and picture double frame
If you're sentimental like me, you'll want to frame your wedding invitation, as well as your wedding photos. This frame lets you do both.

8. Himalayan salt plate
This is a neat way to cook and not too expensive, but still luxurious enough that you can throw it on your registry.

9. Marble serving board
Is there anything more chic than marble in a kitchen? I'm in love with this cost effective one (it's under $30.)

10. Guest bedding
Don't forget to ask for a nice set of sheets and a comforter for any out of town guests you might have. They'll thank you for it! If you read yesterday's post about how to make your bedroom a sanctuary, you'll see what retailer I recommend for high quality bedding for less.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How to make your bedroom a santuary

Countless studies have shown the amazing health benefits of a good night's sleep. Doesn't it make sense that getting a good night's sleep starts in your bedroom? I find it difficult to shut off my brain if I'm distracted by lights blinking, computers whirring, or even by overwhelming piles of papers and other clutter.

Here are 5 easy tips to make your bedroom a sanctuary, so you can rest easy and get those 8 hours of shut eye that you deserve.

1. Keep the electronics to a minimum. 
We all have our cell phones, some have alarm clocks, computers, tvs, radios -- all of these items come with blinking lights and noises. Try to keep your bedroom an electronic free space (within reason.) I use my phone as my alarm, but I always make sure to put it on Do Not Disturb (the little moon on the iPhone) so that if people are emailing/texting/calling me after I've gone to bed, my phone doesn't vibrate or ring so as not to disturb my sleep.

2. Invest in good bedding, and wash your sheets regularly. 
Sounds basic, right? I'll be the first to tell you that I have found some awesome bedding at a discount price at Homegoods. Homegoods is an awesome place to buy high quality, high threat count, super soft sheets for WAY less. I recently bought a new bedset there (duvet cover and pillow shams) and I am obsessed with it! Upgrading our bedding gave our room a whole new feel and going to bed in clean sheets always feels so luxurious and comfortable.

3. Light a candle. 
You guys know I'm a candle freak! I can't get enough of candles. (Here is a good scent for fall.) I like burning one candle in the bedroom and one in the bathroom (ours are connected). I also try to open a window as often as possible to get some fresh air circulating, too.

4. Wear a cozy eye mask. 
I have a few different eye masks that I rotate through (I usually end up losing them - don't ask me how - they always fall off my face when I sleep!) These help me sleep when my fiance is up late reading (it's so hard to sleep with the lights on!) This one is in my shopping cart right now, it's so cute!

5. Keep work outside of the bedroom. 
Some of us don't have the luxury of having an office separate from our bedroom. Take it from me - my fiance and I have our desks in our room and it is NOT restful. We are planning to move our desks into the spare bedroom in our house to really create that work/rest balance and separation.

Try these tips at home and let me know how they work out for you!

Shop the post:  
 

Monday, October 16, 2017

The ballet flats I can't live without

I walk a lot during the day -- I walk my dog, to and from the bus stop, to and from appointments, up and down the stairs. I like looking professional and put together without sacrificing comfort. These flats are by far the most comfortable I have encountered. I love them so much I have them in six different colors! The latest style they have is a crushed dusty rose velvet but the leopard is my usual go-to.


Shop the Post:

Monday, October 2, 2017

Sweater Weather



 







 


 Striped sweater | Lace up sweater | Jeans: AG | Boots: Ralph Lauren | Blanket scarf: Nordstrom

Happy October!! I'm excited to be cozying up in sweaters and boots!! The weather is finally turning here in Seattle and I'm happy to be drinking PSLs again :)

Since I work a 9-5 job It's really important for me to have clothes I can wear to work that also double as something cute to wear on the weekend. This striped sweater is on sale for $28 and is available in in three colors. It's great because I can wear it to work with slacks, or pair it with jeans and a blanket scarf when my fiance and I are hanging out on the weekend!

Fewer and fewer items in my closet are "weekend only" wear -- cue this lace up sweater that I could never wear to work but that was too special to pass up :) Lace up is really "in" right now and I love a good burgundy for fall!

Tobi is a great place to get the best of both worlds -- work and weekend wear! Head to their site to see what cute items they have in store for this new season.

Thank you to Tobi for sponsoring this post.




