Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Currently: Volume 20

This weekend has been all about cleaning, re-arranging, organizing, and freshening. I can't say I really like deep cleaning, but I do love nothing more than a truly clean and tidy house. And I'm feeling pleased with some of the re-arranging and re-vamping I've done. I thought I'd share some snapshots from around our house (sorry they aren't the best--I'm working on my photo skills and didn't have too much natural light today) before I move on to the Sunday Currently. 

I cleaned off a lot of the things on my desk, and added a mini gallery to the wall.

I love this tin pail and I thought it would be fun to use it for desk basics like scissors, a note pad, and pens.

I'm embarrassed to admit that this chair in our bedroom isn't always so neat--I'm guilty of sometimes throwing my clothes over it at the end of the day.

Our stone utensil jar was getting pretty crowded, so I whipped out this old oatmeal tin and separated out the wooden utensils from the metal/plastic. 

Instead of kicking off our shoes in the foyer, I bought this seven-dollar rug for the garage and have decided that we'll keep our shoes here instead.

This cute little lamp resides in our kitchen, and before it was transformed via a bottle of Catalina Mist, it was a boring brushed nickel. You should hide your lamps when I'm around.

Reading The Smart One by Jennifer Close. I just started it and it's pretty light, which is nice for summertime.

Writing lists and more lists! It's a weekend thing.

Listening to the washer and dryer whirling away.

Thinking and dreaming a lot lately about our future house (we have no plans or a timeline, but we do hope to buy our first home sooner rather than later). I'm just brimming over with thoughts and ideas!

Smelling a clean house--this lavender spray and this lemon polish to be specific.

Wishing I had a garden. Sometime in the future, I'm determined to grow my own vegetables and herbs and flowers, even though I don't think I naturally have a green thumb.

Hoping for some good weather this week. Yesterday morning I went to the farmer's market and it was so much more mild than usual and not too humid either, and my mood was noticeably brighter. I have reverse seasonal affective disorder I think!

Drinking a tall glass of water.

Wearing olive green skinny cords and a navy blue v-neck. And a light purple headband in my hair.

Loving my husband more every day. I could name the reasons but it would take me a long while, so let's just say that he's a pretty darn phenomenal husband.

Wanting to reward myself for all of the cleaning I've been doing with an afternoon of reading and a cup of tea and a homemade brownie.

Needing to scour two more rooms and then the whole house will be spic and span. Those can wait for tomorrow, though.

Feeling so excited for my little brother's visit this week for the Fourth of July! I can't wait to have him here!

Clicking on nothing--it hasn't been a computer day. But I'll be checking out all of the other Sunday Currently posts later!

p.s. Remember that Google Reader will no longer be available after today. You can keep up to date on new posts from Something Ivory by following my blog on Bloglovin'. Thank you!

(Linking up with Lauren.)

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Simple Reflection

I've always been a big planner--to a fault. I'm really and truly trying to get better about this, but I tend to become upset when plans change at the last minute, or I'm unable to actually make a solid plan due to things outside of my control. But let me tell you--the Army is really helping me to work on this particular trait of mine. I find myself letting go a little bit more every day.

There are some areas, though, where I think my innate drive to plan and prepare comes in handy. For years, I've known that part of my future as a pianist would include private teaching in my home, and someday I really hope to have an established studio, with ten or fifteen (perhaps more) strong students. I've always been so thankful for the glorious, built-in side effect of this business--I will be working from home. On my own piano, in my own space, a room or two away from my family. A dream for this future mother who has never wanted anything but to stay home and raise her children.

Now, you may think this is silly but it only just recently occurred to me (and really set in) that most of my teaching will be happening in the afternoons and early evenings. I suppose for years, I was mostly focused on the fact that I have this skill and this trade that will allow me to stay home with my children and continue to do my work as a musician, and I didn't think too hard about the details. But what I'm realizing is that my lessons will have to revolve around the school-day hours and the work-day hours (because I teach adults too). This has made me think about how things will work when we have children--when they are small, I think it may actually be easier because I can schedule my lessons during the evenings when my husband is home to watch them. It's as they get older and begin to go to school themselves that it becomes more tricky. If they're at school all day, and I'm teaching after-school lessons, that cuts into my time to be with my children when they're home. And what about dinner? There will certainly be some balancing to do. I suppose one solution is to choose just a few days a week to teach during the afternoons, or I could stick to teaching half-day kindergarteners and homeschoolers?  (Only kidding! A piano teacher can't be so choosy!)

