Thursday, March 12, 2015

three things

I like lists and honestly, blog posts in list form are my fave. So, here is one of those for you. Short & Sweet.



1. I recently did a podcast hosted by the Influence Network. Check it out on iTunes here (free) if you want to hear Rebecca from Better Life Bags and I chat it up about Taylor Swift, textiles and running an online shop. I was equal parts awkward and nervous, so there's that ;)

2. You know how people say "this or that is my spirit animal?" I have no idea where that phrase originated and it's kind of weird...but I don't think I have a spirit animal. I think it's a dress. This one. Or possibly these shoes. If I have to pick an animal, then maybe I'd say a kangaroo. Or a toucan. That eats cereal. 

3. I actually don't have a third thing in mind, I just prefer things in threes...so let me make one up real fast. OH! We are finishing up our spring/summer kimonos and photographing the SS15 tees + tanks this week. Hoping to launch next week! Headbands will come later  in a separate launch because I keep forgetting to order the fabric. Oopsies!

love.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

((outfit schmoutfit)) a pop of color

A flowy top and skinny jeans are my go-to outfit for most days, but especially so when pregnant ((28 weeks today!)). I love not having to worry about if the band on my maternity jeans is showing through a fitted tee ((HASHTAG GLAMOROUS)) and it just looks effortless in my book. The blue on these flats matched perfectly to the blue in the embroidery on this Free People tunic, so I went for it. The pop of color is fun on this otherwise fairly neutral outfit. 


These photos were snapped on vacation, last week in Scottsdale and looking through them is giving me Spring fever! Is that a thing?


hat // tunic // Flats (same style/different colors here, similar style/same color here) // maternity skinnies similar here and budget friendly here // iPhone case // Rx Sunnies - Warby Parker

love.






Monday, March 9, 2015

((travel diaries)) hotel valley ho

I'm certainly not a travel blogger, but Chase and I do love to travel. Together, we've been to Sri Lanka, Malaysia, lived on an island in the Indian Ocean, lounged in Mexico and "backpacked" New Zealand. Unfortunately, that slowed a bit when Knox was born. We still make it a priority to get away to his family's cabin when we can and we do jet down to Texas fairly often to visit family, but vacations are difficult with little ones, no? Especially when said little ones aren't great sleepers. 

We figured before the chaos of Spring and Summer schedules ensued, we should take some time, just us, and get away for a few days. Nothing fancy or extravagant. No need to call it a "babymoon" (ew). Nothing too far away, just a mini trip with my man.

We snuck away last weekend, thanks to my mother-in-law holding down the fort and staying with Knox, and went back to Scottsdale, AZ for our quick little getaway. We went last year and road tripped to the Grand Canyon and we loved being snowbirds, flying south for a few days. The weather was perfect (last year, anyways...we got lots of cloud cover and rain this time around) and as fun as an exotic vacay to Costa Rica or Mexico sounds, it's pretty darn convenient to be able to run by Target when you forget shaving cream or need some aloe vera for the inevitable sunburn. We decided to go back to Scottsdale because we found super cheap flights and really, I'm easy to please. I just need good food and a day or two by the pool and some sunshine that doesn't require a 800 fill down jacket. We stayed in a pretty crappy hotel last year because we made a deal on Priceline...but this year we decided to do some research, put our money into accomodations and IT WAS SO WORTH IT. 

We stayed at Hotel Valley Ho and you guys, I'm not being paid to say this...but I want to live there. We had such a great experience that I wanted to tell you all about it in hopes that if you need  a little getaway with your man or are planning a girls trip, there will be one less decision you have to research. 



((SPA & POOL))
We spent a morning in the VH Spa - which is divine, to say the least - where I received an iced coffee facial while Chase got a massage ((if you follow me on instagram, you know why I'll never get a massage ever again)) for a little #treatyoself ((sorry, had to)) action. I will forever get facials in lieu of a massage. So relaxing and rejuvenating! Plus, later that day Chase told me my skin was glowing. Success.
Any time the sun was out, we laid by the pool. We spent some time reading at their quiet pool and then just some time lounging at the main pool. We learned that even when it's super cloudy, you can still get a gnarly sunburn ;)



((ACCOMODATIONS))
The hotel staff was friendly and helpful, but not over the top or annoying. Everything was clean and quiet and the best part? Oldies are playing in the lobby area all day every day. Win me over, why don't ya??? The decor is perfectly styled and the bright flora around the property had me swooning - especially the california poppies. Insert heart eyes Emoji here. But really, the green grass would have been enough after all this snow we've been having! ha! 