Friday, September 22, 2017

Transitioning from summer to fall





 Top: Mint Julep Boutique | Jeans: AG | Boots: Ralph Lauren 

It's been hot here in the Seattle area so I've been slowly transitioning from summer to fall. I can't help but want to wear boots so I've been pairing summery flowy floral tops with jeans and riding boots. Best of both worlds! I clearly want to get in the fall spirit as I've already bought a pumpkin! Lol!

The Mint Julep Boutique has soo many cute and affordable things. They often have deals and sales so be sure to check them out on their website shopthemint.com!

Thank you to Mint Julep Boutique for sponsoring this post.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Hiking with Power Up







Max, SH and I went hiking over the weekend! We hiked Little Si , which was rated "easy" but let me tell you -- a 1300 ft elevation gain is no joke! The hike was great but I did find all the climbing up and up fairly strenuous lol so thank goodness I had my Power Up snacks with me! Power Up
makes quality, healthy, delicious trail mixes with 100% natural ingredients. Plus, they come in multiple sizes and flavors! We took the "Mega Omega" snack size pouch with us which fit perfectly in my camelback, but my favorite flavor is definitely the "Antioxidant Mix" because hello it has dark chocolate!!

I def recommend picking up a bag of Power Up trailmix before you hit your next hike! 

I received Power Up trail mix complimentary for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Leather Moto Jacket





Similar Leather Jacket / Ruffle Sweatshirt Top (On sale! I loved it so much I bought it in navy and gray. Size down) / Jeans / Flats (I wear them alll the time! So comfy) / Less expensive bag here / Earrings 

Happy Tuesday and happy August, friends! I want to take a moment to say please pray for my friend Quentin who is in the hospital with serious injuries after a motorcycle accident last week. Please pray for his speedy recovery and for his wife and family. He is being monitored in a very good hospital with excellent doctors, and we are hopeful. We could use all the good energy we can get. Thank you.

In other news, I am wrapping up my two week stint in Seattle to go back to LA, pack up the rest of my stuff, and get ready to make the big move! I have never lived out of California as an adult -- unless you count my 8 month stint in Colorado freshman year, which I don't really count.

There are a lot of changes happening -- I'm moving, starting a new job, getting married, SH and I just got a dog -- I'm very grateful and I think this is an important time in my life to reflect. I have been thinking a lot lately about the difference between "healthy striving" and "perfectionism" since I started reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. Brene says that healthy striving is self-focused and sounds like, "how can I improve?" while perfectionism is other-focused, and sounds like "what will they think?" Sometimes I surprise myself with my lack of self-awareness, to be honest, lol. I think of myself as a pretty self-aware person but this healthy striving vs. perfectionism thing really caught me off guard. I have been so concerned with what others think of me without even realizing it. I don't really consider myself a perfectionist in the usual ways one might think of a perfectionist -- for example, I have terribly messy handwriting, I often go outside without wearing make up, I don't mind being seen in my pajamas by my next door neighbors when I let my dog out, you know, things like that. But when I started training Max I noticed I would get a lot of side-eye from people around the neighborhood, and started catching myself thinking, "Max please just behave, you're embarrassing me. What will our neighbors think."

I realized in this moment that I do have some perfectionistic tendencies. But perfectionism isn't real! There's no such thing as being perfect. And actually, when people see me in my vulnerable state, chasing my loose dog around the neighborhood because he ran out the front door, or when I see them in their vulnerable state -- returning my neighbors' dog after he jumped the fence into our yard, again, we connect. We connect over our humanity. Over our pets. Over our wins, and losses. Over our hardships. I had a perfect stranger hug me over the weekend because she heard me screaming for my dog. She ran out and asked if I was ok. If I needed help. She brought dog treats, and a leash. She hugged my sweaty self, panting and out of breath having chased Max through yards.

It was in that moment that I realized how beautiful this vulnerability thing can be. We are all in this together, in the end. And at the end of the day, it's kind of fun to mess up and have some good stories to tell.

Friday, July 28, 2017

TGIF - thankful Friday

Like I mentioned on my Instagram, I am currently listening to the book, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. In her book she mentions that on Fridays she creates a gratitude list and I really love this idea. Practicing gratitude is known to improve health, well being and happiness. There is a lot of research on the subject. If you're interested in learning more, check out my suggested reading list at the bottom of this post.

