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April 17, 2014

SHOP HERS CLOSET

A few weeks ago I had a really fun opportunity to spend the day in Santa Monica with Shop Hers. They're a luxury marketplace where you can buy and sell used designer merchandise at an obviously discounted price, and as a major bargain shopper this is a super appealing idea for me. Amazing designers at a much more affordable price? Almost too good to be true (happily it's not). I only own a small handful of designer pieces, because I just can't justify the price, but when you can find used designer pieces for a fraction of the cost then you're definitely talking my language.

They let me try out the whole process, creating an account and creating a style profile with my sizing information that matched me up with girls my size who were selling their things. I picked out a few items, and then spent the day up at their showroom, digging through racks of their amazing designer pieces, and then creating an outfit.















If you have some unworn or unwanted designer pieces, anyone can sign up to sell on Shop Hers. They also have a VIP program where you send them your pieces and they price, photograph, list, and ship all your merchandise for you -- so easy if you have no extra time to do it yourself (like me).

Or if you're looking for some designer pieces to add to your closet, but don't want to pay full price, they're a great place to look. And to help you out with your first purchase, they're offering a $50 site-wide credit, available for 24 hours after you register...so hop on over and treat yourself to something fabulous!


April 15, 2014

AN OFFICE REVAMP WITH MAKR

Back in the Fall I posted some photos of my office. In the months since then, things have gotten a little more crowded and cluttered. I'm in the early stages of a fabric hoarding problem, so I needed more fabric storage space, I wanted more space for displayed and easily accessible visual inspiration, and I really wanted specific bins and storage for all my little random project tools. So I teamed up with Makr, a gorgeous design app (that's free for download!), to help organize my workspace. I'm a label junky (you better believe all the containers in my pantry are labeled), so using their super easy app to create this pretty little labels for my shelves and boxes was a dream.

I tackled only one corner of my office, but having a spot and a label for everything, and being able to see all my fabric at once is a huge improvement. Now I want to label all the things!









obviously those aren't buttons in that "button" jar...somehow I've misplaced my button stash. So my tiny collection of washi tape is taking it's place until the button stash is found :)








pin board: made by me (easy tutorial coming soon!)
labels c/o Makr
gray boxes: the container store
wire basket: the container store (not online)
wooden box: ikea
glass jar: ikea 

I love that everything has a place, I have a lot more storage, and everything is so organized. I absolutely love how it turned out. Next up in the office revamp is a big pegboard and shelving...my organization loving self cannot wait!

Makr is generously providing 20% off a print order for my readers! Just register with the referral code MERRICKART and enter same code at checkout, so go make yourself some invitations, cards, stickers, or even try out their new capability of designing your own logo!  (Code expires May 31st!)

this post was sponsored by Makr. They provided the credit for me to order my labels, but the designs and opinions are my own.

RAIDING MY SISTERS CLOSET: WARDROBE WORKHORSE #2

A few months ago my sisters and I posted about wardrobe workhorses.  Pieces that you wear constantly, that go with everything, etc. Today is part two -- a second wardrobe workhorse in our closet! Mine is this striped blazer from Old Navy. I bought it a few months ago, on a total whim, planning to try it on with a few things at home and then promptly returning it. Instead, I got home and realized just how versatile it was, and then figured out a bunch of ways I could wear it. Here are five:

1. Try it with a solid colored dress to add a splash of pattern
2. Wear it with distressed jeans to create a nice balance of casual and sophisticated
3. Pattern mix with florals, wider stripes, or polka dots
4. Throw it on over a t-shirt to instantly dress up your outfit
5. Try it with a loose or flowy top or dress to add structure

Here I applied #2 and #3 by pairing it with a floral print for some easy pattern mixing, and combining it with distressed jeans for a sophisticated casual look.






photos by sara walk

old navy blazer (similar options below)
sole society boots, c/o (similar)
jewelmint necklace, c/o (similar)



Now hop over to my sister's blogs to see their wardrobe workhorses! 

  

April 11, 2014

THE PERFECT SUMMER SWING DRESS (TUTORIAL)

I'm completely obsessed with chartreuse right now. It's a different and unexpected neon color, unlike neon yellow or pink, and it's just so fresh and bright and fun for summer, like a freshly squeezed lime.

I picked up this fabric from Girl Charlee a few months ago, thinking I would use part of it for my Parisian top, but I changed my mind after ordering it so this fabric suddenly had no purpose. Then my Golden Tote showed up in the mail a few days later and had that amazing flared tunic, and I knew I had to use it as a pattern to make a knee-length dress...the shape was perfectly comfortable, casual, and flattering on any body type -- even maternity (even though I'm not pregnant)! I remembered this fun, bright fabric, and the rest is history.

I'm planning to make myself a few more of these and live in them during the summer! But this style of dress would also be perfect layered with a scarf, boots, tights, and a jacket during the fall and winter!

A full tutorial is at the end of this post!






photos by jylare smith

made by me dress

Find the full tutorial after the jump!



April 10, 2014

BLOGGING ESSENTIALS, PART 2 // PERSONALIZED POSTCARDS

Over the weekend I attended a fun little blogger/shopgirl girls night. I've discovered over the past year or so that these events are some of my favorite part of blogging. Blogging can be such an individual thing when you're sitting at a desk by yourself writing posts, so interacting with other bloggers, shop owners, and creative people is so refreshing and inspiring. I mean, why do you think I went to Alt Summit??

