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Friday, July 5, 2013

Pineapples, Stripes, and A Bit Extra


It's super, crazy hot in Boston right now.  I swear I have lived in New England my entire life and I just have not gotten used to our extreme and unpredictable weather!  One of the trickiest parts about dressing for summer is hopping in between the hot outdoors and the chilly, air-conditioned indoors.  I picked up this Tory Burch, sparsely sequined pineapple tunic at one of my favorite second hand stores last week and it is the perfect solution for that very issue.  It's a light linen so you aren't burning up in the sun, but keeps you covered when the air is on full blast indoors!  And how fun is this print?  Simply love. 

Creatively, fashion is really my sole source of inspiration these days.  There was a time when I spent my free time creating DIY projects, working/volunteering on creative and event-related projects on the weekends, and filled every free moment with finding visual inspiration.   The saying is true: it's not a matter of what we have time for, but what we make time for.  The truth is that what I've wanted to make time for these days has been more family, work, and intellectual pursuits than any other time in my life and what's more is that I'm happy to be in that place.  It feels more true in relation to where I am in my life at the moment: a place of transition and working to become healthier and happier after dealing with quite a bit of emotional and physical difficulty due to a family medical condition, my own recent health ordeal, and now, another serious family concern, all back to back to back.

One of the brightest spots in my days is getting dressed in the morning or for a night out.  That sounds pretty vain, but fashion is something that I've always considered to be my choice form of personal expression.  It brings me a sense of peace to express myself creatively through my clothes and my sense of personal style.  It gives me a few moments to focus on myself.

I have always had a hard time with sticking within the confines of blogging labels - "wedding blogger," "fashion blogger, "lifestyle blogger" - and sometimes I get so bogged down trying to decide how I want to/should present myself and be perceived that I decide not to try at all instead.  I am sure other bloggers have experienced similar slumps and "blog identity" issues, and I am hoping that admitting that my creative passion has shifted and become more specific will enable me to feel freer to write about whatever I really want to and the blog can shift and change in the same way I have.  I think that a creative outlet is exactly what I need right now!

Thanks for listening & reading! xoxo

BTW: The winner of the last Essie giveaway was my good friend, Christine!  Apologies for the delay!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

An Apartment Full of Peonies


On my way home from work on Friday (thinking "long weekend full-steam ahead!"), I stopped by the gorgeous flower stand in our building to gather up some stems to brighten my home.  I used to be in the habit of buying myself flowers quite regularly, but during the winter months, that ritual fell to the wayside.  Once I saw my favorite flower in the midst of all the beautiful blooms, I knew exactly what was coming home with me that day.  I grabbed some dark pink carnations too and set off to brighten my home!


I placed a lovely, little arrangement in both my kitchen and my bedroom.  I can literally feel the transformative effect that these beauties have when I walk into my apartment.  There's no other decor trick, piece of art, or chevron anything that could make me feel as refreshed when coming home.  The Ball jar bunch lives on my kitchen table, while the low, gray vase is perched on my nightstand.


Aren't they stunning?  I hope this post has inspired you to head out to your local florist, the farmer's market, or a roadside stand to gather up a bunch of your own!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Polish Giveaways of May: Lilacism

TGIF, everyone! I couldn't be more excited about the long weekend.  My brother is coming into the city and we have plans to try out a bunch of restaurants from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives - his request of course.  I can't wait to sample my fair share of burgers and fries and just relax.  Before I sign off for a few days, I'm excited to announce last week's polish winner and kick-off a new giveaway!

Each Friday in May, I will be giving away one (1) bottle of my favorite spring-inspired polish colors from the Essie collection, with the winner announced the following Friday.  Up last week was Lapiz of Luxury and...

Congratulations!! Your polish will be on its way to you tomorrow!  Sad you didn't win?  Turn that frown upside down because up for winning this week is the lovely Lilacism!

Clockwise from top left: "Lilac" by Elena Kovyrzina,  Essie "Lilacism" Polish, Lilac Skylar Earrings from Kendra Scott, $68, and Lilac Trelis Rug originally on HauteLook.

Lilac is definitely my favorite purple hue.  It's classic, fun, and undeniably girly!  Essie's "Lilacism" is a striking pale lilac that could almost pass for a neutral.  I wish I could keep it for myself!  Enter using the Rafflecopter below to give this shade a new home.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bits & Baubles

As I looked back through my photos from the past week, I noticed a theme: green!  Not only is green my favorite color, but I think that it certainly speaks to my desire to both get outside more lately and also my recent urges to try new things and make little changes to my routine.  Instead of taking the T home from work each night, I have stepped outside and strolled instead.  That historic building I pass by each day?  Why not peek inside!  I've even traded my beloved morning latte for a smoothie a few times.  These little edits have been great stress relievers, not to mention bright spots in my week.

What have you done to spice up your routine, lately?  Have you started working out in the mornings?  Added an afternoon chocolate break?  Started a date night?  Hope your week is turning out to be simple, but special!