Here is what I am thankful for this week:

1. I'm thankful for the time this week I have had to bond and train my new dog, Max.
2. I'm thankful for the healthy body that I have.
3. I'm thankful for the sunshine and natural beauty that surrounds us in our neighborhood, especially the vibrant blue flowers that Max and I see on our walks.
4. I'm thankful for the opportunity to shoot with an awesome photographer this week, it was really fun!
5. I'm thankful for the opportunity to get settled in my new home with few distractions, and ample time.
6. I'm thankful for the time I've had this week to be creative and practice calligraphy and hand lettering.
7. I'm thankful for the fun times I've had with friends this week.

What are you thankful for today?

Suggested reading list:


Thursday, July 27, 2017

grey ruffle top




 Gray Ruffle Top / Jeans / Heels (in biscotti suede, on sale, only a few sizes left!) /
 Bag (looks like the gucci one but it's under $25) / Earrings

I love items that I can wear to work and on the weekends. Since I work 40 hours a week on top of blogging, most of my wardrobe consists of things I can wear to the office (black pants, blouses, heels, etc.) I fell in love with this ruffle top and bought it in navy as well. It's on sale right now for under $46 until August 6th! I recommend sizing down because it's a boxy fit. I love it. It's feminine meets casual, which is my style to a t. It's almost made of a light sweatshirt material so it's incredibly comfortable but the ruffle detail makes it look more formal, so it looks professional.

Have a great Thursday! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

#NSale Basic Long Sleeve Tee (And a big announcement!)





long sleeve tee (on sale for under $20 and comes in 10 colors!) / jeans (great staple) / choker / earrings / similar leather jackets from the #nsale: 1 (under $65) / 2 /

Hey friends! Happy Tuesday! I hope you're all having a great start to the week. I have some big news to share... I am moving to Seattle in August!! My fiance and I are super excited for this new chapter in our lives and we can't wait to share it with all of you. Thanks as always for your support and for following along on this journey with us!

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is still going strong! While a lot of items are sold out, my long sleeve tee which comes in 10 colors is still available in many sizes and is on sale for $19.90. (I'm wearing it in Grey Ebony in a size small, for reference.) My faux pearl studs are not on sale but they are super cute and great for work or every day wear, and they are only $38. I bought my leather jacket at Nordstrom Rack a few years ago, but I linked this year's leather moto jackets (the embroidered one is super trendy this year.) While a lot of the #NSale is geared toward stocking up on fall items to wear later, there are a number of items that can be worn now, especially great basics like tshirts!

Have you gotten anything at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale this year? Comment below with your finds. And also, if you're from the Seattle area, let me know if you have any recommendations for what SH and I should do!!

Photography by Megan Nealy

Friday, July 21, 2017

Shop my Under $30 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks!

The Christmas in July sale is finally open to the public!! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale aka #NSale has the most amazing discounts on fall items, so stock up now! Almost everything I linked in under $30!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

28 Things About Me

 It's my birthday!! So, in light of my birthday, I thought I'd share 28 things you probably don't know about me!

1. I'm an avid reader and listen to a ton of books on Audible. I listen to four-five books a month, sometimes more.

2. I love pepperoni or cheese pizza.

3. On average, I eat an orange a day.

4. I have a dog, his name is Max and he's a rescue. He's sooo cute!! Check out pics of Max on my instagram @mapleandmint :)

5. I have traveled to 14 countries.

6. I caught the fish at Pike Place Market once, like Catherine and Sean did on The Bachelor.

7. I've worked in higher education for three years.

8. In college, I was Panhellenic President.

9. My fiance and I have lived apart for 9 months.

10. I'm moving to the Seattle area (where he lives) in August!

11. In middle school I was a competitive horseback rider and won multiple National Championships.

12. I have lived in 5 different homes in the 6 years I've lived in Los Angeles.

13. I have a master's degree from USC.

14. I was accepted to several doctoral programs this year but decided to wait and apply again in a future cycle.

15. I'm a soprano and I love to sing. My voice teacher described my voice as very "disney princess."

16. In my freshman year of college, I was on a club ice hockey team for about a week, haha.

17. I moved to California from New Jersey with my family when I was six.

18. My Myer's Briggs type is ISFJ.

19. I speak French Fluently.

20. I once acted in a 7 person stage production of The Laramie Project.

21. I have visited and camped in many National Parks: Yosemite, Glacier, Zion, Pinnacles, to name a few.

22. I love string cheese.

23. I take a lot of naps on the weekend! I love naps!

24. I drink a cup of tea and a decaf coffee (or decaf americano) every morning.

25. I love cream and sugar in my coffee.

26. I enjoy baking pies but I don't do it that often.

27. I am in the process of planning my wedding.

28. My fiance caught our entire proposal on camera! He's the sweetest!

Thanks, as always, for reading!


