Maternity Style // Week 32

Welp, I'm caught up on outfits now!  Well, sort of.  Technically I'm 33 weeks now, but I'm such a procrastinator that I usually shoot my outfits on the last or second to last day of my gestation week, which means that I probably will never have an outfit posted in the actual gestation week I'm currently in.  I can't remember if us pregnant gals aren't "supposed" to wear horizontal stripes, but I don't care because this dress is soft and stretchy and feels like jammies.

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Southwest Inspired Baby Shower

Last Saturday we had my baby shower, and despite the Alaskan winter knocking on our door, I decided to go for a southwest inspired theme for the party!  Which basically meant I could buy more cacti without feeling bad about it.  Pretty much everything was DIY, except for the macarons (which I've made before, but was in no mood to bake a fussy dessert.  These ones from Sweet Caribou here in Anchorage were to die for).

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Your Brave

Last night I was over at my parents' and they have been performing an archeological dig of their home office this past week, unearthing thousands of power cords to devices that probably don't exist any more, tons of documents that are useful only for shredding and recycling, and old laptops which function mostly as external hard drives for photo storage.  Anyway, they'd pulled out my mom's old laptop from circa '06-'08 and it's screen saver was a slideshow of old photos taken during those years.  One of the big things that happened was our 2007 family cross-country RV trip and hidden amongst the photos of us standing in front of national monuments and at national parks, there's a photo of a 70's Winnebago RV. 

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Maternity Style // Week 30

Starting to feel kind of like a house, which makes sense, because there is an ever-enlarging human residing inside me.  Two more months of this, woof!  Last night we built my crib, so the baby's room is slowly, very slowly, coming together!  I've been enjoying my lazy, slow mornings snuggling in bed with Dusty, knowing the my days of full nights of sleep are numbered.  

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Maternity Style // Week 29

Maternity Style | Week 29 | Delightfully Tacky

Two months to go and I'm starting to feel very pregnant.  It's still so bizarre to me that I even am pregnant.  Sometimes I'll just stand in the mirror and be like, is this real life?  Still haven't started working on the nursery.  Still haven't come even close to picking a name.  Have bought some clothes, and my baby shower is on Saturday, so this baby thing is sinking in at least a little!  A stranger asked me when I was due yesterday, so I guess I'm at the point now where I look actually pregnant, not just ambiguously rotund.  Now excuse me while I go take a weeklong nap because I'm an insane person and scheduled a 15 hour travel day with 3 flights at 7 months pregnant...

Top : Thrifted (Free People) | Leggings : Motherhood Maternity | Boots : Vogue Footwear
Hat : c/o Moorea Seal | Necklace : Free People | Cardigan : c/o Modcloth

DIY Marble Chic Fridge Makeover

If you guys know me, you know I can't just have a regular fridge.  In my last three places I've re-covered my fridge with contact paper, and even the Winnie(s) got a chalkboard fridge!  Refrigerators can be ultra boring, especially if you're in a rental.  And if you're renting, it's not like you can paint it or replace it, so you're stuck with it.  Not so!  Ladies and gentlemen, contact paper is your fridge's best friend.  

I've used chalkboard contact paper, woodgrain contact paper, and marble contact paper to cover fridges and I like all three (though I will say the seam on the chalkboard contact paper is more obvious than the other two, just because it's black and the white chalk makes a little line where the two edges of contact paper meet).

What you'll need:
Marble Contact Paper
Gold Metallic tape (I used this stuff)
X-acto knife (optional
Tape Measure

First thing you need to do is remove the fridge door handles, which is very easy.  There's usually just a screw on top the door and either on the bottom of the door, or on the bottom front of the door.  Unscrew both screws and the handle pops right off.  You can screw the handle back on after applying your contact paper, but I liked how clean it looked without the handle and it's perfectly easy to open without a handle. 

Applying the contact paper to the fridge is pretty straightforward.  I did two vertical pieces of contact paper on the front (one full width, and then one to fill the remaining space), and then the sides also took two vertical pieces, again, one full width and then a smaller strip to complete the side.  

