A Neutral Look

a neutral color for springIt’s Midsummer week everyone. Time to make flower crowns, raise the May pole and dance. That’s what we do in Minnesota, at least at The American Swedish Institute’s Midsommar Celebration. Check out that and a ton more cultural events in my article for Minnesota Parent that came out last month. Okay now that I’m done with that shameless self promo let’s keep going with a neutral outfit for the longest days of the year. Thanks for sticking with me!

a neutral colored look

I put together a neutral color palette to show off these accessories. The bracelet was specially designed by From Your Mat for writers, using gemstones for the throat chakra. How cool is that? While I usually prefer color, it was fun to experiment with a neutral outfit color scheme.

leggings outfit

Neutral colors are great to mix and match. Ivory, brown and black all go together effortlessly. Then you can pick a singular color to add in for a bright pop, like I picked blue here.

How are you enjoying the longest days of the year?

neutral outfit with leggingsOutfit Details

The jewelry I received as blogger promos from two local artisans. The top is a Hackwith Design House which is also a local, hand-sewn fashion company that makes high quality garments, often out of upcycled fabric. They’re also featured in a post here.

Leggings: Kate Spade (available in gray) and similar in black

Top: Hackwith Design House

Bracelet: c/o From Your Mat

Necklace: c/o D8a Girl Designs

Belt – Old Navy, similar at Nordstrom

Photos by Miles Norwood. In case you missed it, see our first set of photos here.

Bee Stylish

After posting about Bee Safe yards last month, I kept seeing bees galore in this season’s styles. You may think it’s all about flamingos and pineapples this season, but it’s also about the beautiful bee!

Aside from one questionable fashion moment where I accidentally dressed like a bee, I don’t usually sport my love of bees. This post inspired me to start looking for a statement piece that can start conversations about how rad bees are and how we can protect them.

Bee Jewelry and Accessories

Thrift stores might yield a bee treasure or two if you have time to search. One of my besties has a gorgeous silver bee brooch that suits her so well. For quick shopping, I rounded up these bee-themed styles available at retailers now. Some links are affiliate links, which support my blog with a paper doll-sized commission if you make a purchase through them.

Vintage-Look Bee Necklace

Bee Jewelry and AccessoriesA subtle way to accessorize with a bee charm that doesn’t scream yellow-and-black stripes.

Bee Earrings

Bee Jewelry and AccessoriesFor those who prefer their bee style to be accurate rather than cutesy, these representational bee studs are just the thing.

Honeycomb Pendant

Bee Jewelry and AccessoriesMade by Etsy seller Tangerine Jewelry Shop, these pendants have a tiny bee charm and honeycomb.

Modern Honeycomb

Bee Jewelry and AccessoriesThis well-designed take on the honeycomb pattern turns bee style into something ultra chic.

Beekeeper Patch

Bee Jewelry and AccessoriesI’m pretty sure I want to start some hives just so I can wear this patch. If you know a real beekeeper, this is a must-have gift for them.

Where to Shop in San Francisco

Where to Shop San FranciscoOne of my favorite things to do when I’m visiting another city is stroll down streets looking for little places that can’t be found anywhere else. I’ll share my favorite hidden gems with you in my Where to Shop guides, so you can save some time searching for them. My Where to Shop San Francisco guide features a men’s haberdashery, an eclectic vintage shop, and more.

Best Un-Touristy Souvenirs

Jackson Polk

Head to a very touristy place, Ghiradelli Square, to get some delightfully un-touristy souvenirs. First let me clarify that I actually enjoy kitschy tourist shops. I collected spoons for a good decade of my childhood, so that should tell you how comfortable I am with cliche souvenirs. However, once you’ve seen one cable car pencil sharpener and Alcatraz handcuff key chain you’ve seen them all. At Ghiradelli Square’s Jackson & Polk you’ll find a modern, design-conscious take on Golden State souvenirs made by local artists. Pick up a Golden Gate Bridge embroidery kit, a San Francisco art print, or a dainty California state pendant.