One thing I do know is that the planning gene I mentioned above, that will be useful. I'm already beginning to put it into effect, pre-children and pre-established studio. I currently teach two afternoon/evenings a week and I've gotten quite creative with preparing parts of dinner in advance, so that it comes together quickly and easily when I'm done with my lessons. The other day I made shredded chicken thighs following this recipe in the early afternoon, then popped them into the fridge. It was so easy to take the shredded chicken out later, give them a quick microwave and put them on tortillas topped with shredded red cabbage, jalapeno and banana peppers, sour cream, and tomatoes. Fresh, healthy, easy tacos, and totally stress-free.

I fully trust that things will work out just as they are supposed to as our lives become filled with little ones. There will be balancing, planning (but not too much!), and plenty of "winging it" here and there too. I remember my high school piano teacher, whose children were full-grown, having to run out of a lesson occasionally to take a roast out of the oven for her and her husband's dinner. I think life always requires a bit of juggling, no matter what phase we're in, no matter how carefully we plan.

I'd love to hear your reflections on your future. Do you plan or embrace spontaneity? How do you envision your own special balancing act?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

DIY Stackable Crates

A week or so ago I worked on a little project for our foyer (which is the most awkward space to decorate, by the way!) using some simple wooden crates and my new favorite spray paint. I think it turned out rather nicely and I thought it would be fun to share!

I wanted a little bit of storage space for things like scarves and umbrellas and sunglasses, and the idea of stacking crates sort of just occurred to me as something that might be different and interesting  The minty color gives our foyer (and its unfortunate tiling) a modern look, as do the mismatched baskets. I tend to gravitate toward neutrals but I'm having fun experimenting with more color lately. The top of the crate acts as a little table, ideal for my vase of baby's breath and my latest finds at the library!

This antique rush-bottomed chair (a hand-me-down from my parents--we have three of them) is just begging for its own DIY project--I will keep the lovely rush-bottom and I'm thinking I'll paint the wood with Miss Mustard Seed's "Shutter Gray" Milk Paint. But I'm going to wait on this project until we are in a more permanent home and I have a better idea of what will look best on them in the new space.

I think that my minty crates make our foyer feel more cozy and filled-out, and it was such a simple project to put together. And it's nice to be greeted with a pop of color when I walk in our front door!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Colorful Flavorful Freshness

I've been really loving our local farmer's market lately and feeling so grateful for all of the nutritious, colorful, flavorful freshness we've been putting into our bodies as a result. When I moved here one year ago from New York, I was thrilled to find out that there was a farmer's market in our tiny town. Food is important to me and, in my opinion, fresh and local is always the best way to go, if possible! 

During the winter months the market wasn't open so I've been eagerly anticipating its return, and I'm thrilled to say that it has grown since last year. I recognize some of the same farmers but there are new ones too, and there have been a greater variety of fruits and vegetables available. On Saturday there were blackberries, which I never saw last year, as well as local pecans (Alabama is famous for growing peanuts and pecans). My favorite new addition to the market, I think, are the gorgeous local eggs I've been finding. A few months ago, we discovered that the local health food store sells farm eggs, so we had been buying our eggs there, but it's more convenient to buy them straight from the farmers at the market. They've been terrific.

Local honey and homemade jam are always for sale too, and since my husband is a huge jam lover, (and because I haven't yet gotten up the nerve to brave the pectin and the pots and the boiling water myself) I bought him some strawberry rhubarb jam this morning. 

Do you love farmer's markets as much as I do? What is your local one like?

(Our farmer's market has colorful language, too! Only in the South.)                           

Monday, June 24, 2013

Revealing Our Dignity

A good friend of mine recently sent me this video because she knew it would resonate with me, and she also thought it fit in with the sorts of things I like to write about on Something Ivory. She was so right.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about one-piece bathing suits--why I think they are feminine and beautiful and more flattering than two-pieces. In this video, Jessica Rey talks about the history behind the bikini,  the reaction it initially received, and most importantly, how it makes men think and feel and respond (based on a fascinating study that she references). The case she makes it that when we put on a bikini, we are inviting and attracting the wrong kind of attention, that we are eliciting a response that isn't healthy. And it's our responsibility as women to dress in ways that demand respect.

