spring four

spring style- coloregrace It’s time to wear dresses and sandals every day again. Thank goodness. This combination is one of the easiest and most comfortable, and I’m happy it’s a favorite of mine. As a little girl, I can remember exactly one dress I enjoyed wearing, my sunflower print dress. After I grew out of it, there were years of jeans. I was lucky enough to have a best friend in high school who made me wear a dress if we were going to a party. She absolutely refused to let me leave the house without one. Then, throughout college I grew to appreciate dresses for what they really are- the simplest outfit you can choose. It’s one item (paired with shoes) and you go!

This Spring I’m looking forward to leaving the house in the dresses I’ve collected over the past few years, but I’m rethinking the rest of my wardrobe. Since Christmas I’ve been flirting with the idea of creating a capsule wardrobe for myself, because I already reach for the same tops or dresses every few weeks. My capsule wardrobe wouldn’t necessarily be my efforts to minimize my closet, because it’s already pretty limited, but I would be challenging myself to fulfill my wardrobe and mix up my outfits in new ways. I think Austin’s consistently sunny weather would allow for a lot of dresses, like this cute Madewell dress, in this capsule too.

Oh, and the nib-holder is because I’m in need of a new one!

dress | candle | nib-holder |sandals

STYLE: everyday carry

coloregrace- everyday carryLast week B thoughtfully laid down his everyday carry (or EDC). Men have the luxury of carrying three essential things (keys, wallet, phone) everyday, while girls usually carry a bag(s) full of things just in case we might need it, myself included. (You never know when you'll need that smashed emergency granola bar.) This inspired me to clean out my Madewell tote and be more intentional about what's inside. I've been carrying this tote for almost a year and it has stored many things including school supplies, road trip essentials, résumés, many snacks, and many journals. I decided it was time to give my tote, and arm, a rest and only carry my essential things. Although I'd prefer to only carry a clutch throughout the day, I never go anywhere without several writing tools and my notebook. So, to keep me organized, I store all of my smaller essentials in a smaller pouch inside my tote. I'm always happier when things are well organized. Here are a few key items I can't go a day without:

Add in a morning coffee, a water bottle, or maybe a snack, and I'm ready to go.

In the future I hope to find a way to be only carrying a clutch, but for now I'll keep schlepping. (A word I learned from my Aunt Linda; every time I say it I giggle.)

 

the cool boyfriends guide to gifts

the cool boyfriends birthday gift guide B’s birthday is just two weeks away! Most girlfriends would be scrambling to figure out what kind of gift would be most appreciated and loved from their boyfriends, but not this girlfriend. I never have to worry. Even when B and I were only friends I knew he had impeccable style and was very specialized about the items he liked. Simply holding a conversation with him exposed me to many wonderful brands, and he informs me on a daily basis.

Last spring he would strut into the shop a few times a week wearing his double-breasted navy blazer; he would carefully place his Clubmaster’s into his breast pocket (if their wasn’t a pocket square folded and tucked that day); and unpack multiple pens and notebooks to show the shop girls. It was one of these afternoons when he presented the Hi-Tec C during show-and-tell, which I instantly fell in love with and now use as my daily pen. After we started dating, my understanding for his style grew from being only about his well-tailored look and addiction to pens, into much broader categories.

I’ve learned most of the names of the raw demin, Horween leather goods, and obscurely named (and sometimes Japanese) pen and ink brands, but I still get lost in translation from time to time. Luckily, we are both honest about the items we’d love for our birthdays, so I never have to worry about gift-giving between us. The gift is always an item the other person already loves and will get a lot of use out of. B has already been enjoying his new Filson bag for a few weeks but here are a few more items that were in the running. I’d like to present what I call ‘the cool boyfriends guide to birthday gifts’.

I LOVE MY BOOTS

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B and I are both the kind of gift-givers who are intentional when we give. We want to make sure the receiver will really love what they’ll gain and get a lot of use from it. This is why when it came to Christmas lists this year, I knew I needed some Chelsea booties. Ankle boots are a staple for me because tall riding boots just do not work for my short legs. I thought I knew exactly which pair I wanted, the Sam Edelman Petty boots, but after hunting them down and trying them on, I found that they weren’t the right fit. The shape of the boot was an uncomfortable fit and even though the low heel was appealing at first I decided I wanted something just a little higher heeled.