Friday, July 14, 2017

What I bought at the #Nsale!

Friends! I had so much fun last night! I went to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale at the Grove and then went to my friend's improv show at Second City Hollywood. I ordered my #nsale items online and then picked them up in the store. This is my favorite way to shop!! I picked up my items and then tried them on to make sure they fit. (They did and I kept all of them!)

I'm sorry in advance for the not great quality of these photos but I want you to see fit, color and sizing details on all of the items I went home with. So here it goes!

1) Ruffle sleeve blouse. True to size. I loved it SO MUCH when I put it on that I ended up buying it in baby blue as well! (I also tried it on in the polka dot but I did not like it at all. Black and blue all the way.) The ruffle detail on this blouse is just so perfect, see a close up below. Seriously I haven't loved a top this much in a while-- it's so feminine, sweet, and on trend, but it's conservative enough that I will be able to wear it to work. Win win!! It will be very easy to go from work to date night in this blouse! You can find it here. It comes in 5 colors.
#NSale Price: $31.90. After Sale Price: $49.

2) Okay let's talk about these skinny jeans. They fit TTS. I'd never bought this brand before but after hearing so many bloggers rave about them, I knew I had to try them for myself. Well let me tell you. They are the real deal. Normally I live and die by Joe's Jeans but this brand may have turned me! This jean is easy to get into (not stiff) but is also not overly stretchy. You know how some jeans you have to jump up and down to get them on?! Not these. They go on nicely but they hug in all the right places. I don't have a thigh gap (#loveyourbodythewayitis!) these jeans are super flattering and slimming and I can't WAIT to wear them when it's not 90 degrees out. I know they are expensive but trust me ladies, they are the real deal. You can shop them here.
#NSale Price: $149.90. After Sale Price: $225. 

 This is what the jeans look like from the side. I love how they make my figure look! Also these photos are not edited so this is what they look like in dressing room lighting. 

 This is kind of a weird angle but I wanted you to see how they fit in the butt. 

 3) Grey Cardigan of my dreams. It is an oversized fit so I sized down. Holy crap is this thing soft. It is so soft I didn't want to take it off even though I was sweating bullets in the dressing room. I wasn't sure about the color when I ordered it online and thought maybe I should have ordered the burgundy, but grey all the way, peeps! I tried on the burgundy and tan colors in the store and I don't know why, but the quality just didn't seem the same. They weren't as well made, they weren't as soft, and they were also not as flattering on me. I am definitely glad I went with the grey. I can't WAIT to wear it in fall! Did I mention this cardi has pockets?! Find it here and run run run because it's going to sell out! It comes in three colors.
#NSale Price: $49.90. After Sale Price: $75. This is SUCH a good deal!



 4) Red Turtleneck with an Open Back. I sized down one size! I love the way this turtleneck feels. It's not super soft ,but it feels like high quality stitching and it's a brand I trust and have purchased a lot of in the past. I just really like how it looks on. They don't show you what the back looks like on the website which is annoying, but I ended up liking it on anyway. See below for what the back looks like. I will still wear this to work but I will probably wear a cami underneath. It comes in three colors. I like the red. You can get it here.
#NSale Price: $44.90. After Sale Price: $68.

 Cute untucked as well.
4) Ankle booties (see above.) TTS but I didn't wear socks with them in the dressing room because I forgot to bring a pair, so I will report back when I have tried them on with socks. I bought them in Toasted Barley Suede and I was worried it was going to be too taupe (and I already own two taupe pairs of booties) but I was happy that it looked more like a chestnut brown to me. I love the chunky block heel (sorry it was hard to get a pic of them in the dressing room!) You can get them here.
#NSale Price: $99.90. After Sale Price: $158.95. Great deal, these will definitely sell out!

Those are my finds! I hope you like them, follow me on instagram @mapleandmint for more #nsale strategy tips and leave me a comment if you have any questions about anything!

 

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