Measure how much you need for each piece as you go, cut the piece and then pull a few inches of the backing off to start applying.  Make sure your measurements include enough to wrap around the edges of the doors.  Apply it to the front of the door, leaving the edges loose to wrap once you've got the front stuck on.  Pull the backing off and smooth the sticky side to the fridge in increments so you don't get air bubbles.  Once the front is stuck on, go around the edges and stick them down.  You'll need to cut a little slice out of the the corner so it lays flat.

Continue that process around the whole fridge till it's all covered!

If you want to put the gold border around the front of the doors, measure how far you want the tape from the edges of the door (I measured 1.5 inches) and put pencil marks at that measurement to give you a guideline for where the edge of the tape will go.  Once you've got all your tape placement measured out, you can start sticking the tape on!

Cut a slight diagonal on the end of the tape and put the point right on the corner where you measurement marks are.  Stick it down making sure it lines up with the other measurement marks. When you get to the end, cut it at a diagonal again so the point is in the corner.  Repeat that process until you've got all your lines done!  Now revel in the awesomeness of your swanky new fridge!  And for only about 12 bucks!

10 Favorite Fall Recipes

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Fall flavors are some of my favorites, and with chilly mornings and the leaf covered ground, I'm totally in full-on fall mode.  Besides the obvious (pumpkin), fall is full of amazing flavors, from winter squashes, to apples, and everything is hearty and filling.  And, well, it wouldn't be a fall recipe list without plenty of pumpkin recipes, which I have included aplenty.  My stomach is growling just putting this post together!  

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Homemade Applesauce Recipe
Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Icing
Gourmet Chorizo Mac and Cheese
Perfect Pumpkin Bread
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Pumpkin Chia Pudding with Persimmon and Granola
Poached Apples with Whipped Cream
Mushroom Butternut Gruyere Tart
Pumpkin Caramels

Maternity Style // Week 28

Maternity Style | Week 27 | Delightfully Tacky

Fall is in full swing and I'm so happy.  I'm having a little baby shower/blessingway next weekend and my mom and I have been testing out cake/icing flavors (and sort of unsuccessfully attempting to learn how to naked-ice a cake without making it look ugly).  We tested out this cake + icing recipe pair last night and it was super tasty, but we've still got some work to do on getting the icing to actually look like a nice naked cake.  Who knew a naked cake would be harder to do than a regular iced cake?  Not me.  

Either way, moral of the story is it's fall, so pumpkin cakes with maple cream cheese icing are totally in, which makes me a happy camper.  I'm actually not a PSL person (or a Starbucks person, really, for that matter), but I have always loved fall flavors.  My wedding was in November and we had pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (and red velvet cake, mmmm) and they were delicious.  The whole pies-as-wedding-cakes thing hadn't hit the mainstream yet, but in retrospect, I totally would've had pumpkin pie and apple pie at my fall wedding too.  Aaaand now I'm craving pie.

Tee (similar) : H+M | Jacket (similar) : c/o Lulu's | Skirt (similar) : Thrifted (Wet Seal) |
Shoes (similar) : c/o Seychelles | Necklace (similar) : Free People

Maker of the Month : Katie of Odd Daughter Paper Co.

Maker of the Month- Odd Daughter Paper Co.

I was introduced to Katie's rad business, Odd Daughter Paper Co. last year when I saw one of her amazing little prints in Moorea Seal's shop.  I had my eyes on it for a while and now the little cactus print is hanging on my wall.  Her illustration style is so quirky and fun and her cards are hilarious and perfect.  Hallmark ain't got nothin' on Katie's cute and totally relevant cards.

Get to know more about Katie (spoiler alert: she wasn't planning to become an illustrator and didn't go to school for graphic design or illustration!), her creative process, and how she ended up making cute cards for a living in our interview below!  And because you're gonna want to snatch up some of her cards and prints, you can get 15% off in her shop with the code "TACKY15" now until October 13th!

Tell us about your creative business!  What do you do? How did it start?  Where do you want to take it?