The room, itself, was such a delight. If you know me, you know that I love all things retro. It was the perfect combination of modern+vintage. Valley Ho opened in the 50's and reading up on their history + renovations is pretty rad for a Recreation, Parks and Tourism major and vintage lover like myself. Anywho, back to the room. Exposed white painted brick walls, pops of orange and teal, the comfiest bed, a giant tub in which  I could have spent the whole vacation, and a roomy and sunny balcony with a lounger with enough room for two. More than anything, it was CLEAN and kept up with so nicely. We felt at home and it was such a relaxing retreat after spending our days exploring Scottsdale and the surrounding areas.






((FOOD & DRINK))
We had three meals at the hotel ((breakfast, lunch by the pool, and a fancy date night dinner)) and I don't think we left a single crumb on any plate. I also can't stop thinking about their sriracha aioli that was served with their fries. I won't bore you with a list of all the items we devoured ate, but let's just say you can't go wrong with anything on any of their menus. ZuZu is the hotel restaurant and  I would honestly dine there even if we weren't staying at the hotel. 






Do yourself a favor and get a frosty Ho-J with your breakfast. YUM.

//

Sorry for getting all "review-blog" on you for the day. We just really loved our time at Hotel Valley Ho and I can't recommend it enough. I know how hard it is to choose a hotel because they can be pricey or it can be a gamble as far as reviews go. This stay was worth every single penny. I would almost always stay  a night less if it meant I could stay at a hotel like this vs. a plane jane chain hotel for the same price. 

What about you? What are your splurges and/or areas for saving when you travel? 

Keep an eye out for another  vacay recap post of things we did  ((helloooooo Spring Training baseball!)) and other food+drink we enjoyed while we were in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Apparently my raving about this hotel was lengthy enough for one post! :)

love.

Friday, March 6, 2015

tulips = a happy home


I just wanted to pop in and give y'all a little public service announcement. If you're like me and are OVER winter, need a little pop of color in you home, as well as a tiny glimmer of hope that spring is ACTUALLY going to come eventually...then you'll want to head over to your nearest Whole Foods TODAY and take advantage of their tulip sale. I snagged three ten-stem bunches for $10! 

Carry on with your weekend, but make it a priority to swing by Whole Foods if you live near one today. And fellas, if any of you out there are reading this? Go snag three bouquets in her favorite color and go buy a giant mason jar at a craft store, hardware store, or grocery store. Going the extra mile and putting them in a container for her with water will remind her why she picked you ;)

You're welcome.

love.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

((outfit schmoutfit)) spring maxi style inspiration + giveaway!


I'm not convinced there's anything better than a soft and flowy maxi dress....but even more so when you're pregnant. Am I right, mamas? I took full advantage of the warm weather in Scottsdale this past weekend to wear a few of my favorites ones. 


The simplicity of outfitting when you're working with such a wardrobe staple is as easy as 1-2-3. One being the dress, two being your shoes, and three being an accessory (or two if you are getting fancy on me). I typically go for a long, bohemian necklace or a chunky statement necklace, but this time around, I put on this scarf. I've even thrown a long sweater, a flowy kimono, and a graphic tee on over it at different times. Really, the amount of outfitting potential with a maxi dress is amazing.

I received this charcoal maxi dress from Seamly.co ((who I wore and wrote about here, as well)), put it on immediately and then promptly ordered it in black, as well. It's flattering, comfortable and impeccable quality.  If you want 10% off, go ahead and use the code OHSWEETJOY and if you want $10 off your first order, leave your email address below or email me and I'll send you a referral code! 

scarf - anthro ((similar here & here)) // clutch c/o riffraff ((similar here & here)) // dress c/o seamly.co // lip color

AND SURPRISE GIVEAWAY! Visit seamly.co, leave a comment below telling me which color is your favorite for a chance to win a solid maxi of your own from seamly.co! 

// CONGRATS BETH! Check your email for an email from me :) xo //

love.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

maternity vacay essentials

This weekend, Chase and I are heading to Scottsdale, AZ for a quick little getaway before the craziness (and fun!) of an OSJ spring/summer line launch, spring weddings, birthdays, and baby brother's arrival. We went to Scottsdale last year and loved it, so we decided to go back.  I can't wait to share our amenities, activities and some of my maternity outfits with you post-vacay.  More than anything, I'm just looking forward to sleeping in, eating breakfast  (my favorite meal!) slowwwwwly with Chase, and soaking in some sunshine poolside. Today, I thought I'd round up some essentials I'll be packing ((alongside some sunscreen and a floppy sunhat!)).

Free People Tunic: This flowy beauty will be perfect as a pool cover up and when we want to jet out for lunch, I can toss on some denim shorts or skinnies and be ready to go.

