Monday, March 25, 2013

Moving day!

Sometimes, things happen faster than you expect, and all you can do is hold on for dear life - even if those things are good. This past week has been one of those times. I went to go look at an apartment two weeks ago and I fell in love with it...but there were four people ahead of me in line for it. I thought there was no way I would get it. Well, by some miracle, all of their applications fell through in one way or another...and I'm about to be an apartment dweller! I picked up the keys today, and I'll start moving things over tomorrow (smack dab in the middle of an already busy week, of course). I can't wait.

Needless to say, though, it's going to be pretty quiet here on the blog until I get settled and figure out the internet situation. But, in the spirit of moving and starting anew, I've gotten this blog a shiny new domain name! No need to adjust your bookmarks - everything should redirect just fine - but this blog can now be found at's to new beginnings, I say! Happy Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Return to Oz

dress: ModCloth | cardigan & tights: Target | belt: thrifted | shoes: Francesca's Collections

It's hard to believe that last St. Patrick's Day, it was over 80 degrees and I was wearing shoes with cutouts and sweating in an airy dress. These photos are from this year's St. Patrick's Day, and it was bitterly cold and miserably windy. (Today, it's been snowing furiously. Oh, Michigan.) I'm amazed any of these photos turned out at all; in almost every single one, my hair was doing crazy things and my dress was blowing in such a way that it looked like I was wearing a saggy drop-crotch romper. Not my best look! However, I'm really happy with the photos that did turn out. Despite the cold, the golden hour was really lovely that night.

That afternoon, Chris and I had gone with his parents to see the new Oz movie. It wasn't anything groundbreaking, but it was quite fun - plus, I've met one of the actors who had a bit part, so I had fun playing "Spot-the-Ralph." (He was one of the main actors in Free Pie!) I also enjoyed finding all of the callbacks to the 1939 movie, even though they couldn't have those references be overt because of copyright. When I was younger, the Wizard of Oz was my absolute favorite movie - I even made my parents call me "Dorothy" for six whole months. That movie will always be special to me. The effects may not be much compared to today's CGI (which was impressive in the new movie), but it's got a charm that I don't think will ever be topped.

I hope you all have a great week! Have any of you seen the new Oz movie?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday Three: 3.14.13

1. SpoonGraphics' list of 50 inspiring branding projects (Here's a link to the original source for the above example)

There's something about these kinds of images that makes me want to simultaneously breathe a big sigh of relief and get frantically to work on my own skills. (From a designer's perspective, that's what good design should do, right?) Chris from the SpoonGraphics blog has compiled an excellent list of examples of branding done right, and it is, quite simply, beautiful. This example is one of my favorites. I'm probably not the target audience for Fast Eddie's, but after seeing this branding project, I would definitely want to be one of their customers somehow!

In honor of Pi Day, enjoy this deliciously simple typography by the talented Lauren Hom. Her blog, Daily Dishonesty, has become one of my absolute favorites - and again, it definitely makes me want to sharpen my design skills and try my hand at lettering.

Last, but not I even need to explain this one?

Enjoy your weekend, everybody!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sponsor The Joyful Fox / March's Charity

Thank you all for your comments a couple posts back regarding sponsorship and supporting charities! It was honestly just the seed of an idea, but due to the support I received from you, I have decided that I will start accepting sponsors as of today. Why wait if there's a possibility that we could make a difference now?

Here's the plan: every month, I will choose some kind of charity or good cause, and donate 25% of the sponsorship proceeds to that cause. I'll also feature them in the sidebar, and do a quick post introducing the charity to all of you. There may be some times when I repeat a charity (my brother runs one, so you better believe they'll be getting some frequent love!), but I want to stay open to what causes are important to you, too. I'm always up for suggestions!

I'm very new to this whole thing, so there may be some kinks to work out in these early days, but I do have a sponsorship page set up in case you are interested. (Please excuse the fact that the ad spots are showing up in a random order - haven't figured that one out yet!)

This month, I will actually be donating 100% of the proceeds to the Elisabeth Oosterhouse Memorial Fund, in memory of my brother's friend who passed away two weeks ago. Funerals are crazy expensive, and Elisabeth's death has put a huge financial burden on her family, in addition to the considerable emotional burden. The money will go towards paying off her funeral so that her family can focus on healing instead of making ends meet.

Thanks again for all your support - I'm excited to see what kind of good we can accomplish together!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Skirts & stripes forever (+ Firmoo glasses review)

glasses: c/o Firmoo | dress (worn as top): Forever 21 | cardigan & wedges: Target | skirt: Francesca's Collections

When Firmoo contacted me a few weeks ago offering me a pair of glasses to review, I had two immediate reactions. The first was unbridled excitement: yes! I've always wanted my own pair of glasses! But the second was something like embarrassment. I don't need glasses! Everyone would know I'm faking it! But after a quick moment of reflection, I realized three things:

1) No one knows I don't need glasses.
2) No one cares I don't need glasses.
3) If someone does care that I don't need glasses and wear them anyway, they seriously need to get a life.