I'm a graphic designer / illustrator and I have a stationery line -- all under the name Odd Daughter Paper Co. Over five years ago I started painting cards one by one and selling them at a local farmer's market. I slowly started refining my style and after a while I began getting my designs printed.  I truly love seeing them screen printed, letterpressed and/or detailed with gold foil! I studied Interior Design, so this isn't the path I expected, but it is definitely the one I'm passionate about. 

What do you do to keep your creative juices fresh and flowing? 

My goal is to design cards that you'll want to give to your BFF, sister, husband/wife. With that said, spending time with friends and family helps to keep me inspired! Conversations and funny moments with people are often what spark my card ideas. I also try to get outside, spend time going for walks and practice yoga. 

What is your favorite part about having a creative business? 

My favorite part of having a creative business is being able to call my passion "work". Yes, there is a ton of work (admin, managing wholesale, shipping orders, etc) that isn't drawing/ designing.... but still. The fact that my job revolves around something that I love is pretty darn cool. 

Do you have a routine that helps you stay balanced?  If so, what do you feel is most important to your routine?

I've had a couple different routines since leaving my day job to work on Odd Daughter full time. At the moment, I'm working part time at a local floral shop. It helps by adding structure to my routine and schedule. I basically split time between the flower shop and working on design work at my studio. Aside from that structure, I still need to continue to refine my routine! 

What are the biggest struggles associated with having a creative business? 

My biggest struggles have been 1) Financial and 2) Getting stuck in the lie that "my work isn't good enough".  Still working on both of those! ;)

Other than what you create for your business, do you have any other creative pursuits that are merely for your own pleasure? 

Right now, I see my work at the floral shop as a creative pursuit that I'm able to enjoy for fun. Over the past 5 months (since starting work there), I've learned so much about floral arranging and love that the act of "designing an arrangement" complements my graphic design and illustration style. 

What other makers, creative folk, shops, instagrams, etc. are inspiring you at the moment?  

I'm currently listening to Joseph's song Blood & Tears on repeat. They are amazingly talented sisters and such an inspiration. I also love the shop Shorthand in Los Angeles. It has the best stationery / office supplies in all the land (aaaand they carry some of my work!)

What was the path that brought you to where you're at with your creative business right now?  Any specific, notable moments you remember that led you to where you are now?

The path that led to where I am right now has been windy, difficult and rewarding. A significant turning point took place when I graduated with my degree in interior design; it was during a recession and I knew I wasn't going to get a design job. During that period (of working a slightly-design-related-admin job), I realized that I was more interested in graphic design and illustration, rather than interior design. I began poring over every design blog I could find -- and that was definitely the beginning of my journey. Leaving my full-time day job about 18 months ago was also a significant moment. I've since taken on some part time work... but that moment of saying "I'm going to choose to pursue my business and give it the time it deserves" was equal parts amazing and terrifying. 

Make sure you head over and check out Odd Daughter Paper Co.'s shop (and use the 15% off discount code, "TACKY15".  Expires Oct 13.), and give them a follow on Instagram and Facebook!

If you know of a rad lady who runs a creative business making super awesome stuff who you think should be our next Maker of the Month, submit them at the bottom of the page here!  We love learning about new BA Chicks making stuff, running business, and being generally kick ass and creative.

All photos c/o Odd Daughter Paper Co. by Marissa Maharaj

Maternity Style // Week 27

Maternity Style | 27 Weeks

It's been fun returning to old photo haunts in Anchorage.  Many years ago, before my first Brave trip, I took photos at this spot with the Brave.  I was a couple months from setting out on a huge adventure, and that photo set is still one of my favorites.  Here we are again, a couple months from another huge adventure, taking photos in the same spot.  This time last year I was buying tickets to Paris, and now I'm researching strollers online... crazy how much difference a year makes.  But I like the change.  I actually find myself a little disappointed if, at any point during the year, I look back to 1 year ago and could've imagined myself where I am.  

The past few years have felt a little doldrum-y, doing the "normal-life" thing in Tacoma, and even though getting pregnant, moving back to Alaska, and living next door to my parents might not feel like the most adventurous of changes, I'm glad for a new life-scenery.  Getting un-stuck takes that first step of actually doing something new and different, so even if where I'm at in the present isn't where I want to end up, at least I'm moving towards it.