Her talk is not just about saying "no"--it's about reaching unabashedly for something that is beautiful and dignifying. It's about choosing to dress ourselves modestly on the beach, and treating ourselves with respect in the process. Rey actually designs her own swimsuits (which are retro and fun) because she believes so fervently that the way we're currently doing this isn't right.

Here's my favorite quote from her talk:

"Modesty isn't about covering up our bodies because they're bad, modesy isn't about hiding ourselves--it's about revealing our dignity. We were made beautiful, in His image and likeness."

If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to take a look.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Is Big Hats and Sunglasses

Photo of me in D.C.'s Eastern Market / Taken by that boy I had a crush on (and still do) / Summer 2008

Thursday, June 20, 2013

DIY Framed Vintage Ice Pick

My parents gave me such a fun birthday gift this year. Since downsizing from a large old Victorian to a cozy little houseboat they have had to do quite a bit of paring down of their possessions. I've been the lucky recipient of a lot of their beautiful furniture, artwork, and family heirlooms, which has really worked out wonderfully for everyone. We haven't had to purchase too many new things (thanks Mom and Dad!) and the beautiful pieces my parents have collected over the years will stay in the family. 

The weekend before my birthday, my parents were in Upstate New York going through some of the last things in my childhood home and they found some treasures they knew I would love. They put together a "grab bag" of items, some old and some new, and I had so much fun opening each little gift!

One of the last items in the box was this old ice pick, a vintage family heirloom, and I called my Dad to get the full story on its history. In ancient faded lettering the pick is printed with the words, "People's Ice Co." This was my great-great-grandfather's ice company, my Dad's great-grandfather, and the lake they cut ice on generations ago was the same one I grew up on, our home just a few blocks away. In the wintertime, hard-working men cut blocks of ice, 3 feet by 2 feet by 4 feet, and stored them in sawdust stacked in a barn where they stayed frozen all summer. During the warmer months, using horses and buggies, my great-great-grandfather and his hired workers delivered the ice door to door. Pre-refrigeration, these blocks of ice were an essential part of life.

For a day or two I wondered what to do with the ice pick. It doesn't really have a use today but I thought it was too special to tuck away in a drawer. I'd recently read an article on framing objects and I decided this was exactly what I wanted to do with my vintage ice pick. 

The project was surprisingly easy and came together quickly. The frame was 50% off at Michaels, and the only other supplies I had to buy were burlap (also 50% off because of a military discount) and some sturdy, clear hanging wire. I already had the piece of cork that I used behind the burlap. First, I cut the burlap and the cork to size and glued them together with rubber cement. Using a needle, I threaded the clear wire through both layers, wrapped it around the ice pick, and tied a knot in the back. I love that it's almost totally invisible, and really strong! My husband noticed that the ice pick was slowly tilting right, because it's heavier on that side, so he carefully tucked just the tip of the pick into a weave of the burlap, and that solved the problem.

I reassembled the frame and that was it. And I just love it. It's a reminder to me of our first Cazenovia relatives, the town where I grew up and spent my wedding night and wrote a book with my father and little brother. It's a reminder of how hard life used to be (can you imagine having to pick off a chip of ice from a huge block whenever you needed ice?) and how easy our modern lives are in comparison. It rests on a bookshelf near our kitchen, reminding me of family and reminding me to be grateful.

Here are some shots by my brother of the gorgeous lake that has stood by our family's side for generations.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blessed Self-Forgetfulness

"I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me."
-1 Corinthians 4: 3-4

On Sunday night, we listened to a fantastic Tim Keller sermon (really though, they're all fantastic). The title of his sermon was "Blessed Self-Forgetfulness" and even though it was recorded in 2002 and I picked it out pretty randomly out of dozens of options, it felt like those words were meant just for me. 

Blessed Self-Forgetfulness. I've been repeating this phrase to myself over the last few days and praying for it to become a part of me. You see, as humans we are everything but self-forgetful. Keller points out that we are so driven by our egos, by what others think of us, by what makes us feel good. We are so self-focused that "every triumph and every slight has the potential to send us either into pride or despondency." We rely so heavily on the opinions of the world, and on our own opinions of ourselves.

The Apostle Paul has proposed another way--to forget ourselves. If we can cease caring what other people think of us, but even more importantly, cease caring what we think about ourselves. Doesn't that sound absolutely foreign? As Keller puts it, "[Paul] is moving into territory that we don't know anything about." This isn't how we naturally work. 

