Crystal Cactus

Working for an online shopping company, you may have guessed that I do a lot of…online shopping. I try to limit myself to one treat a week and this past week I decided to check out model Audrey Kitching’s creation, Crystal Cactus.

crystal-cactus-by-audrey-madeofjewelryThe site is littered with one-of-a-kind gem creations at a fairly affordable price. Each item is handcrafted and of a limited quantity so you feel like each piece was made especially for you. Kitching emphasizes the importance of balance in life and incorporates the use of positive energy crystals to do just that; I’m not so sure how I feel about all the “energy” stuff but I do believe in having balance in life…and pretty things. After perusing the minimalistic and easy to navigate site, I decided on this: The Rainbow Titanium Quartz Bullet.

Shown in Gold

Shown in Gold

The description of the piece states

“Each Rainbow Titanium quartz bullet is cleansed with sage and infused with the DNA healing vibration on a 18′ gold/silver plated chain. Titanium Quartz: Quartz is infused with titanium and additional metal oxides to form one of the most precious crystals on the planet. It increases life force and vitality, attuning to the highest attribute of the Crown Chakra. It’s rainbow colors have been shown to stimulate the entire aura body! An exceptional stone for creativity.This quartz removes blockages and enhancing the flow of creativity due to its intensely visual colors. It has been used for increasing intuition and therefore an exceptional stone for promoting clairvoyance as well as all forms of “seeing”. Consider this crystal for assisting in meditation, an alternative medicine career or yogic practice. This crystal appears to stimulate the upward movement of the kundalini and is exceptional for any tantric practice.”

I’ve lately been experiencing some creative blocks as I’ve been preoccupied with work and the looming holidays; but to be honest, I thought this stone was gorgeous and it caught my eye before even reading the description. I chose to go with the silver plated option, as I’ve been favoring gold lately and wanted to switch things up. When my package arrived yesterday (only 3 days after ordering- WITH free standard shipping) I was very pleased to find several little goodies inside (including a promo code for 20% off my next purchase! Yessss.)

Coupon, Inspirational Postcard, Pink Feather, Cute Packaging...Love

Coupon, Inspirational Postcard, Pink Feather, Cute Packaging…Love

And this…a Crystal Cactus sticker accompanied with an unidentified stone…but cool nonetheless.

Oh. Cool?

Oh. Cool?

I unwrapped the packing to find my beautiful necklace tucked neatly in an adorable protective pouch.

aw

aw

And the little beauty itself.

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I’ve always been partial to longer necklaces so this 18′ chain is perfect. The stone has a good weight and does not feel cheap like most of the other jewelry I own. Overall, my experience with Crystal Cactus has been a very positive one. Hopefully the stone’s positive energy helps me keep my cool with the upcoming holidays! Score one of these beautiful hand-crafted pieces from their online store HERE

Happy Tuesday

Grace is Gold (and silver, today)

Grace is Gold (and silver, today)

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Season Change Cleaning Day

Winter Organization Spree; a mild burst of manic OCD

So. I live in a house on the near West side of Chicago. I have a gaggle of roommates (bathroom fights are a regular occurence) and to say my room is tiny would be an understatement. In order to make room for my (copious amounts) of chunky sweaters and winter boots, I had to do a little minimizing. I worked at home today as I had traffic court this morning (boooo) so I stocked up on organizational materials and my winter wardrobe to replace the summer’s.

Working for a website means 8+ hours of eye-blurring screen time; hence the nerdy glasses.

Working for a website means 8+ hours of eye-blurring screen time; hence the nerdy glasses.

work work work. code code code.

work work work. code code code.

 Armed with a rubbermade bin (thanks mom), a hat box, a scarf rack and roommates hungry for the clothes I was preparing to donate, I went home to take on the daunting task of making my little room livable. I swapped out all my summer shoes/clothes/stuff I haven’t worn in forever, and replaced them with my cozy winter garments. I hung an awesome shoe/sweater shelf in my closet which has reduced the level of clusterf-ck in the small space.

STUFFED

STUFFED

Being a Chicago Native, you tend to develop quite the winter wear collection. So in order to tackle the excessive amount of knits I found this nifty scarf hanger (hung on one of those Scotch removable hooks which, by the way, are amazing) and a cute hat box I’ve owned for as long as I can remember.

so.many.hats.

so.many.hats.

so. many. scarves.

so. many. scarves.