I've been trying to make a little more time for these kinds of events, both small and large, just because they are great for making connections, and of course, getting out of the house occasionally. But in addition to going to the event, one thing that I learned at Alt is that the right tools go a long way as well. At Alt I made a big effort to bring beautiful business cards and media kits, but another great tool I recently thought of was personalized postcards. After an event, I like to send a little email to the hostess just to personally thank her, or after a great collaboration I like to thank my company contact, but real mail can go a long way with impressions and connections. 

I teamed up with Makr, a gorgeous design app, and made myself some fun and simple personalized postcards. I used part of the illustration I drew for my business cards, and then added some pretty text. I love how they turned out, and I'm super excited to send these to all the companies that I work with, and all the hostesses for the events I attend. A really nice, but simple way to say thank you for partnering with Merrick's Art. 

The other good news is that my design is available for download in the app, so you can use my pretty little lady for a fun invitation, a pretty label, or just a printable! The app is super user friendly, and has gorgeous modern design templates you can use, or the capability to start from scratch and create your own. I also love that the app gives you the ability to print them at home, or have them printed and shipped to you. I'm already dreaming up Christmas cards, birthday invitations, and future baby announcements that I'm going to create with this app! And the best part? It's FREE for download!





The event was hosted by Andrea from For The Love Of and was held in this darling studio in downtown Fullerton. We got to play around with some new awesome Cricut machines, create some pretty hexagon paintings, eat delicious food (all made by Andrea...seriously, I could have eaten the entire pan of her ricotta, goat cheese, and tomato dip), and just hang out. It was a blast.




photo credit: andrea howe



And since I'm sure you're dying to know, I wore my comfy camo pants, a neon sweater, and then paired them with my new leather ankle boots, a blush colored bag, and gold jewelry. It was an unexpected combination, and it sort of just came together randomly, but I love how it turned out. Plus, it was so comfy but looked purposeful, trendy, and casual chic.






_______________________
sweater: similar
pants: similar
boots: similar
bag: similar
sunglasses c/o lulu*s
necklace: c/o jewelmint


 I want to know what other blogging tools you think are helpful or essential, and if you would send personalized postcards to those you worked with on your blog! And be sure to download Makr (for FREE!) on your iPad to check out my design and make it your own, or and start creating something gorgeous on your own!

And just for my readers, Makr is providing 20% off a print order! Just register with the referral code MERRICKART and enter same code at checkout. (Code expires May 31st).




this post was sponsored by Makr. They provided a credit for me to order my cards, but the designs and opinions are all my own. 

April 9, 2014

CLOSET ESSENTIALS, PART 1 // LEATHER ANKLE BOOTS (+ A GIVEAWAY!)

A few weeks ago I shared 5 tips for building a great wardrobe, and mentioned in that post that I was working on an updated closet staples series. Well, here we are. Part one of a Closet Essentials series. To be honest I'm not sure how many parts this series will have...maybe ten, maybe twenty. But I want to share my most worn, most loved, and most versatile pieces in my closet. The things I cannot live without. 

And along the way, I'll share how I style them, how you can style them, and a few places to find similar or identical items. Also, I should mention that these are no particular order.

CLOSET ESSENTIAL 1 // 
CLASSIC LEATHER ANKLE BOOTS

These have been something I've been on the hunt for for the last two years, at least, and although I've purchased and been sent a few pairs that were nice, they weren't real leather, and weren't a really classic pair. So it wasn't until I ran across these gorgeous leather ones at Nordstrom Rack a few weeks ago that the hunt was finally over.







photos by jylare smith
________________________

top: c/o lulu*s
jeans: c/o dittos
boots: nordstrom rack (similar)
sunglasses: c/o lulu*s
necklaces: c/o bip and bop, here and here (don't forget to enter the giveaway below!!)
watch: michael kors
bag: similar

Which Ones To Choose:
  • The most classic pairs are a normal shaft height, no embellishments, and a block heel. 
  • Choose black or brown, depending on your preference. Both are very classic and incredibly versatile
  • If your legs and ankles are thin, low-cut, medium, and high shafts are great on you. If your legs and ankles are thicker, go for just the medium height, like mine. 
  • Recognize these as an investment piece. If you can't afford real leather at this stage of your life and you really, really want a pair, look for pairs that have nice and realistic faux leather or faux suede. But for this particular item, it's worth it to save for a few months and then splurge on a nice pair because if you take care of them, they'll last you for years. 


How to wear them:
  • I just wrote a post over at Babble about this very thing -- the Dos and Don'ts of Cuffing Your Jeans with Ankle Boots. Check it out and learn how to wear them with your jeans. 
  • Wear them with dresses, skirts, jeans, shorts...you name it. These are one of the most versatile pairs of shoes you will own. And if they are a classic, unembellished pair, you will be able to wear them forever!

Where to Buy Them:

I've found some fantastic pairs of all shaft heights, heel heights, and materials, but all very classic and versatile.


Are you convinced to buy a pair yet? Trust me, you need them in your closet. They are an essential. 


Stay tuned for Closet Essentials, Part 2 coming up soon!

. . . . . . . . . . . 

And now for a fantastic giveaway from one of my amazing sponsors, Bip and Bop. It's a darling little etsy shop with the prettiest and most delicate jewelry. They're giving away $100 to their shop so you can pick yourself up a few pretty things to add to your closet! My favorite is her love letter necklaces, like the one she made for Philip and me, but I'm also obsessed with this gold feather necklace and the infinity bracelet

Enter with the Rafflecopter widget below! 


The giveaway will be open for one week -- good luck, and Happy Wednesday!!


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