It's important to note that Paul is not encouraging low self-esteem or self-loathing. Absolutely not. "It's not thinking more of yourself, not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less." Now doesn't that sound refreshing? Feeling free from your own thoughts and judgments about yourself? Keller actually remarks on the freedom we would receive from being in this state of mind, as he calls it at one point, "the blessed rest of self-forgetfulness."

You see, it is His opinion only that counts. Not mine or yours. There is so much peace in this way of being. The next time I catch myself focusing on something about me, or thinking too hard about what someone else might think, I'm going to try to remember the last line of this sermon: "I don't care what you think, I don't care what I think, I only care what the Lord thinks, and He has said 'You are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.'" And I'm going to keep praying for the blessed rest of self-forgetfulness.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jar of Buttons

What do you do with those little plastic envelopes of extra buttons that come attached to some pieces of clothing? I've always saved them, for years, in the off-chance I would need a replacement button for a favorite top or skirt. I used to keep them in the little envelopes and I gathered quite a few of them over time.

I came to realize, however, that I very rarely went searching through my stash for a replacement button, and they were taking up quite a bit of space just sitting in those plastic envelopes. I've found that it's much more common for a button to come loose than for it to become lost entirely, so I never really needed these extras. But I decided my buttons would make for an adorable little DIY decoration. I found this jar a few years ago for a dollar or two in a New York thrift shop, and ever since it's been home to my button collection.

I keep it on my windowsill next to a few other small jars and vases. It's simple, but I love it! Buttons can be art, right?

Monday, June 17, 2013

10 Things I Learned From My Father

In honor of Mother's Day a few weeks ago, I wrote a post of 10 things I've learned from my mother. It was a lot of fun to share a little bit about her, so I decided that today I would write about the other half of that wonderful duo I'm blessed to call my parents. Here are 10 things, out of hundreds, that I've learned from my Dad.

It is much better to excel at one thing than to be mediocre at many things.

You'll always be happy you had that emergency twenty-dollar-bill in the glove compartment (even if you just use it to buy ice cream on a hot summer night).

Learn not to take every little thing so seriously (that doesn't come naturally to me), and you will be a happier person.

You can see God in the arch of a heron's neck, or in the wild emptiness of Alaska, or in the fiery red of a setting sun, if you only look for Him.

Pursue beauty, and pursue truth.

Grammar. All of it. (He's a writer and an editor, and he got to me before school did.)

The sound of fighter jets in the sky is the sound of freedom. 

Try to honor God in all things you do.

Fresh eggs--preferably from your own backyard--are a million times tastier than anything you can buy at the grocery store. Plus, chicks are cute!

Choosing the person you'll marry is the biggest decision you'll ever make (furthermore, he showed me that being in love with your spouse is the greatest gift you can give your children).

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday Currently: Volume 19

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful Dad! This is one of my favorite photos of us together. It was taken on the New Jersey side of the Hudson river, looking out at Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. I moved to Hoboken right after college and then about 8 months later, moved into the city and started graduate school. My Dad and my little brother came down to help me move across the river, and this photo is from that August weekend. 

I'm so blessed to be really close to both of my parents, which makes it even harder to live so far from them. But my Dad knows that I'm thinking about him today (and every day) and we hope the distance between us will be shortened in no time. I love you, Dad!

Reading The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout. My mom and I are reading it together and I haven't decided what I think about it yet.

Writing this post and I'll be working on one for tomorrow too.

Listening to the air conditioning humming (I think that's been my answer for the last three Sunday Currently posts I've done. What can I say, it's how we survive summertime in the South!)

Thinking about how I've missed the Sunday Currently for the last few weeks. Last week I was traveling, and the week before I was busy for most of the day. It's nice to be back.

Smelling my Lavender Earl Grey tea. It's the best thing.

Wishing I was on the Hudson River, like in that photo. Oh I miss New York!

Hoping my Dad, my father-in-law, and all of the other dads in my extended family have a wonderful Father's Day.

Drinking tea and a glass of water.

Wearing a navy blue sundress with a mint green (my new favorite color) tee over it.

Loving the perfect Saturday evening date we had yesterday. Homemade ice cream in town and a walk down an adorable Southern street we'd never been to before. It was lined with gorgeous old homes--my favorite!

Wanting to head to the pool with my book but I may have to wait until late afternoon.

Needing to go grocery shopping. I went to the farmer's market yesterday and got some wonderful vegetables and fresh eggs, but there are always things like milk and yogurt and bread that require a trip to the grocery store. For someone who loves to cook, it's surprising that I'm really not a fan of the grocery store.