So after crowding my room with the second half of my wardrobe, I took a cue from Pinterest and maximized the space in my shallow dresser drawers. Needless to say, I may have a touch of OCD. I mean, look at those socks.

The most organized delicates I ever did see. I may have a problem.

The most organized delicates I ever did see.
I may have a problem.

Dresser Space: Maximized

Dresser Space: Maximized

I also was rummaging around my old closet at my parents’ house and found this sweet bed caddy; perfect for keeping bedside essentials like books, your journal, pens, and chapstick. Obsessed.

Now I never have to get out of bed!

Now I never have to get out of bed!

Feeling sufficiently productive, I decided to take advantage of this organizing inspiration to give the top of my dresser a little makeover. I love my little knick knacks and I’ve had most of them for as long as I can remember. I’m obsessed with this jewelry tree (garage sale find), my Owl Russian Nesting Dolls (a gift from my late grandfather) and this graphic framed Levi’s piece from  my lovely boyfriend 🙂

sentimental knick knacks

sentimental knick knacks

I feel super relaxed after a good organizing session. I realize that might make me weird, but I don’t really care cause it just feels so damn good after seeing everything exactly where it should be. Sigh. Order makes me happy.

Stay Gold (and organized)

Stay Warm!

Stay Warm!

Winter Wardrobe Must Haves on a Budget

So, this little lady recently got a promotion at work! (you should check out the site I work for, Brads Deals!) So in honor of my new title and in order to look top notch in my new position, I decided to treat myself to a little winter shopping spree for office attire (and presents for myself…) Here’s a summary of my must have items this winter.

Winter Footwear

studded spike bootiesI decided that, as I am working in an office and will soon be meeting with clients, I should stop dressing like a college student who can’t let go of her ancient Chuck Taylors (don’t worry, I still have them). Also, I am quite a short person so in order to be treated like an blog9associate (and not a babysitter) I figured I should start wearing heels (dun dun dun!) I’m starting out slow, however. These Rock N’ Roll block heeled booties from Forever 21 are super comfortable, appropriate for winter, and have just the right amount of edge with the gold studded details.

Find these studded booties here

For days when heels seem like too much to handle, instead of slipping on some ratty ballet flats, I went for these studded loafers from Charlotte Rousse. They’re a great way to dress up skinny jeans (thankfully my office has a casual dress code) and are more durable than your typical ballet flat. Not great for snowy Chicago days but perfect to slip in your bag and change out of your rubber boots once you get to the office.

Black Knee HighFind these rad flats HERE

Finally (footwear wise) you can’t live in Chicago without having a pair of knee-high black boots. They go with everything, you can dress them up or down, and they keep your feet nice and toasty (esp. when paired with adorable boot socks.) These are my go-to’s. Get some.

Here is a similar (more affordable) pair from Forever 21

Winter Fashion

I am quite the frugal shopper when it comes to buying trendy clothes. Forever 21, Target and H&M are my go-to retailers for pretty much everything (it doesn’t hurt that they’re all next to each other on State Street in Chicago.) With my new position I will be working with clients so I needed to stock up on long sleeve tops and dresses so as to disguise the fact that I’m a heavily-tattooed-wannabe-artist outside the office 😉 Here are some of the picks I made to up my class factor. (Click on the photos to head to the retailer’s site.)

Striped Sweater

H&M

I also got this one in Black (duh)

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Striped Long Sleeve Bodycon Dress

(Forever 21)

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Black Babydoll Dress

(Forever 21)

(with a cardigan over, naturally)

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Zipper Front Patterned Dress

(Forever 21)

Sorry for the poor image quality!

Sorry for the poor image quality!

Black Leather Studded Carryall

(Urban Outfitters)

IMG_1463I am in love with this bag. This was my big splurge for the season from Urban Outfitters. This beauty can be used as a tote, a cross-body, or as a clutch as there is a secret mini-purse inside the bag that you can attach the shoulder strap to when you’re just running out to lunch or to the ladies for a touch up. I couldn’t find the link to this one but here is a comparable (and way more affordable) option from Forever 21.

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So. Many. Hats.

Carhartt, Obey, Forever 21

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I am such a sucker for beanies. I’ve been trying to steer clear of the pom-pom hats but I’ve just ended up gravitating towards the hip alternatives of Obey and Carhartt. Whatever. Keep your head warm. 