I searched everywhere online, Pinterest included, and window shopped stores too, until I was shocked to find these Liberty boots from Sperry Top-Sider. I ended up falling in love with. I’ve owned one pair of Sperrys that I had when I was a junior in high school. I barely wore them because I found boat shoes just aren’t for me. Who knew Sperry had boots and other styles of shoes too!?

colore grace style boots 6

I found these boots online, but since I am hesitant about buying shoes online, I tried them on at Nordstrom’s. The store didn’t have my exact size, but luckily Austin has a Sperry Top-Sider store! The next weekend B took me to the store and I immediately knew these were the boots for me when I tried my exact size. The leather is a nice dark cognac and, since wearing them almost everyday, the toe and different sections of the boot have started to wear nicely. The 3" heel height allows me to stand a little taller than my normal 5 foot view of the world. These booties are super comfortable and easy to walk in because of the wide heel. Even though I am still recovering from surgery in October, I’ve had no problems finding my strength and stride in these. colore grace style boots 9

This winter I’ve been paring my boots with dark wash jeans, or black denim, and any of the blouses, button ups, or sweaters I own. They are extremely versatile allowing me to dress up for work, dress down for errand running, or dress for a stroll around East Austin. My favorite combination with my boots has been the outfit above, which I happened to wear Christmas Day. I feel well put together but relaxed and cozy all at once! I’m really looking forward to styling my boots with dresses this spring.

Lately I’ve felt myself leaning toward more of polished, put-together style. Within the last few years I stopped worrying about labeling myself as “preppy”, “girly”, “edgy”, or any of other the terms. Instead I’ve focused on the pieces I like and feel good in. It has given me a chance to experiment with different looks to find what I really like best, and change my looks depending on how I feel each day. Some days I love to wear flowy dresses, while the next day I could want to wear head-to-toe black. Although I love to mix it up, I’m looking to refine my style. I’ve started narrowing down my wardrobe into pieces I truly love, that look good on my petite body type, and pieces that work well together. I’m not quiet down to a capsule wardrobe yet, like my friend Caroline from Unfancy (have you checked her out yet? You should!), but maybe by eliminating the unnecessary I’ll get there. I’m looking forward to sharing my style as it changes in the future and sharing what I’ve found works best for me.

P.S. I need more petite clothing places to shop. Do you have any recommendations?

coloregrace style boots 5

Top: Madewell Necklace: Anthropologie (any colorful statement necklace will work!) Tote: Madewell (similar) Boots: Sperry Top Slider

coloregrace style boots 4

WISH LIST

wishlist2014 Christmas is only a few weeks away and I've been gathering things to put on my wish list. This year I wanted to be very intentional about all of the items on my list- things that I needed or I had been wishing to snag for awhile.

  1. The jcrew vest would be a staple piece for my closet. It's a layer I don't own yet in my closet and because Austin's winter is a little warmer I don't really need a wool winter coat most days.

  2. I have a new idea about how I'm going to journal and log my days next year, so I'm searching for a perfect little notebook to be included in my daily carry. I am a fan of these dot grid field notes and they fit perfectly into this beautiful gold carry case by This is Ground. All gold everything!

  3. Next item on the list is the Sam Edelman petty boots I've had on my list for awhile. I believe this would be another versatile piece to add into my mix.

  4. Last on my list is this new weekender by Hershel. I'm looking forward to hopefully traveling a little more in 2015. I'm usually never a pink girl, but lately I've been more drawn to it. I love this blush and navy combo.

Now, I need to keep planning my gift-giving for those people I love! Happy Thursday!

Travel essentials

IMG_7284.JPG Good morning everyone!

This morning I packed up my things to visit Oklahoma City. It has been a couple of months, so I'm very excited to see my parents and get some good hugs in. Even though it's a very quick trip, I'd love to share some essentials I always carry for trips.

  1. A good little journal for tracking your thoughts when traveling.
  2. An inspiring book- like this one by Austin Kleon.
  3. My iPhone charger
  4. Earphones
  5. Writing tools- like a sharpie and a thin Hi Tec C.
  6. Orbit sweet mint gum, which is my favorite.
  7. Smith's Rosebud Salve
  8. A fresh coat of nail polish- I've been wearing this white for several weeks.
  9. A giant Smart Water.
  10. A good sturdy tote to keep it all together!

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I always love to bring my utility jacket along for the ride. It's a light durable layer that is easy to throw on or carry. It's a neutral grey/olive color, which I love because it's easy to style with most of my clothes. I love pairing it with bright tops, like this one from Anthropologie. For me, jeans are always the best bet when traveling. I recently fell in love with my new jeans from Madewell. I can't stop wearing them!

