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My vision is good enough that I’ve never needed glasses, but I’ve been obsessed with them since owning my first vanity pair in high school. And clearly, I’m still obsessed. Enjoy.

 GWG photo by Trevor Hoehne


 warby parker


 source unknown source


gentle pure space

 Sporting my own spectacles (my souvenir from San Francisco) while preparing for the Halloween party we attended Saturday night. I’m a nerd if you can’t tell. Isn’t my husband awesome at tying a bow tie?


Let’s go for a walk through the Carlisle Train Station in England, shall we? If you’re feeling a bit down that day, you’ll be immediately cheered up by the bright stripes and dangling chandeliers (not to mention the overall awesome aesthetics). We’ll feel like characters in a Dr. Seuss book. You bring the cats and hats and I’ll bring the green eggs and ham and we’ll have a ball. Deal? Deal.

{via La Douleur Exquise via Vicki Tequila Flickr}

Imagine that you have just received a box in the mail….

When you open the box, there’s an invitation and, holy mackerel, a View-Master! You stare in disbelief and proceed to drool.
You open the invite to find that your hipster friends Kim and Jack are getting married, but the invitation doesn’t stop at the retro design and 100lb cover paper. Oh no, it’s much more involved than that.
You slide the reel inside of the View-Master and as you place your eyes upon the vintage object you suddenly warp into your childhood self reminiscing about the time you stole your older brother’s VM and dreamt of all the places it could take you with just a few clicks. When you look in you experience…

one of the most creative wedding invitations around. You think “Man, Kim and Jack are the bomb,” and you’re right – they totally are.

I certainly hope your weekend is the bomb and full of visuals even more magnificent than a View Master wedding invite!

{via My Modern Met, View-Master invites by Melangerie, this find discovered by my favorite}

Rachel from Benign Objects: I have developed a penchant for St. Germaine’s Elderflower liqueur. I like drinks that are not overly sweet and are very refreshing. My recent favorite is the French mojito which consists of fresh mint, St. Germaine, rum, lime and club soda. For something non-alcoholic, I love soda water with fruit and mint. Sounds weird, tastes refreshing.

Bekka from Minted Condition: Mojitos, of course! There is something so refreshing about mint in the summer. (image via Design Sponge)

Danni from Oh, Hello Friend: Strawberry Lemonade! My favorite 🙂 (image via Pinterest)

Jaime from Send More Mail: The Arnold Palmer: Homemade lemonade and iced tea mixed.  So refreshing!

Maddy from The Maddy Chronicles: When the temperatures reach unbearable highs, the only thing that can quench my thirst is an ice-cold frappuccino. And after sampling the new Coconut Crème flavor, I think I’ve found a new summer drink obsession.

Jennifer from I ART UI was really inspired by Kate’s Strawberry Basil Lemonade recipe. Once summer hits, it will definitely be my go-to drink.

Dionne from City of Dionne: There is this drink that they serve at a local cafe here, Empire, and it’s called the Milky Way.  It is AMAZING.  It’s like an iced mocha but so much creamier and more flavorful.  Whenever friends that have been here come to visit again, having a Milky Way is one of the first things on their list.  It’s incredible!

Jaclyn from The Late Afternoon: It’s not a drink, but Otter Pops are a must-have once summer hits. I can go through a ton of those in one sitting! The pink one is my favorite 🙂

Justine from Urban Scarlet: My go-to summer drink is a mint-cucumber cocktail — Oh so refreshing! And don’t you dare leave out the dash of alcohol either… 🙂

Lillian from Unstitched: On hot summer days, I love preparing lots of variations of flavored water with lots of ice.

I asked bloggers around the web….

“What is your must-have pair of shoes for the summer”

Lillian from Unstitched: While I usually wear flip-flops all summer, I really love wearing fancy wedges for a night out or summer party.  This pair from Madewell is at the top of my list – I love the nautical feel of it!

Justine from Urban Scarlet:  I love, love, love oxford shoes right now. Dress them up in a cute skirt or dress, or dress them down with skinny jeans or leggings!