So, here I am, wearing glasses as a fashion accessory, completely unashamed. So there!

And now, a little bit about Firmoo and my experience with them:

Basically, Firmoo is an online eyewear retailer that aims to make glasses both fashionable and affordable. They even have a First-Pair-Free program where new customers can get, well, their first pair free! (This only applies to certain frames, but even the frames you have to pay for are pretty inexpensive.)

My favorite thing about them by far, though, is their virtual try-on system: you can upload your picture to their site to see what different frames will look like on you. I've tried to do this in the past with Photoshop, just to see what I would look like with glasses...but their website takes all the guesswork out of it. Upload your photo, click on each pupil, boom! Done. That was hugely helpful when I was trying to pick out my frames. (Here are the ones I chose).

And now for the awkward experience with their service. See, as a blogger, I sometimes get a little bit annoyed when I read blogger-written reviews that are just a little bit too nice. So I was almost looking forward to having that catch, that one little negative thing I could warn you about. But I honestly didn't have any problems whatsoever. The glasses arrived in a timely manner, they were just as classy as they looked online, and they came nicely packaged with a glasses case, lens cloth, repair kit, and drawstring bag. If you too were looking for the catch, I'm sorry to disappoint! I've gotten tons of compliments on these glasses, and I'm really enjoying how they spice up my wardrobe just a little bit. So, if you're in need of new frames, I highly recommend giving Firmoo a try. 

And now, since I'm curious, I turn it over to you: do any of you wear glasses as a fashion accessory? For you glasses-wearing ladies, what are your thoughts on people who wear them but don't need them?

Thanks to Firmoo for sending these glasses! As always, I promise to be completely honest in any and all reviews.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A splash of saffron

dress: Charlotte Russe | cardigan: H&M | lady tie: Flapper Girl | belt: vintage | tights & shoes: Target

First of all, thank you to all those who took time to read and/or comment on my last post. I know it was nothing like what I normally post, but the subject is very important to me.

I've been thinking a lot about my goals for this blog: what should I do with this tiny little bit of the internet I've carved out for myself? I started to make a list of what I wanted to accomplish here, and somewhat to my surprise, the first thing that popped into my head was "be a force for good." I'm not sure exactly what form that will take, but I'm excited at the prospect. I'm going to do some more thinking and planning on that front over the next couple of weeks. One thing I've thought of is accepting sponsors, and then donating a percentage of the proceeds to a charity. What do you think? How can bloggers have some kind of positive impact?

This has nothing to do with being a force for good, but one small thing I've changed around here so far is finally installing Disqus for comments. It's something I've been meaning to do for a long time, but I thought the process would be tedious and wrought with messy coding. Much to my surprise, the whole process took approximately two minutes! I wish I had done it a whole lot sooner. I've always been a little bit frustrated with Blogger's stunted ability to foster conversations. What's the point of blogging, after all, if you can't meet new people and talk with people from all over the world?

I hope you're having a wonderful week!

p.s. - Just in case you missed it, I did a guest post for Daria last week while she was in Paris. I'll give you a clue: it's something delicious...

Monday, March 4, 2013

On a more serious note

I've written a lot lately about how wonderfully things are going in my life, but something happened last week that stopped me in my tracks. One of my brother's friends from high school passed away from suicide.

I can't claim that I knew her very well. My brother was friends with her, and I worked with her brother for a while. I remember meeting her a few times when I was in sixth grade and she was in tenth, during my (brief and ill-advised) stint on the cross-country team after I moved to Michigan. What I do remember, from my own memories and from what I've heard from others, is that she was intelligent and lovely and a ray of light to all around her: the sort of person that everyone admired. And that's not from looking back with rose-colored glasses. That's simply who she was.

Despite the fact that I hardly knew her, I've found myself struggling to fight back tears for the past week. This is the second time in less than 18 months that a friend of a friend has died by suicide, and it absolutely breaks my heart. I can't stand seeing these vibrant lives cut short. Two beautiful-inside-and-out girls is two too many. Two people is too many, period.

I feel simultaneously somewhat powerless and absolutely compelled to do something - what little I can. I'm planning on putting the number for the suicide hotline in my sidebar. I don't know if my posting it - or this post - will help anyone, but I feel I must say something. It's too important and I can't stay quiet.

If you need to talk, there are always people who will listen. My inbox (for what it's worth) is always open.

Otherwise, if you're not struggling, take time to talk to your loved ones - and listen. Really, truly listen. Your time is one of the greatest gifts you can give, and you never know the difference it could make to someone who's struggling.

Memorize these numbers:

  • Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696 | Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433 | National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK

And stay well, friends.