Tee : c/o Modcloth | Skirt : Thrifted | Jacket : Modcloth | Necklace : c/o Moorea Seal
Shoes : c/o Seychelles | photos by Dan

Maternity Style // Week 26

Maternity Outfit Week 26

Welp, as of today, I'm 30 weeks pregnant.  Only 10 more weeks to go, and I'm almost caught up on posting these maternity outfits!  It's crazy to think I only have 10 more outfits left!  I might end up photographing more than one per week as the end approaches, just because it's almost a bummer only having 10 more bump outfits to rock!  Of course, in my final weeks we'll be in the throes of winter up here, so maybe I'll rethink that idea when it's below freezing and snowing outside...

Cardigan : c/o Modcloth | Top : c/o Asianicandy | Dress (similar) : Thrifted (Wet Seal)
Glasses : c/o Bonlook | Boots : c/o Minnetonka | Necklace : Free People
Photos by Dan

3 simple ways to invest in your creative self

3 simple ways to invest in your creative self

Investing in your own creative self can be hard to focus on, especially if you're also running your own business, wrangling kids, working full time, or just getting through life in general.  Doing anything that fosters your own creative life can feel like a luxury that you just can't afford, but there are some simple little things that can help infuse that creativity into your life and help grow that aspect of yourself.  A lot of us spend too much time looking at other creative people and thinking about how green the grass of their creative lives looks, wishing ours was as lush, while we neglect watering our own creative grass.  It can feel daunting to even start watering when we look at the crunchy, ugly, brown grass we're sporting, so here are three easy, simple ways to begin caring for your creativity.

1. Journal every day

This one can be hard to stick to, but I find that it's much easier if I get into a routine with it.  I find that I like to end my day with a journal sesh, so I can decompress and hash through everything that happened that day, but I also know that starting your day with writing a few pages in your journal can be great too.  Having a blank slate mentally, without all the crap from your day cluttering your mind, can be really good for getting into your true thoughts.  I used to be a crazy good at journaling in high school and college, I have notebooks full of entries for years, but once I started blogging I pretty much stopped altogether.  I've been trying to instill this habit again because, honestly, blogging publicly is no replacement for having a personal, private journal where you can be 110% uncensored and really just get it all out there.  It's therapeutic and, even if you don't express yourself creatively through writing, journaling can really help a creative mind feel more fresh and inspired.  Maybe it's the process of just getting all the stuff out that's clogging our brains creatively.  Clearing the headspace and making room for creative thoughts to flourish.

If you have a hard time with figuring out what to write, or blank out when your pencil hits the page, having some prompts can really help get your brain flowing.  Googling "journal prompts" is a great way to find, literally, thousands of prompts to give you direction, and you can even search for more specific directions like, "journal prompts on creativity."  Sometimes it just takes a while for your brain to be able to open the floodgates, so you have to prime it a little bit and get the juices flowing.

2. Find your play

Creativity is inherently playful.  When you think about kids, they're SO creative, and SO good at playing.  They don't care about what something is supposed to look like or supposed to be.  There is no right or wrong way to play.  As adults we've un-learned this and become really good at feeling like we're doing things wrong.  A lot of us have to re-train our brains to be able to even accept playing, especially playing with no goal or purpose, as something acceptable to do.  I am incredibly guilty of this.  I feel like everything I do has to have a goal or serve a purpose and if it doesn't, then I'm wasting time that should be spent working one something.  It's hard to convince my brain to release that and to just do something purely for play.  But play and creativity are intertwined and squelching one can only squelch the other, so investing in things that are purely play for you will infuse your creative self with new life

3. Commit to actually making

With stuff like pinterest and instagram and infinite scrolling, it's easy to do a lot of "becoming inspired" and consuming of inspiring ideas... but never actually doing anything.  We want to do stuff because we're so damn inspired all the time, but it's easier to scroll through pinterest one more time than actually get off our butts and actually make.  Being inspired can certainly be great for creativity, but when the ratio of getting inspired time versus actually making stuff tilts so heavily in the direction of getting inspired, you don't actually do anything with all that inspiration.  I fall into this trap all the time, because being inspired kind of feels like making.  But nothing can take the place of actually making stuff when it comes to cultivating your creativity.  And while getting inspired by others' work can be nice, there's nothing that can replace making your own work for growing as an artist and honing your own personal style, regardless of what kind of medium you prefer working in!