Eva from Four Leaf Clover: I love the sandals I already have, but I’ve been smitten by these Marais sandals ever since I first saw them a few years ago (and they’re still for sale!). Summer shoes, for me, are all about simplicity and comfort and I can never wait for it to get warm enough to wear sandals.

Melanie from You Are My Fave: I have a pair of metallic Seychelles sandals that I wear nearly everyday of the summer. They match everything!

Will from Bright Bizarre: When it comes to summertime shoes you can’t beat a pair of nautical-inspired canvas espadrilles for that light-on-the-foot casual look. (image via H&M)

Brandi from Not Your Average Ordinary: Airy flats from J.Crew. And in a neutral color, they’ll go with anything.

Joni from Lay Baby Lay: I just bought these sandals from Rue La Laon a whim, and they are my new favorites!  I have found that flats are the best while toting around a seven month old, but I still wanted something feminine and dressed up.  These are the perfect find, and they are also very comfortable!

Beth from Hello Splendor: I love the peep-toe platform espadrille from Madewell. It’s such a versatile shoe for summer that can come off as casual or dress an outfit up. I think they’re precious!

Jennifer from I ART U: I’m loving these “casual with a pop of color” Matiko Janny Thong Sandals. They’re the perfect summer sandals–not mine yet, but they will be soon! 🙂

Heather from Olive and A: A pair of TOMS canvas peep toe wedges in coral.

And my favorite answer comes from Danni from Oh, Hello Friend: Okay, I’m totally banned from buying shoes because I have WAY too many. I can’t even look or I’ll be tempted 😉 So hope it’s okay if I switch this around, but my must-have item for the summer is THIS lipbalm from sephora! Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25. It is the best lip balm around!

What’s pair of summer shoes are on your wish list? 

Hello there strangers! Sorry for being completely MIA the past two weeks. I’ve discovered (the hard way) that I’m not very good at blogging when traveling.

While I work on this, I’ll be featuring a series this week of blogger summer favorites in celebration of the Summer Solstice (aka the beginning of Summer) beginning on Tuesday, June 21st! I thought I’d introduce to you what questions I’ve asked my fellow blogger friends by answering the survey myself and then handing the reigns over to them the remainder of the week.

Hope you enjoy it!

Fave Summer Shoes: Cognac leather flats by Steve Madden ($42) – I needed a cute pair of flats to walk around in for all the trips we’re taking this summer (Chicago, NY, LA & SF). Plus, I’ve always wanted a cute pair of flats like these and this season was the perfect excuse to purchase them. On a final note, these will also transition nicely into the Fall. (image via 6pm)

Fave Summer Drink: Anything related to a smoothie has my name written all over it! But my favorite summer sip is a virgin strawberry pina colada. It’s like a dance party in my mouth that shows no signs of stopping. (image via Pinterest)

Fave Party Idea: When I posed this question to fellow bloggers, I asked them to share what party they’d like to throw or attend. There’s a long list of parties and weddings (destination anyone?) I’d love to be invited to or host, but at the moment a tastefully done Fiesta is sparking my interests. Three reasons: 1) Mexican food is generally affordable to cook for big crowds 2) It’s an easy excuse to incorporate a lot of bold color 3) It often times can be so overdone and chaotic that I’d love to host it with a modern and simplistic twist. View here, here and here for additional inspirations. (image via Katy Elliot)

Favorite Summer Pastime: Jon and I really enjoy spending our summers traveling. While we’re both teachers and don’t have kids, we figure it’s worth saving our money and time to explore however we can. We always do things budget friendly (more on AirBnB in a future post), enjoy getting to know a city, and eat a lot (and some more after that). It’s never anything extravagant as much as it is just a good time together enjoying a change of scenery and…. oh yeah, eating a lot (a Chicago update is in the works!).

Must have Summer nail polish: I first have to admit to you that up to last month, I had not painted my nails for a good number of years. Thanks to the blogging world, I couldn’t help feel like maybe I was missing out on the fun of having a lil’nail color and decided to join the party (or jump on the bandwagon as some prefer to call it). I’m loving the colors Scotch Naturals has and couldn’t decide on just one, so I chose four.