Sseko Bucket Bag: This will actually be baby brother's diaper bag, but I'm going to give it a little test-drive for our trip. It will be the only time it won't be filled with diapers,  toddler snacks, toy trucks and teething rings. 

Maternity Swimwear: I recently got this swimsuit top in mint because it actually covers my long torso/baby bump! It's a miracle. I mix and match with non-maternity bottoms and since I'll know not a soul at our hotel, I don't mind rocking a two piece to work on my tan ;) Not to mention, all women's swimwear is buy 1 get one 50% off right now online at target. Shop the sale here. 

Skinnies: A good ankle skinny jean is my go-to over shorts  - even in warm weather. These Paige ones look amazing, but I recently got these more affordable ones and they get the job done. Not my favorite jeans I've ever worn, but they'll do. ((my go-to maternity denim is this pair by AG. They're worth the price tag if you live in denim like I do))

Go-To Headwrap: OSJ headbands are perfect for going from poolside to a little shopping and a spring training game. 

Honorable mention: Kimono overlays for layering over these tanks with skinnies and my swimsuit. New fabrics available  soon at OSJ! 

love.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

a cookie recipe & a local cookie decorating class!

Hey y'all! Today's post is THREE in one. A recipe/guest post from my friend Lizzy for amazing sugar cookies, some royal icing techniques and an opportunity for some locals to take her cookie class this weekend! Bonus? These cookies were inspired by my Weekend (Coffee Donuts Repeat) Tee! How fun is that?



The class is in Boulder at The Cup on Pearl from 6-9 pm on Saturday (February 21st). I would love to see you there! You can sign up /buy your tickets here. There are limited seats available, so snatch yours up quickly. 

Here's a go-to recipe to add to your recipe tin. 

INGREDIENTS
((for the cookies))
1# butter, room temperature
8 oz sugar
1 t salt
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
1# 8oz flour (approximately 3 cups, but I recommend you weigh it)

((for the royal icing))

    3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
    4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
    5 tablespoons warm water
    food coloring of your choice (if you're using liquid versus gel, adjust your confectioner's sugar to keep it the same consistency)

    DIRECTIONS
    ((for the cookies))

    Cream together the butter, sugar, and salt until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.  It's really difficult to overcream butter and sugar, so don't stop until it is really pale.  Add your eggs and vanilla and beat until they are very well combined.  Finally, add your flour in three parts until just combined.  Be careful not to overmix it here, cause that can mess with how your cookie holds it's shape.  Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.  This dough can last in there for a week or so, too!

    Once your dough is chilled, flour your surface, your rolling pin, and the top of the disc of dough and start rolling!  Rolling it out to a smooth, consistent 1/4" thickness is ideal.  As you roll, lift the sides of your dough to make sure it isn't sticking to the counter, that'll get real annoying when you're cutting out your shapes.

    Pick a fun cookie cutter and cut out as many cookies as you'd like (remember you can save the dough for later if you don't need a whole batch immediately).  Use a spatula to get them off the counter without damaging their shape and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.  I use my Silpat for cookies and it works like a dream.  Bake your cookies at 350 for 8-12 minutes.  You'll know they're done when the edges are just turning a golden brown.  The centers will still be pale.

    ((for the royal icing))
    There are a few different royal icing methods.  You can use a thicker icing to pipe the outline and a thinner one to fill it in, or you can do what I did here and make one medium thickness icing and use a slightly wet finger to smooth it over your cookie.

    To make the icing, you're just going to mix all of the listed ingredients together.  That's easy.  You'll know the consistency is right when you take a spoon to lift the icing and it rolls off of the spoon slowly and keeps the shape it pools in for at least 5 seconds.  I know this sounds very specific, but it needs to be stiff enough to hold the outline you draw, but maleable enough to be pushed around and smoothed.

    Once you've got a good consistency going on, either using a squeeze bottle or the smallest round tip you can find with a pastry bag (I use an Ateco 1 as my ideal tip) pipe your outline first.  Then fill in about 90% of the surface area within the outline, it's not important to be too exact.  Then dip your finger in water and gently push the icing around until it fills the entire outline.  Don't let your finger be too wet though, it'll mess with the color and look of your icing.

    To write on the icing as I've done here, I used food gel color and a very small paintbrush.  If you'll be doing any additional designs on your cookies, whether by writing on them or using more royal icing, you have to wait until they are completely hardened.  Put them in the fridge for at least an hour.



    ---

    If you want to learn more ((or are a visual learner like me)) and are a local in the Denver/Ft Collins/Boulder, don't miss Lizzy's class this weekend! Again, you can buy your tickets here. It will be so fun (and delicious!). 

    love.