Feeling excited to write about a DIY project that coincides with a little piece of my family history this week. Stay tuned.

Clicking on lots of links to black flat summer sandals for my mom. I'm her unofficial fashion consultant and I love helping her find pieces she loves!

Linking up with Lauren.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Learning To Puzzle

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were trying to come up with a plan for staying in on a weekend evening, and he said to me, "Do you want to do a jigsaw puzzle?" And I surprised myself by saying, "Sure!" So he ran out to the store and picked out a 1000-piece puzzle and I got some snacks (cherries and dark chocolate) ready for us.

You might be guessing that the reason I was surprised by my own answer was because jigsaw-puzzle-solving on a Saturday night isn't exactly hip or exciting. But no, that's not the reason. I'm an old soul deep down and have no problem admitting it, and we weren't really after hip or exciting anyway.

The real reason I felt surprised by my answer is because I've never liked jigsaw puzzles. My family would typically do one each summer when we were on vacation in the Adirondack Mountains and another one around Christmastime, and both of my parents and my two brothers got very into these puzzles. I just didn't get it! They would whoop and shout each time they found a pivotal piece, and they would pore over 5000-piece puzzles for hours at a time.

But I thought it was such a sweet suggestion of my husband's, to work on a puzzle all weekend (it was a long weekend too) and spend that time chatting and just being together, so I enthusiastically sent him off to go find one for us. And I'll be honest--I didn't enjoy the first few hours of sorting and putting together edge pieces. The sky just seemed impossible and the green grass was not far behind. But the chocolate and cherries tasted good and my husband was close by, so I plugged away.

And within a few hours, I surprised myself again. I was getting into it! It did feel great to find an important piece! It was fun to hunt and search and piece together buildings and people and grass (yes, even grass). It was rewarding and I was having fun. I think I just needed to learn a little bit of patience to enjoy it.

Now, I'm still not very "good" at jigsaw puzzles. I've never been a math/science/logic kind of person and any sort of riddle or puzzle (jigsaw or otherwise) tends not to be my forte. My husband laughs at me when I try to jam in a piece that looks like it will fit without really looking at the shape first (I suppose my approach is trial and error; his involves his senses and brain a bit more).

But we did manage to successfully finish the first puzzle, and the next time I was out running errands I bought us another one, which we finished last night after dinner. We have a cute plan for them too. My family used to admire their finished puzzles for a few days and then put them back in pieces in the box, but my husband's family (they also did puzzles during vacations and holidays) often framed the results of their hard work. I doubt we'll frame all of the puzzles we do, but we thought it would be sweet to frame the first two we ever did together and save them for our future children.

Won't this look adorable in a little boy's room?

And isn't this one pretty and perfect for a little girl?

I'm going to bring them to a local frame shop and ask for a white mat and simple white frame. And they will be tucked away until it's time to decorate our first nursery. Almost all of the art on our walls has meaning, and these will be no different.

I can almost picture myself in that nursery at three in the morning, exhausted with a new baby, a quick glance at the puzzle hanging on the wall reminding me that everything worthy and good and beautiful in this world takes patience.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fun Summer Spray Paint Colors

I love breathing new life into things that are old and worn, or pieces that are new but underwhelming, or anything that simply could use a nice dose of fun and beauty. I've done a good amount of painting in the past year or so, both with a brush and with spray paint, and the results are so rewarding! 

When it comes to paint I tend to gravitate toward white, cream, ivory, gold, oil-rubbed bronze. I've done a few things in color, but not too many. Well, today I've rounded up some gorgeous and lively spray paint colors that I hope will inspire you to get creative this summer. 

This first I think is my favorite. Catalina Mist is a perfect minty color--not too blue, mild enough to be almost a neutral. It's also sort of "vintage 50s," don't you think? I have a project in mind for this spray paint and I can't wait to get started on it.

Bauhaus Gold is a beautiful golden mustard shade. Yellows can be tricky, and I tend to shy away from yellows that are too bright. This one is rich and sophisticated and modern.

Doesn't this shade of pink pair beautifully with pure white, as in the photo below? Coral Isle is a fantastic color, a great accent color to add some fun to a neutral room. I also think it looks lovely with some of the rustic textures in this photo (like the burlap). It's modern but somehow understated too. 