Must-have summer piece: The 2011 summer for me is all about the hat. My parents are uber concerned about skin care and with my ever tanning skin, they assume I never wear enough sun screen so my dad literally gave me money for our Chicago trip and said “Please Vivien, go buy a hat!” As the obedient daughter that I am, I obliged. I purchased the fedora on the right from Urban Outfitters, but I think I’ll buy some fabric to change up what’s wrapped around it. Here are some other summer pieces on my wish list: 1, 2, 3, 4

Must-have Summer read: I’m admittedly not a big reader, but these two books are at the top of my priority list. Blue Like Jazz is an oldier(like 8 years or so) but goodie that I sadly have to admit I never finished. Now that a movie is in the works, I’d love to pick this back up and see how it is adapted into a film. What Difference Do It Make To Me is the follow up book to Same Kind of Different As Me and if you haven’t read it yet, I would highly suggest it. Just have a tissue box nearby!

Dream Summer Destination: Europe! It’s not out of the ordinary, but Jon has never been before and I would love to have the opportunity take him next summer (fingers crossed). I think I’d pee my pants if we were wandering the streets of Paris and saw hot air balloons dancing above. (photo print by IS Photography)

Stay tuned for bloggers around the blogosphere and map sharing their answers beginning tomorrow!

Need a clever way to communicate a message to a loved one or a complaint to a neighbor? Well, look no further. Knock Knock is chock full of note pads that will help you communicate that “special” message in a clever and humorous (potentially offensive) way.

Tired of tweeting online? No prob, just use the Paper Tweet as an efficient alternative to display your 140 character message by hand. Behind on the slang kids are using these days? Knock Knock’s Slang Flashcards totally have you covered. Or perhaps you’re interested in my personal favorite, the TMI self-inking stamp that gives you the option of checking the box “Tell me more.”

Gotta love a product that has both good design and a serious sense of humor!

{via Good Look Cookbook}

I am utterly in love with these clutches by Ila Handbags. After seeing a colorful textured stack of handbags on Patterson Maker Tumblr on my reader, I immediately had to see where the original source was from. To my delight, I was greeted with clutch purses with the most lovely textiles and unique shapes. Of course I’d gladly sport any of these awesome clutches, but I’d also really love any of the dresses as well. So feminine and adorable! What’s even more neat about Ila Handbags is that they take custom orders  that you can customize to match your wedding colors or even add a brooch or embellishment. Brides may easily consider this as a viable option as a wedding gift to their bridal party. How awesome would it be to receive a bridesmaid’s gift like this? Yeah, triple awesome. My thoughts exactly.

Which one is your favorite? Have your purchased an Ila Handbag already? I’d love to hear about the quality and durability of product. If you’re in Minnesota you’re in luck because that’s the only state that carries these clutches in their stores (only two thus far). Speaking of bridal party, what did you give your bridesmaids for your wedding? If you’re not married yet, what would you consider gifting your BMs? I’m just curious to know. I gifted my BMs the shoes they were going to wear on the wedding day. I decided to go the practical route I suppose.


Emersonmade is one of those brands that immediately lures you into their site because almost every single piece of theirs is so tastefully and beautifully made that you want to own it the second you see it. I knew of Emersonmade first for their gorgeous fabric flowers, but they’ve since expanded their line to include tailored-like clothing pieces such as skirts, blazers and my favorite yet, these silk screen scoop neck blouses.

Swoon, swoon. Double swoon!

I’m in utter love with this blouse. It’s versatile: wear it with skinny jeans, tuck it in a skirt, put a blazer or a cardigan over it and you’ll look flawless in any season! The print is subtle and I’m not normally drawn to clothing with red in it, but I can hardly resist this piece.

Now…how do I convince my husband to allow me to purchase this blouse that costs the same as, oh I don’t know, our car insurance? Or a 19” monitor? Maybe I can win him over by saying that 8 of his seminary books is the equivalent to this blouse? Yeah, I didn’t think I had a strong case either. Cheers to loving beautiful things even if you can’t own them! What’s your fave Emersonmade product?


Gotta love the brilliant practicality of this product designed by Kim Hyun-been! I’ll take it in green, please. {via Geeky Gadgets}

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