Maternity Style // Week 25

Maternity Style | week 25

Oof, you guys.  The day after shooting a wedding I feel like laying around and doing absolutely nothing.  Like, someone just come make me food and give me foot massages and complete my to-do list, K?  Luckily I only have two more weddings to shoot this year before I'm on "maternity leave."  Thankfully things worked out so my due date was smack dab in the middle of the off-season for weddings!  I'm going to be taking on lots more portrait and boudoir sessions this next year, just because it'll be nice to have shorter sessions than a full wedding day, which can be 12+ hours.  I've also been really drawn towards the more intimate day-to-day moments that can be captured with lifestyle portrait sessions, so it's cool that my creative leanings are lending themselves towards those kinds of sessions too.

My outfit photo sessions have been doubling as re-acquainting myself with local photo locations! It's fun going back to old spots that I used to shoot at and finding new spots that are awesome where I could take clients!  This spot is actually just in my front yard, and I used to take outfit photos here way back in the day, but further into the woods.  Since I've been away, though, there was a house built on the vacant lot that was there, so no more traipsing through the woods next door for me any more!

Dress : Thrifted | Shoes (similar) : Kenzie Girl | Necklace : Navajo artisan in Arizona
Ring : c/o Moorea Seal | Purse : c/o Minnetonka

Maternity Style // Week 24

Maternity Style | week 24

Almost all caught up to my current week (28)!  I spent almost all of the 2nd trimester feeling not really pregnant, more like I-just-ate-too-many-tacos, but by the end of it I was definitely sporting a legit bump.  This is one of the few actual maternity tops that I picked up, mostly because it doesn't scream maternity.  One of my favorite thrifted tops that I had years ago I realized was a maternity top after finally looking at the tag after having worn it many a time!  So there are some maternity specific clothing that most definitely can transition to post-pregnancy style.  I plan on belting this up as a tunic after the bump is gone!

The other day I bought my first article of clothing that one could define as "goal" clothes.  As in, I don't fit in it now, but I plan on being able to later (post baby, and probably post-working-out-for-a-while).  I've never been one to buy something I don't fit into with the goal of being able to eventually wear it after losing weight/getting fit.  But, I made an exception because I'd had my eyes on these pants for, literally, years and they were on final sale so I snagged them, even though I won't be able to wear them until sometime next year.  I think it's kind of fun to have a new article of clothing that I can look forward to wearing, and it'll be nice motivation for getting to the gym. 

Top : Motherhood Maternity | Cardigan + Leggings (similar) : c/o Modcloth | Hat : The North Face
Boots (similar) : Kensie Girl | Photos by Dan

DIY Midcentury Entryway Bench Makeover

DIY Midcentury Marble Entry Bench

My parents have had this TV cabinet for... decades.  Like, I'm pretty sure they might have had it when they lived in California, which is almost 30 years ago.  It was a boring piece of furniture, and minimally functional as a TV stand.  When we moved into the apartment it was in here with a TV on it, but we moved the TV and I put this thing over by the front door as a place to keep shoes and bins of scarves and mittens.  It was still kind of ugly but at least it was more functional as an entryway piece.  At first I thought about painting the top and bottom white, but then I decided to give it a midcentury-inspired refresh with some marble contact paper and tapered legs!  

It was such an easy DIY, seriously under 30 minutes start to finish and was around $30-$40 all said and done.  And you don't use much of the contact paper so you'll have a bunch left over for other fun projects!

Midcentury Marble bench- before

What you'll need:

Marble Contact Paper
Tapered Furniture Legs (I used these ones)
Furniture Leg mounting bracket
Wood Stain/Poly (to stain the legs to match your bench)

DIY Midcentury Marble Entry Bench
DIY Midcentury Marble Entry Bench

First thing to do: apply the contact paper to the top and bottom "shelves."  Where you start/finish the contact paper will depend on how your original piece is designed.  This one was pretty easy, it had a very simple top that had defined edges, same with the bottom shelf where the shoes are sitting. I just left the upright sides original.  