Traveling always puts a spark in my heart for reflecting and truly being humbled by how blissful life can be. I'm learning to connect more happy days together by being intentional with my time and building momentum each day and it feels so good. Im able to accomplish more throughout the day, which makes me happier person. A lot of my travel time today will be spent writing and preparing for more upcoming posts. I'm ready to be productive!

#yaytravelingproductivity

Friday Four

fridayfour10/17 We’re half way through October and I am super thankful to report that Austin’s weather has been a little breezier than normal this week. (insert praying hands emoji here) Despite living in Oklahoma my entire life, which was still pretty hot, I learned I favor cold weather. Growing up, my family would take trips during the holidays to visit my two aunts who lived north of us; Aunt Linda lives in Glenview, IL, a suburb of Chicago, and Aunt Marlene lived in a small town in Wisconsin.

These experiences enriched my life in numerous ways. Being close to these relatives inspired me. I developed a constant travel-bug spirit. I learned to shop in busy holiday-season downtown Chicago and discovered my love of fashion. And, sometimes J-walking is okay. But these road-trips also instilled my love for cold weather at an early age.

Admittedly there are two things I hate about winter: winter coats, because no matter what shape or size, they engulf my petite frame, and driving in snow and ice because it gives me hardcore anxiety. Nevertheless, I will always be happier when the temperature is 80 degrees or below. I’ve always said, “I can always layer more clothes on, than take off.”

Since Austin is finally experiencing some fall-like breezes, I’d like to share some accessories I’m excited to add into my mix this season.

scarf | sunglasses | bangle | boots

It feels so great to be back into a regular blogging routine. I’ve been hustling harder than ever and fully committing to create solid content for my readers. If you ever have topics or ideas you’d like to see more of, please don’t hesitate to email me here!

Happy Friday!

ZARA + BC FOOTWEAR

junefour For this friday four, I'd like to share two brands that I have never shopped but I may be soon: Zara and BC Footwear. I'm a pretty picky about my clothes, and especially my shoes, so it's a good day when I find a new place to shop. Here are the links to these lovely items:

Zara: Gathered Back top , Ruffled Sleeve top

BC Footwear: Eager Beaver, Glitter bootsUp All Night flats

Today I'd also like to share a few links I love:

The endless home style possibilities from Apartment Therapy and Emily Henderson's blog.

I'm getting many DIY project ideas from this wonderful blog.

Since Bruce is now addicted to coffee too, I'm considering this print for us by A Pair of Pears.

And I always love this Pin. brilliant saying and my favorite color.

Happy weekend everyone!

 

Friday Four

Summer Friday FourIt's past 5, but I'm still eager to share these four favorites! Summer, and the fact that I'm moving to Austin, has me on the constant look out for as many breezy, colorful sundresses and cute sandals I can find. I'm pretty certain it will be my new daily uniform. In addition to summer clothing, I'm finding little treasures to decorate a new apartment.  Right now I'm so inspired by colorful patterns and extremely classic designs. I'm hoping to find a perfect balance between these two completely opposite styles. As I prep for Austin, I'm trying to learn the ways to shop the local vintage and boho shops too! I'm excited by how expressive Austin fashion is. My kind of weird will fit in but hopefully stand out at the same time. Here are the links for the following products I have on my wishlist. The framed Pineapple Print by Ez Pudewa because B and I LOVe our pineapples.

The 'Success Is Not for the Lazy' Mug from The Everygirl to keep up my motivation.

This lovely summer Madewell shiftdress.

New sandals I could wear daily to match any outfit from Stylemint.

Enjoy your weekend!

POST-GRAD LIFE- The Huey's feature

snoconeheaderOklahoma City is warming up and starting to feel like Summer! I am searching for a new swimsuit, sandals, and many flowy brightly-colored sun-dresses. I’ve taken layers of blankets off of my bed. I wake up ready for iced coffee every morning since I’ve been a working night-owl the past several days. I’ve been driving with my music loud and windows down. I feel all of my allergies attacking me and there are bugs out everywhere. Ah, summertime. at the truck The first week after graduation I still was in a weird haze of feeling like I had a million tasks to do for school; my brain would not relax! I was constantly searching for the next assignment to work on, but there are no more assignments (for school anyway). Now, without the guilt of having school assignments to complete, I can fully enjoy a snocone date and start enjoying my post-graduation life!