What do you think? Will you try any of these? I'm itching to get my hands on some of these fun and vibrant colors. As always, I'll keep you posted on my projects!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Oakland Cemetery

I visited my little brother in Atlanta this weekend--I'm so happy to have him (relatively) nearby! He planned a really fun day for us, and one of the things we did was spend a few hours at the Oakland Cemetery. This place is truly magical, and it was so moving to walk among the gorgeous gardens and very old graves. Cemeteries can sometimes be spooky, but this one wasn't in the slightest. On the contrary, the beauty of the scenery seemed to be a celebration of life and hope.

Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With The Wind, is buried here, so we paid a visit to her gravesite. The cemetery is also filled with the graves of Confederate soldiers. I grew up in Upstate New York, an area that supplied the Northern Army with many soldiers and many lives, and I've always been proud of the men who sacrificed so much to save our nation. But in visiting these Confederate graves, I was reminded that the Southern soldiers were honorable, and brave, and selfless too. They were fighting for home too (though we wish their loyalty had been to their country above their state) and I felt sadness wash over me as I stood looking out at their tombstones.

Here are some photos of our visit. The first three are my brother, Noah's, and the last four are my iPhone shots. I hope you enjoy them.

Friday, June 7, 2013

More Of Who You Are

The first issue of Verily arrived in the mail a few days ago! It was a wonderful early birthday gift, and I've slowly been working my way through the articles, savoring the gorgeous watercolor illustrations and feeling the beautiful paper the magazine is printed on. I know I've sung Verily's praises before on my blog, but I couldn't help but write a quick post about it again today. As I've been reading through it, it seems as if this issue was made just for me, and I bet there are many other women out there thinking the same thing. After all, Verily's motto is "Less of who you should be, more of who you are."

There was a beautifully photographed segment on loose teas. A gorgeous photo-shoot of two women wearing flattering one-piece bathing suits on the beach. A section on arranging your own flowers in unique vessels.

A recipe for lavender honey chicken. A piece (by a fellow ND alum) on the dangers of poring over wedding magazines in all of their unrealistic perfectionism. Really fantastic relationship wisdom on how to make your marriage last. An article on natural-looking makeup, a tip to not show too much skin when dressing up for a date.

Needless to say, I love this magazine, and want to get a subscription for every woman I know! I'm already thinking of who I will pass this issue on to when I'm done.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I've always been excited to grow older each year (we'll see if that reaches a limit, maybe in another ten years?) and I have a feeling that my 25th year will be one of my best yet. My 24th year was wonderful in a lot of ways, but it was also filled with huge challenges. I think it was a year of growth--as every year should be, at least a little bit--but I really felt those growing pains over the past 12 months.

I'm 25 today, and I have a wonderful, hopeful, positive feeling about the year ahead. I see good things coming.

p.s. A big Happy Birthday wish to my mother-in-law, whose birthday is also today. I just love sharing a birthday with her!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Style

I thought it would be fun today to round up some summer style ideas as we head into the first real month of summer. I love clothes and accessories and shoes but I'm not a huge shopper, mainly because I can't afford to be shopping all the time. When I do shop I look for sales, go to thrift shops and consignment shops, focus on what I need for a certain event or on filling holes in my wardrobe, and just generally try to be wise about my purchases. I don't really need any of these cute pieces, and don't really plan on buying any of them (though I can't promise anything) so consider this "virtual window shopping." I love each of these pieces and think they would be just perfect for the summer months ahead.

These minty flats are adorable, right? So subtle and soft and feminine, and I'm imagining them paired with a simple cotton black sundress for an understated, put-together look. I've always loved wearing neutrals and getting my pop of color from my shoes.

I saw this head wrap a few days ago on a blog and I fell in love with it! It's retro and the print is really fun, and it would protect your hair from the harmful rays of the sun when you're out on the beach.
This salmon-y, coral color is one of my favorites, and the lace detail on this pretty top makes it interesting and a tad dressy. Wouldn't it look chic with white skinny jeans and some wedges?

Ok, call me wild, but I love these aztec print pants. I saw a similar pair recently in a blogger's instagram photo and I think they're fabulous. I would pair them with a tank top, with my suit underneath, for a fun and comfortable beach look.

I linked to this bathing suit in a recent post and since then it's gone on sale! It's still very pricey for a bathing suit, but maybe the price will be chopped in half again in another few weeks? We can hope. It's just so pretty.

What summer pieces do you love? Would you go for any of these?

Designed by Jackie's Design Studio