Peel the contact paper backing off as you go, making sure there are no bubbles.  I wrapped the edges around the underside about an inch to secure it so it wouldn't peel up.

DIY Midcentury Marble Entry Bench

Pretty sexy!  Now to get rid of those terrible black plastic wheels and replace them with chic tapered legs.

First, screw in the plates that you'll screw the legs into.  This was super easy with a power drill, but you could manhandle it manually if you don't have a power drill (pro tip: buy your damn self a power drill.  If you like doing projects around the house, even if you're renting, having one of these, even a cheap little one, is so helpful!).

DIY Midcentury Marble Entry Bench
DIY Midcentury Marble Entry Bench

You can paint/stain your legs to match your bench before or after you screw them in.  I decided to do it after I screwed them in, while the whole thing was still upside down because then they were held in place upright and it made it easier for me to stain them.  But you can do it before too, whatever you'd like.  

Screw those bad boys in, flip her over, and you're done!

DIY Midcentury Marble Entry Bench
DIY Midcentury Marble Entry Bench

Maternity Style | Week 22 + 23

If you ever need to feel bad ass, put on some dark lipstick, black clothes, and a spiky necklace.  Works wonders.  I promise.  I actually am craving some new dark lipshades, and Bite Beauty was suggested to me by some folks as an awesome natural beauty product company.  Their darker shades are definitely calling my name right now.  Maybe it's the change of the season too.  Dark lipstick always feels right when the temperature drops.  I accidentally left my darkest lipshade with a model on one of my photo shoots, so I've been custom making my own dark lip color by mixing black lipstick with one of my more scarlet reds, which works alright.

I've never been super into makeup, but I often find myself wanting more colors and shades than my current limited palate.  I have a ton of crazy lip colors from Lime Crime, but my eyeshadows are sorely lacking. I have an excess of neutral colors, and just a few "out there" shades that I've bought for various burlesque looks (a super saturated green for my emerald city act, a bright blue and a silver for my snow princess act, and a vibrant red for my poppy act).  Other than that, I don't have much.  Makeup is always the last thing on my list of things I need, so it always gets bumped.  It's not a necessity, so I rarely ever splurge on new makeup, but someday I'll flesh out my eyeshadow collection!  

Top :  Hoof and the Horn | Shades + Necklace : c/o Moorea Seal
Dress : Cariloha | Boots : c/o Seychelles
Photos by Dan

maternity style week 23

Top : hand-me-down | Skirt : c/o Modcloth | Shoes : c/o Minnetonka

Chic File Cabinet DIY Restyle

Chic Palm Leaf File Cabinet DIY

I was bummed to get rid of our cute yellow file cabinet when we moved, but I knew that trying to fit a big ol' file cabinet in our tiny Uhaul was just going to take up space we needed for more important stuff.  I figured it'd be easy to find another cheap second-hand file cabinet when we got to Anchorage and that spending 20 bucks on a file cabinet was worth not trying to shove it in a Uhaul trailer that was already going to be packed to the gills.

I'm actually glad we ended up getting a new file cabinet because we needed a 3-drawer one anyway, as our 2-drawer one was getting a little too full.  I found the cabinet below at Value Village for only 12 bucks and knew it'd be a great candidate for a makeover.

DIY file cabinet makeover: Before

It was a little dented, a *meh* shade of beige, slightly scuffed, and had some stickers stuck to the top.  Originally I had planned on painting it for the makeover, but I realized I had some leftover removable wallpaper from Wallsneedlove that I never got around to using for my Winnie, and it ended up being the perfect amount of wallpaper necessary for the project!

What you'll need: 
Spray paint/primer
Masking tape
Removable Wallpaper or Contact Paper

If you need to change the color of the front, which is the only part of the cabinet that shows after you cover the sides, you'll need to paint it.  I used Valspar Project Perfect paint + primer in white to freshen up the front of the cabinet so it would match the wallpaper better. The photo above isn't a true "before" pic because I already sprayed the front, so it looks much cleaner and nicer than it did when I bought it.  You'll want to either remove the hardware (pull handles and such) or mask them off.  I am too impatient during DIY projects, so I just masked them off.

