Archive of ‘Personal Style’ category

Growing Succulents in Style

Starting your own succulent garden

While in California, I discovered the fun of growing succulents.

Walking around the beautifully manicured streets of the south bay, I saw so many gorgeously landscaped yards with cacti, aloe, and echeveria varietals just…growing. In the yard. (Can you tell I’m a northern gal?!)

I decided I would become a succulent hobbyist. (That’s a thing. I asked Pinterest.)

I went to SummerWinds nursery in my tropical themed tank from Merch Nerds (more on that later) and picked out a couple succulent plants. My favorite was an Echeveria Elegans, a native to Mexico succulent with frosty mint green rosettes that bloom delicate pink flowers with yellow tips.

After photographing them for Instagram (naturally), I researched how to take care of them and start a succulent garden.

Two Ways to Grow Succulents

They can thrive indoors in a pot anywhere or outdoors if you live in certain zones. Quick test: is it like a desert where you live? If yes, plant succulents indoors. No? Mmm, better not, but you can create an indoor succulent garden in a wide bowl. Potted succulent gardens can be gorgeous. Just look at these ones I found at the nursery:

For more inspiration, check out Succulent Garden on Pinterest.

Choosing Your Succulents

I asked the garden center and asked a ton of questions, because my succulent knowledge was low. Here’s what I learned. Some succulents spread on their own, like the Hen and Chicks variety, while some don’t. All are fairly similar in terms of the care needed.

I think just choosing the ones you like the best is the best way to start a succulent garden. See what’s available and go from there. You can add decorative landscaping rock for looks as seen in the succulent bowl above, but you don’t have to.

Caring for Succulents

I’m not an authority on succulents yet, but here is some succulent care advice I’ve picked up from experts so far.

Water them fully, then let them dry completely. If it’s a pot, put it in the sink and water it until the water runs out the bottom. Then don’t water it again until the soil is dry when you touch it. This will likely be about once a month but it could vary depending on how dry your air is.

Make sure your succulent is in a pot that drains! They don’t like their roots sitting in water. And if you have a rosette like my Echeveria Elegans, water the soil and not the rosette itself or the moisture can cause it to rot.

Obvi, they need a lot of light. Keep them away from cold windows, especially at night in cold climates.

Outfit Details

Big thanks to the clever graphic tee company Merch Nerds for this pineapple tank. It’s organic cotton and so soft and comfy! They have tons of other styles and colors on their website, including a cactus tee! How perfect is that? I also really love the Mermaid Off Duty style because if you haven’t heard, I like mermaids.

P.S. if you want to know why buying organic clothing is important to me, read this.

What do you think of my new found succulent gardening hobby? Drop your green thumb wisdom my way!

Visiting the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco

What is the Palace of Fine Arts?

This downtown San Francisco destination features a Greco-Roman style rotunda and colonnades on a peaceful pond. It was built in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific Exhibition and is now used for concerts, events and as a public park.

This place is STUNNING. As soon as I saw a picture of it two years ago, I knew I had to go. Two trips to California went by before I was able to make it, and I’m so happy I finally did. I was in no way prepared for how magnificent it is in person. It was easy to imagine I was in Europe, it so reminded me of things I’d seen in Rome and Greece.

At sunset, the sun setting over the bay illuminated the rosy columns with gold light. The structure sits on the edge of a pond, and a walking path encircles it. Families brought bikes and scooters for the kids. It’s situated near the Golden Gate, Golden Gate Park, and the Disney Family Museum so it’s easy to swing by if you’re visiting the popular tourist destinations in San Francisco.

Visiting the Palace of Fine Arts

Visiting the Palace of Fine Arts

It’s a perfect place to take a stroll, and it’s free. We even got a free parking spot nearby. We were a little cold and hungry so we stayed for a half hour, long enough to take these pictures and enjoy the sights. Looking back I think we could have stayed longer. If it’s a warm day you could do a picnic here.

How to Take Photos at the Palace of Fine Arts

This is one of the most popular photo shoot destinations in the Bay Area. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, we saw an engagement shoot, another fashion blogger, and a wedding shoot during the half hour we were there! That said, you’ll probably get other people in your frame. The inside of the rotunda is amazing, but make sure to check out the grounds surrounding it too for some other great shots.

What to Wear

Such a magnificent location called for a special outfit. When I found this dress at Nordstrom it instantly reminded me of Belle from Beauty and the Beast, which was perfect because the new movie came out that weekend. I definitely wore this dress to the theater for the premiere.  (The dress also comes in black and a pattern, by the way.) I added a couple layers of tulle over it just for fun, but it also looks elegant without it.

If you saw the movie this weekend, what did you think?

Visiting the Palace of Fine Arts

Tech Fashion Week Recap

I got the opportunity to take part in San Francisco’s 5th Annual Tech Fashion Week and I’m so excited to share a little bit about the experience. The above picture is of my co-panelists at the Fashion Bloggers Connect event. They traveled from as far away as Hungary just to be there! When I was preparing for the panel, I thought my experiences and insights as a blogger were unique and different. Turns out, there was a lot of commonality in what each influencer shared. A few highlights we covered in the panel:

5 Insights from Fashion Bloggers Connect

  1. Engagement is going to be the next important metric in blogging.
  2. Video is increasing in influencer importance.
  3. Starting an Instagram account first to grow your following is now a valid way to start a blog.
  4. Followers are interested in who you are and your story–not just what you’re wearing.
  5. Blogging is a type of journalism, so we have to keep up those standards. We also deserve to be fairly compensated.