Best Vintage Shop

Best Vintage Shop in San Francisco

Open by appointment only, Torso has unique items that have been carefully curated and displayed. The prices range up to $5000, so be sure to share your budget with the staff upon arrival. Most things are on the high end of pricing, since the store specializes in well-preserved designer items. Vintage hats, purses, beaded gowns and jewelry adorn the top floor. The lower level is home to day wear and more affordable pieces. Prices are unmarked, which is a practice I disagree with. There are easier-to-shop and more affordable places in the city, but the range of merchandise here is definitely worth a look if you’re nearby.

Best Men’s Apparel

Where to shop San Francisco

If you’re a fan of men’s fine clothing, stop in Cable Car Clothiers just to check out the way they merchandise their rainbow of silk ties, cuff links, and pocket squares. A barber shop is nestled into the front of the high end men’s clothing store. The rest of the place is practically a museum dedicated to the golden age of San Francisco men’s fashion. With the vintage decorations and attention to detail, you almost expect a 1950s businessman to walk in the front door. He’d certainly be right at home here.

Do you have a favorite shopping destination in the Bay Area? I’d love to hear from you!

Where to shop in san francisco

Upcycled DIY Corkboard

DIY Framed CorkboardI had a small space by my desk where I wanted a board to post important reminders and little notes. Most corkboards would be way to big for this space, so I made a custom one using upcycled materials. It’s covered in fabric so it looks very clean and matches the decor. It turned out just how I wanted. I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to find anything like it available in a store. Best of all, it was so easy to make that I had to share how I did it so you can make your own corkboard too.

Materials to Make Your Own Corkboard

I used a laser cut wooden frame from the craft store that I had leftover from another project, but you could upcycle an old photo frame just as easily.

Acrylic paint to customize the color of the frame, if you choose. Natural wood is a great look too.

Cork board I salvaged from an office renovation with this project in mind. I happened to have the cork, but you could use recycled cardboard instead. Since it’s getting covered in fabric anyway, the difference won’t be visible.

Fabric. Any old leftover fabric will do! If you don’t have any, ask a friend who sews. Choosing the fabric is the best part. I went with an old upholstery swatch in a neutral woven silk, but patterns and bright colors would be fun too.

Craft glue and scissors.

Make your own corkboardHow to Make Your Own Corkboard

First I painted the frame using two coats of acrylic leftover from another project. Then I sized the corkboard to the size of the frame opening, plus 1/4 inch on each side for overlap. I did the same for the fabric covering. I glued the fabric to the corkboard, but realized later that stapling it on the edges is actually just as effective. Then I glued the edges of the covered corkboard to the frame. Let it sit until dry, then hang and enjoy!

More DIY Fun

You might also like my Tassel Necklace DIY and DIY Patriotic Hair Bows. If you’re interested in upcycling, follow my Pinterest board.

For more fun and easy DIY projects, check out and Craftsy (affiliate links) for Make In A Day Sewing Project Kits and Crocheting kits around $10 or less, excluding shipping.

This post is part of a link up with other bloggers who created fun Eco-friendly DIY projects.

Slow Fashion – Sashiko

How to make your own bug spray and bug bite sticks

How To Build Your Own Vermicompost Factory

DIY- Vegan Body Butter Bars

Cuddle + Kind: Fair Trade Toys

Cuddle and kindEvery once in a while I find a company that I love not just for their products but for their mission and philanthropy. That’s why I agreed to write this sponsored post highlighting Cuddle + Kind, a company that produces fair trade toys handmade in Peru. Each soft knitted doll purchased provides 10 meals to children in North America and around the world.

Cuddle + Kind fair trade toys

Purchasing gifts from companies like this one are a great way to make your dollars count while teaching children about making a difference too. Cuddle + Kind’s fair line of fair trade toys includes hand knit dolls and animals in two sizes suitable for boys or girls. The mermaids are my favorite. Each character also has a charming inspirational print suitable for nursery decor, and each one purchased provides five meals to children. I love the empowering messages for kids and can totally picture one of these in my new baby niece’s room!

Cuddle and kind products

I’m definitely inspired to consider these fair trade toys as contenders for new baby gifts. You know how hard baby shower shopping can be.

Thanks to Cuddle + Kind for sponsoring today’s post and providing the photos of the beautiful fair trade toys.

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