Once your front is the color you'd like, you can apply the wallpaper or contact paper.  I used the Banana Leaf wallpaper from Wallsneed love (and they have hundreds of other designs that would look amazing for this project!), but you could also use contact paper!  I've covered fridges before with chalkboard wallpaper and faux wood wallpaper, and I think marble contact paper would look super amazing on this DIY!

The file cabinet will be too deep for just one width of wallpaper/contact paper.  I ended up needing about 7 more inches to finish the back, so make sure you calculate how much you'll need to cover the area you want to cover.  I actually didn't cover the side against the wall or the back because a) you don't see them and b) I didn't have any more wallpaper.  

I think this is one of my favorite DIY makeovers ever!  Covering ugly things with cute wallpaper is my favorite.  It's so easy and has a HUGE impact.  My next thing to cover is our fridge because it is a super ugly old ivory color (BORING).  I haven't lived anywhere in the past 5 years without covering my fridge in contact paper, actually!  Haha!  Seriously, If your fridge is boring, just go out and get yourself some contact paper and wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am fix that 'ish.  I did a DIY tutorial many years ago for this DIY and it's super easy.  Go do it and thank me later.

Maternity Style // Week 19 + 21

I won't lie, I'm getting to the point where I miss my old clothes and having a waist and dressing the way I'm used to dressing.  At 19/21 weeks, when I shot these outfits, I could still pull off a pretty non-maternity look, but at 28 weeks now I'm approaching the "large and in charge" phase of pregnancy.  Luckily I've acquired some stretchy, but cute, things that have been really nice for getting dressed without feeling like a total scrub (although there are definitely days I spend the whole day in sweats or leggings.

Dressing for pregnancy is definitely a challenge, especially because your body looks so different than you're used to it looking. I need to go thrifting again because last time I scored big time on some really cute (non-maternity) things that work perfectly for a growing bump and those items really helped me be able to get dressed and still feel like I look nice.  Having 3 or 4 more pieces in my closet that fit that bill will be nice, especially for remixing.  I'm really not into buying maternity-specific clothes, except pants, which are the best.  Having clothes that work for a bump but will transition easily into being regular non-pregnant clothes is my goal when shopping.  I don't want to end up with a bunch of stuff that doesn't work once the bump is gone.  

Dress : Forever 21 (similar) | Cardigan : c/o Modcloth (similar)| Necklace : c/o Tribe Jewelry
Shoes : c/o Seychelles (similar) | Belt : Souvenir Shop in Calico, CA
photos by Dan

maternity style

Dress : c/o Modcloth (similar) | Shoes + Necklace + Shades : c/o Moorea Seal

Maker of the Month: Amy of Little Bright Studio

Maker of the Month- Little Bright Studio

This is a series I've wanted to do for a long time and I'm SO excited to finally get it started!  One of the things I loved about blogging back in the day was the Blogger of the Moment feature I did.  I got to interview other bloggers I liked, and most of those bloggers became real-life friends, plus it was fun being able to share cool people with my readers and send them over to follow new, rad folks!  

Over the years I've been inspired by so many super cool lady makers who are running amazing creative businesses, and I want to share them with you, because a) they're inspiring AF, b) who run the world? Girls. and c) you should go support them and their small businesses!

My first Maker of the Month is Amy of Little Bright Studios!  Amy makes, quite possibly, the cutest bags of all time.  I remember coming across her stuff a year or two ago and was so taken with how fun and bright her creations were.  I was so excited to do a little interview with her about her creative business and get to know her a little better!

Tell us about your creative business! What do you do? How did it start? Where do you want to take it?

My name is Amy, owner of Little Bright Studio, a handbag and accessories brand based in Portland, OR. With my bags, fun and function come in equal parts: I want them to bring a little sunshine to the world, while giving the wearer a piece that is practically designed and long­ lasting. Little Bright Studio became official five years ago when I closed my portrait photography business to focus on what I love most. It has been a slow progress ever since, but I believe it has allowed me to invest thoroughly in how my brand speaks its message. My goal for Little Bright Studio is to become an internationally recognized brand with strong ethical standards and always synonymous with fun and quality!