There were so many bits of wisdom imparted by these influential ladies! I was so impressed by what they shared and humbled to be part of it.

Fashion Industry Awards

Awards honoring local talent in the industry were announced at opening night to stylists, models and designers in the San Francisco area.

Tech Fashion Week Shows

The week had multiple fashion shows showcasing local talent as well. All the events happened at different spaces around the city. Opening night was held in a hair studio after hours, with a loft for the models to descend from for the runway show.

The models were local men and women, some who actually work in tech and were made over into models for the evening.

This is just such a sliver of all the happenings at Tech Fashion Week 2017. If you can make it next year I highly recommend checking it out!

You Be the Stylist – Tech Fashion Week

Tech Fashion Week San Francisco

So I’m in San Francisco and so far I’ve gone to a little town north of Marin to see a relative’s new award winning bar, Duke’s, and spent a day in Berkeley. 

But one of the main reasons I’m here is Tech Fashion Week. There are a few days left, including the day I present on a panel of fashion bloggers. I feel like I need to keep up with these super trendy west coast industry tastemakers, so I need your help!

I found this white skirt at Goodwill of Silicon Valley and I’m trying to decide if I should style it up for Tech Fashion Week, or wear something else! You can vote at the end of the post.

Option 1 – Feminine

The leather jacket is pretty much non-negotiable. It’s cold in San Francisco! I bring this jacket every time I visit the Bay Area. Black is a really common color to wear here, so I like wearing something a little different. In this case, white. The skirt is on the puffy side, so it’s quite different from the next option below.

Jacket – Anthropologie (Similar)

Skirt – I found a similar one from my all time favorite brand, Chi Chi London. It’s so beautiful and only $47!

Boots – Similar on sale

Option 2 – Glam

The same black jacket, but with a black dress with cutouts is another viable option. I think it fits in more than stands out. I’ll wear tights with both outfits because again, cold.

Jacket – Anthropologie (Similar)

Dress – Macy’s, majorly discounted, and a long version of the same dress.

Boots – Similar on sale

Option 3: Lace and Glitter

SPARKLY SHOES. That’s pretty much all I have to say about this outfit.

Shoes – Betsey Johnson, Top – F&F, as seen in this post, Leggings – Kate Spade

You be the stylist: vote!

Now there are a few days left of Tech Fashion Week, so there’s definitely a chance I could wear both. But just in case, I need your help. What should I wear? If you have styling suggestions let me know in the comments, even if it’s just a simple “go home to Minnesota these outfits are horrifying.”

And hey, while you’re here check out my favorite places to shop in San Francisco.

Thanks for the input, stylish readers! More updates on my experience at Tech Fashion Week to come soon.

3 Ways to Style Stripes for Spring

Stripes spring 2017 style

Stripes spring 2017 style

Runway reports are in: stripes are in demand for spring 2017. This might be related in part to the ’70s inspired style of the moment, which I mentioned recently in my post about pleats.

I’m actually publishing this post from Berkeley, where I’m spending the day today before the start of TECH Fashion Week tonight. I met a woman at the Berkeley ECK Center today who was wearing black and silver stripes so we were outfit twins. But black and silver stripes are far from the only ones available. Small stripes, big stripes, multi-color stripes–you can wear any and all of them.

If you’re unsure about stripes, here’s a guide for determining your ability to stripe. Are you a beginner, intermediate or expert?

Stripes level beginner: Try one item with lines, paired with a simple staple.

Stripes spring 2017 style

Stripes level intermediate: One striped item such as pants or a sweater, paired with a corresponding color or a tiny, unobtrusive pattern such as a petite polka-dotted scarf or the tiny dots on this jacket.

Stripes spring 2017 style

Stripes level expert: you can even mix and match stripes, say the stylists. Pair multiple types of stripes in one outfit, of any color. I do not have any photos to illustrate this because I have yet to reach this level of daring stripes expertise. But I do believe it can be done.

Read more thrifty style and spring style posts.

Stripes spring 2017 styleCompass Necklace

I asked for this necklace as a college graduation present. It’s a compass inscribed with a Thoreau quote: “Go boldly in the direction of your dreams.” It’s inspired me to pursue my passion for writing professionally ever since, even when I was working jobs that seemed to be leading me further from my dream. Safe to say I treasure the meaning behind the necklace, but there are more attractive compass necklaces out there. I’ve linked some below at a variety of price points (The Lauren Conrad is under $10!).

Compass necklace

Outfit Details

This outfit shoot, one of my faves from my fab photog Mo Ashley, is inspired by a sample sale striped sweater from a BFF. If you’ve read this far and want info on the rest of the outfit, I’ve linked to same and similar items you can shop for online below, all on sale!

Pants – Lysse Ankle Zip Leggings.

Hat – Nine West (this one has a tassel) and also this one.

Coat – I’m unsure of the brand because I gave this coat to my friend Julia as she was about to catch a flight, so I don’t have it anymore but this one from TJMaxx is similar.

If you have any style tips for stripes, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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