My favorite place to get snocones in OKC is hands-down Huey’s Shave Ice! To quote Bruce, it is “the happiest little blue truck there ever was”. He took me to Huey’s for one of our first little dates and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I knew he loved it too when they greeted him by name. HA! Huey’s is owned by a sweet married couple, Lauren and Jamie. They are super nice to talk to and love having regular customers. summer love To find where Huey’s is going to be located, check @hueysokc on Twitter or Instagram. The little blue truck travels to different places throughout the Oklahoma City area and has the perfect selection of unique delicous flavors. Bruce’s favorite is ‘the 405’ as the ‘big daddy’ size, which is guava, redbud, ice cream at the bottom, and sweet cream on top. My favorite is the ‘Summer Love’, which is passionfruit, mango, and redbud. Mmm! eating B being cute Going to eat Huey’s with Bruce is just as sweet as the snocone. I am already loving my summer with him. No matter where we go, or what we do, we are always having fun and laughing.

In the past week he has been tremendiously patient with me while I’ve been getting into a groove of prepping blog posts, scheduling photo shoots, organizing my future ideas and goals, and setting up my new website. (What do you think of my blog’s fresh look?) I love dicussing what steps I’ll take next or how I can achieve a big goal I’ve set for myself with Bruce. He is constantly pushing me to believe in myself and do amazing work he knows I can do, even on days when I feel the worst. With his encouragement, I can’t imagine where I’ll end up but I know it will be great. He is confident my daydreams will soon be reality and I’m slowly starting to believe it too. I’m so thankful for him.

end fram

Ending the summer day with Bruce and a Huey’s is perfect. Here’s to many more snocones.

Dress old Anthropologie / Necklace Anthropologie / Tote Madewell

(Photos by Bruce Layman for Colore’ Grace.)

I LOVE MY TOTE

tote1A few months ago, I was getting desperate for a new bag. My previous bag felt way too small for the amount of things I was carrying. I wanted something in a light brown leather and long-lasting because I am typically tough on my bags. Plus, I like having different strap options and a simple designed bag.

Then I found the Madwell Slim Camden tote and fell in love! tote2 I was extremely pleased by how quick my tote arrived. When I ordered with a gold stamp monogram, it was projected to take two to three weeks, but I receieved mine within a week! Once I had this tote in my arms, I filled it with everything I carry daily: keys, sunglasses, extra iphone USB cable, gum, my Russell + Hazel planner, a few cards to write and send out, a few Vintage Seed stamps, my current favorite roll of washi tape, almonds to snack on, and of course my MacBook and iPhone in this new Rifle Paper Co case. I keep the inside of my tote well organized so I never have trouble finding anything despite its size.

tote4 I’m most excited about this tote because it fits my small frame. When I carry my tote by the longer strap the bottom of the bag hits my side perfectly. The leather doesn’t feel heavy to me so even if I pack everything I need I’m still able to carry the tote without my shoulder hurting from the weight. As I’ve carried this bag, it has worn nicely. The leather is now a little more flexible, but the tote still has it’s structured shape.

lookinginbagbackviewevoke

tote6 On a usual day, the first place I take my tote is Cafe Evoke. Their coffee is my favorite, I’m friends with all of the baristas, and it is easy for me to focus on work while I’m sitting in my favorite spot at the bar. If I need to access things in my tote, I sit it on the bar-stool beside me and the tote is structured enough to stand up nicely. tote7 tote8

I can’t imagine carrying any other tote for a while; I love my Madewell tote! I'm excited to see where it will travel with me next!

(Photos by Bruce Layman for Colore Grace.) 

Friday Four

FFMarch14Happy Friday everyone! Finally in Oklahoma, we've had some sunny days to keep our eyes from closing due to the time change. (Side note: Does anyone really prefer to spring forward an hour? We're all so tired for the next week..) The past week I've enjoyed the warmer weather by wearing sandals! Thank goodness for sandal season!

I'm the kind of girl who will find a few pieces I love, and really show them some love by wearing them repetitively. This post was inspired by the dream of adding a few new daily essentials for spring! I would love to pair this with the black slip dress I got last summer. Add some sunglasses and a snocone, and I would be ready for a perfect sun-filled Saturday.

1. Willow infinity ring- Baublebar. / 2. Printed Silk Snood- J.Crew

 3. Callie sandals- J.Crew / 4. Daisy Eau So Fresh- Marc Jacobs

Enjoy your weekend!

-Colore'