Strolling through Beacon Hill


Is there any green detail more charming than climbing ivy?

My Tuesday work outfit: Ann Taylor navy blouse, green LOFT eyelet skirt,

Morning smoothie: frozen berries, almond milk, and kale

Mint green skinny jeans, grey pumps, and a leopard bracelet

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Inspiration Board: Navy & Pink Prep

Top Row: Perfection in an outfit by the one and only Blair Eadie, Incredibly chic bedroom featured on HGTV, Bottom Row: Rope Gift Tags (on sale for $8 for a set of 3) in the Design Darling Boutique, Anchor nails on Wendy W's Pinterest, Nautical Pink Hair Bow ($6.95) available from The Vintage Bow Boutique.

My inner New England prepster has been coming out slowly but surely since the first hints of summer began to show themselves.  I bought my first pair of Jack Rogers, added a few more crisp Oxfords to my closet, and have been piling on the pearls for work more days than not.  Since I've been feeling prep-inspired, a navy and hot pink palette has definitely been on my mind.  It's crisp, with the perfect amount of contrast, while also feeling fresh and fun.  Speaking of adorable preppy details, who can resist an anchor manicure?  Swoon.  That's a trend I can't wait to try!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

One Charming Garland: Balance

 
I have so missed blogging, friends!  For months, my days have been filled with a busy schedule, late nights working, health concerns (and still, more, health concerns about loved ones), some good times for sure, but mostly, trying to find some balance in life again - a solid way to start again after things fell apart.  For a while there, I definitely forgot to stop and smell the roses, to wake up and notice all of the inspiration around me, and especially, to realize that the part of me that keeps going, loving, living, and thriving hasn't died...and it never could!  Instagramming daily has really helped to jump start the "little things lover" in me, and I am equally as excited to be back and blogging again.

Nothing perks me up like something fresh, bright, and just the right amount of whimsical, so I thought that this Hot Air Balloon Garland Kit from Especially Paper was the perfect pick for revamping my One Charming Garland feature.  I love that it's DIY, and I think that it would be the perfect addition to either a going away party (it reminds me of Oh! The Places You'll Go) or a baby shower.
 
Here's to life, balance, and new beginnings!
 
***
Do you have a garland photo, project, or find you'd like to see featured on One Charming Garland? Send away to papergarland@gmail.com!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Polish Giveaways of May: Lapiz of Luxury

Happy Friday, friends!  I hope that you had a lovely week and are looking forward to a warm and sunny weekend. 

Each Friday in May, I will be giving away one bottle (1) of my favorite spring-inspired polish colors from the Essie collection, with the winner announced the following Friday.  I am so excited to announce the lucky winner of last week's color, Turquoise & Caicos, and invite you all to enter again to win this week's.  Without further delay...


Congratulations! I will be in touch with the details.

Up for grabs this week from their Resort Collection (definitely, one of my faves!) is the dreamy ocean blue....
  


Modeled by Holly Arabella, check out the link for her review (and many others)!

This color gets me thinking about...

...a perfect, cloudless sky.
...looking chic on a warm night and enjoying a rooftop dinner.
...outdoor summer concerts!

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below (and please comment, as well!). May the odds be ever in your favor.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My New Favorite...


...bracelet!  Gold, personalized, and summer-ready?  It doesn't get more perfect than that if you ask me!  The Custom Initial Anchor Bracelet ($16) from Simply Chic 93 is sure to stand out from even the most enviable stack of wrist candy and would look almost too cute paired with a nautical striped top.  I bet any girl with a summer birthday would be just tickled to receive this as a gift...*wink*.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fashion Namesake

Inspiration photo credits: Mint macarons photographed by SFO Photo, Glitter blown glass necklace by The Studio 8, Gold pyramid studs from Rivet Button Shop.

When I was young, it felt so deflating to walk into a store with personalized keychains, license plates, and other fun novelty items and never be able to find my name.  "Pamela" was always the closest I could find, and it was never considered a worthy substitute for the real deal.  The 8-year-old me definitely squealed when I stumbled upon such a beautiful shoe named after yours truly (hey, a girl can dream).  I'm just dying over the edgy sweetness of these Kate Spade "Paloma" Metallic Bow Pumps!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Polish Giveaways of May: Spring Into A New Look

When I'm having a stressful week (which lately, is every week), one of my favorite breaks to take is a one-woman nail painting party.  I get to change my look, feel productive, and focus on something fun for a few minutes.  Since, I know I'm not the only one who's running around crazed - I know that so many of you students have finals right now - I thought I'd offer up a little dose of relaxation to you as well!

Each Friday in May, I will be giving away one bottle (1) of my favorite spring-inspired polish colors from the Essie collection, with the winner announced the following Friday.

Up for winning this week is the lovely bluish green....



This color makes me dream about...

...sitting on the beach in cutoffs before it's warm enough for a bikini
...lounging in the park, eating rainbow sherbert
...a vacation on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea

Ah, I could go for any one of those right now!  To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below. Good luck, lovelies!


a Rafflecopter giveaway