Around the World Watch

Urban Outfitters

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Since posting my Fall Style Guide I have received a ton of requests about where I found my Around the World watch. I mean, it is pretty rad. With its genuine leather band (which comes in three colors) and the number-free map face (ooo classy), AND its affordable price tag, who wouldn’t want to rock one of these bad boys. Head to Urban Outfitters (I found mine in store but it is also available online- link in image) and wear the world on your wrist.

Note: In Chicago, one can never own too many pairs of thick cozy socks and tights. I live in wool socks from October to March (sexy, I know) but when layered over a pair of black opaque tights and a cute pair of boots, you can stay cute and cozy all day long.

Winter Beauty

Now, I don’t know about you, but my skin gets so dry in the winter that I can feel myself shriveling like a raisin as the season progresses and the temperatures drop further. I have recently discovered the miracle that is a humidifier and I highly suggest you invest in one. My blemishes have cleared up, my skin has stopped itching; even my hair feels healthier! Here are some of my favorite things to help you keeping your skin, lips, and nails beautiful and hydrated all winter long.

Rosebud Salve

A Rose Scented Miracle Worker

A Rose Scented Miracle Worker

I’ve been using Rosebud Salve since my brief time as a Colorado resident. My sister introduced it to me and I’ve been hooked ever since. Forget your egg-shaped lip care (sorry, EOS) for this salve is so much more than chapstick. Use it on dry nails, cuticles, small scrapes, elbows, and any other rough patches you come across this winter. Sometimes I even use a tiny bit to tame fly-aways from wearing so many hats! I cannot recommend it enough!

Benefit Skin Love Potions Kit

Makeup Heaven

Makeup Heaven

This little box of miracles has all my favorite Benefit skin products. With eye cream, bronzer (powder AND gel), the most badass mascara, primer, highlighter (two kinds) and pore minimizer, your purse’s makeup kit just MAJORLY stepped up its game. The best part about these products is that, even though they’re travel sizes, a little bit of each of these wonders go a long way. You will be amazed with how good your skin will look with the help of Benefit’s Beauty Potions. Ugh. Obsessed.

And, of course, I had to grab a couple awesome nail polishes.

Mmmm. Butter.

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There you have it y’all. Stay warm and stylish this winter; now you have a few ideas of what to put on your Christmas lists 😉 

Stay Gold (Not Cold)

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Social Print Studio

I love being able to hold a tangible photograph in my hands. Don’t get me wrong, I love Instagram and Facebook to share and browse photos, but there’s something comforting about having the real deal. So imagine my excitement when I found Social Print Studio, a company produces high quality matte prints of your photos from Instagram or Facebook!

Free express shipping from China? Yes please.

Free express shipping from China? Yes please.

I have ordered from them before, as you may remember, but they’ve grown and made some awesome changes. You can now order your prints in four different sizes: Squares (traditional 4×4 Instagram style), Mini Prints (2×3), Mighty Prints (4×6), and Mini Squares; adorable little 2×2 prints, which I decided to go with this time. At $15 for 48 prints AND FREE EXPRESS SHIPPING (I know. What a deal.) I couldn’t resist. Plus their App, Print Studio, free in the App Store, makes it super easy to order. The App enters your photos on your device, and you select the photos you want printed!

How adorable is this packaging?

How adorable is this packaging?

Don’t you just love getting packages in the mail? I was greeted this morning with my prints on my desk at the office. Having only ordered them Wednesday I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had already arrived! So of course I had to make a mess and spread them out to see what I picked (of course I’d already forgotten.)

Tiny Prints Everywhere!

Tiny Prints Everywhere!

Your photos are printed on high quality card stock and have a matte finish. My mind is full of ideas of how to use these little guys. Here are a few of my favorites. Some with the best friend, then some with the boyfriend 🙂

The bestie, L.

The bestie, L.

The boyfriend, also L

The boyfriend, also L

I couldn’t possibly wait until I got home to put a couple of these adorable photos to use, so I decided to personalize my computer monitor…

Yeah, it,s pretty colorful over here...

Yeah, it’s pretty colorful over here…

 

I’m all about this App. The photos are of great quality and perfect to use for crafts, gifts, or simply tiling your walls. You can also order framed prints and greeting cards from the same site. Check them out and get some tiny prints of your own 🙂

Stay Gold (and take lots of Instagram photos. Selfies, in my case.)

Friday outfit :)

Friday outfit 🙂

Grace