What do you do to keep your creative juices fresh and flowing?

I have to make a confession: It’s unbelievable challenging to nurture your creative drive when running a business solo. Because most of my time is spent marketing, researching, customer service, business outreach, etc, creativity can sort of slip away if I let it. The best way I have found to counter this is to actually schedule time to paint, draw, sew, collage, or write. Taking the time to let myself immerse in art does wonder for my business and my sanity.

What is your favorite part about having a creative business?

I’m not gonna lie to you, I seriously love creating spreadsheets to track inventory, finances, wholesale accounts, and just about any other data­ related need! Haha, Of course, I LOVE the aspects of creating pretty things, getting to know people, working with other makers and such, but I thought I’d give a shout out to those entrepreneurs who LOVE their spreadsheets as much as I do.

Do you have a routine that helps you stay balanced? If so, what do you feel is most important to your routine?

Now that I finally have a separate studio 5 miles from my residence, I am sticking to a regular 9­6ish schedule, which of course, is terrible because I want to work 24/7, but it keeps me grounded and able to function better. I also stick to my daily to­-do list as much as humanly possible, beginning with answering emails, making phone calls, and then heading into the meaty part of the list.

Little Bright Studios

What are the biggest struggles associated with having a creative business?

My number one challenge at the moment is reaching that niche market for bags that are bright, colorful, and have a higher price-­point. It is as market that relies heavily on brand loyalty and passionate word of mouth. It is satisfying when I am able to meet more of these ideal fans.

Do you have any advice for others who are thinking about starting a creative business or pursuing a creative career?

It’s not going to happen overnight. And that’s a positive thing, because you DO want to be 99.9% ready when an unexpected opportunity arises down the line after years of hard work. Often times these opportunities occur because you have cultivated a community that respects you, so be kind, be generous with your knowledge, and TRUST ME, the right things will come your way.

Other than what you create for your business, do you have any creative pursuits that are merely for your own pleasure?

I am hoping to score a nice used easel to put in the corner of my living room so that I can be creative outside of my business once again. I have several dress and quilt patterns I need to convince myself to make.

What other makers, creative folk, shops, instagrams, etc. are inspiring you at the moment?

Quiet Clementine in Arkansas for her playful ceramics, Jill Makes from Louisiana makes colorful jewelry, ORU here in Portland waves teenie tiny beads and mixes them with metals for her fine jewelry, and Natelle Draws Stuff in Florida fills my life with the cutest enamel pins in the universe.

Little Bright Studio

Is there anyone who encourages you to pursue your dreams and goals of living a life with creativity at it's core? How do they do that?

Some days I can’t believe how lucky I am in being surrounded by friends, family, fellow makers who are extremely supportive of me, especially on days when it’s tough to see the value of your work. They remind me that creating art is NECESSARY, that my product has an audience, and that’s okay to feel sad at times. My mom, of course, is my biggest cheerleader.

What was the path that brought you to where you're at with your creative business right now? Any specific, notable moments you remember that led you to where you are now?

It’s been 12 years since I began sewing handbags for fun on my mom’s old Sears Kenmore machine. For many years, I stuck to creating one of a kind designs, which was a LOT of fun, but obviously, that kind of business model is tough to maintain sustainably, so I opted to create collections instead. This new collection draws from some designs that debuted on my shop 2-­3 years ago, but I was never satisfied with either the materials I used or their construction. I applied feedback past customers provided into creating a higher quality (and more fun!) product that I can be 100% proud of calling my creation.

Make sure you head over and check out Little Bright Studios' shop, and give them a follow on Instagram and Facebook!

If you know of a rad lady who runs a creative business making super awesome stuff who you think should be our next Maker of the Month, submit them at the bottom of the page here!  We love learning about new BA Chicks making stuff, running business, and being generally kick ass and creative.

All photos c/o Little Bright Studios, except last photo via @lalafauxbois