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Travel | House of Earnest
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Category: Travel

It’s a Travel Challenge!

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If you follow House of Earnest on Instagram, you’ve seen a fair amount of outfits that I share, but I don’t share fashion on the blog because, well, I’m not quite sure why.

I worked in the fashion industry for seven years and spend about as much time making accessory and clothing DIYs as I do home DIYs.  I honestly thought that you guys wouldn’t want to see that part of my life and that by sharing the fashion choices and projects, it would somehow ‘muddy up’ the site I’ve strived to build over the last 3 years.

While I’m not going to go whole hog here and start sharing red carpet events or fashion week news (because, honestly, I don’t care about either of those things), I am going to start showcasing some of the daily choices and thoughts that I encounter when it comes to my wardrobe here at House of Earnest. So, all of that being said, I’m starting today with a REALLY FUN challenge for myself as a way to showcase my resourceful outfit creations and give you guys some major thinking points when it comes to packing for travel. It will also include a fun spin on a previous home decor DIY that I’ve turned into a fashion accessory. Are you excited yet?

Here is the jist of the ‘challenge:  I am packing for a full week abroad in Hong Kong entirely in a carry-on suitcase (21″ roller to be exact).  What you see above is all I’m taking on an 8 day trip.  As soon as you start to think, “eight outfits could totally fit in there”, here comes the fun part.  I’m packing daytime outfits, separate evening outfits, a couple of lounge/vacation outfits, and my workout clothes, toiletries, shoes, all of it.  There will be 18 total outfits. And you guys will see each one.  I’ll share every single outfit on Instagram during the week using #HofETravelChallenge .  You’ll be able to hop on, click on the hashtag and see the entire lot of outfits, what I’m wearing that day, and what I’ve styled different with the same pieces day to day.

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I’m going to Hong Kong to work on Grandiflora’s Fall line as well as to meet with a couple of other clients for my developing retail manufacturing consulting business. I will have casual workdays, fancy dinners, a dressy dim sum brunch, some sightseeing, dancing, and drinks.  All types of events and all types of outfits.

My secrets to efficient packing are simple:

  • Stick with one color scheme; in this case black/white/army green are constants while other pops of color will be accents.
  • Use animal prints as a versatile neutral.
  • Depend on lightweight, breezy pieces that take up minimal space.
  • “Nest” your accessories.  Jewelry goes inside a small clutch, small clutch inside of another clutch inside of another handbag.
  • Roll up belts and other accessories inside of your shoes.
  • Use shoe bags!  This allows you to shove shoes in the holes around your clothes without them getting everything dirty.
  • Wear your bulkier items.  I wear my jackets or sweaters onto the plane which doubles as a blanket if you’re cold on the flight!
  • Plan two outfits for each piece you bring.  If you have a piece that is only worn once, it better be a statement piece.

To add just another layer (and a rule!) to my challenge, the absolute max I can wear any once piece is three times. That goes for jeans too.  The only things I’m considering exempt from the three wear rule are shoes.

So, every single thing I packed fits into the small roller above.  I haven’t even used my expander (room for shopping!).

Are you going to follow along? Are you ok with me sharing the fashion parts of my life as well as the homey parts?  Follow on Instagram to keep up with the action!

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Palm Springs (Meet Make, Do) Recap

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What a treat I have for you guys today!  After the initial drama from my trip to Palm Springs wore off, I wanted to have some time to reflect and show you guys the fabulous parts.  Firstly, a giant thank you to all of the fabulous people at Bing who sponsored this gathering, which we called ‘Meet, Make, Do’.  The get-together was brought to life by Chelsea, Kelly, and Brittni, and was centered around the idea of getting together to do the things that we love with other people who love doing them.  In this case, it was DIY and craft bloggers.

Aside from the people I did know going into the weekend, I met a few new friends as well – Mary from Mary Costa Photography took all of these amazing photos and Katie from the Bing team brought the tech to our doorstep and showed us a few cool new products and features as well. It was funny when she was showing us new things, however, because apparently when you get 12 of the same exact blogger personalities in the same room, we all have the same reactions to things. So, there were lots of unanimous exclamations of “Whoa!” and “Amazing!” and “Awesome!”.  You’d think they were telling us we mind boggling info, but really, we just get very excited about things.

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Bing Tip:  I learned that if you sign up for a bing account, you can actually get points just for doing internet searches on Bing.com which they call Bing Rewards. Points are good toward all sorts of prizes.  So, I basically zoned straight out for about 15 minutes and signed myself up… which is apparently what I’m doing above. If you switch your iPhone search engine (in the settings) over to Bing, you can get points for searching on your iOS phone too!  How amazing is that?

 

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We had pretty much everything under the sun to play with and all thanks to some amazing brands. Just LOOK at the amazing array of supplies!  I gravitated towards the fabrics from The Fabric Store LA and joked about making myself some clothes since my suitcase hadn’t arrived from the airline at that point, but ended up being so drawn to the fresh flowers from Flower Muse.  I actually ended up creating the first post in a new floral series that will launch soon – so watch out for it!

We did a lot of our searching with Bing (obviously) and I learned something else which might interest you – did you know that image searches on Bing can be filtered by color?  Or by faces? or (this is the best for bloggers) by licensing and copyright?  Just a quick tip for ya!

Aside from the craft supplies, we just had an all-around amazing time together.  I mentioned a lot of the bonding last week, but we had some great times that were almost too pretty for words.  Dinners were fully styled with menus, place cards, and little favors, the settings were gorgeous and we went early to get enough photo ops (when you have groups of bloggers doing things, you must allow ample time for instagramming!).

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Striped Cat Studio did these beautiful menus for our first night’s dinner at Workshop – whose food I was blown away by… it was truly a fabulous dining experience.  Minted provided the goodies during our second night’s dinner at the Ace Hotel.  In between meals we snacked on goodies from Edoughble (cookie dough made for eating raw… amazing, right?) and M. Greenwood Jams who made amazing savory jams to top our cheese. And I’m saving the best for last…

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Just LOOK at the pool. I didn’t even get in because I was so busy crafting, but I mean, come on.

So, it was such a beautiful place, with beautiful company, and we got to work with beautiful product.  All around, It was such a great opportunity and I am so so so thankful to Bing for having us all out!

 


This post was created in partnership with Bing.

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In The Valleys We Grow

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If you follow on social media, you’ll know that I spent last weekend in Palm Springs with some amazing bloggers in a 3 day get together sponsored both by Bing and some incredible other brands (see friday’s faves!) and the weekend was hosted by the amazingly talented Chelsea, Kelly, and Brittni. We had a cabinet stuffed to the gills with craft supplies, party goodies, fresh flowers, and tools. We had a refrigerator crammed full of sweets, drinks, and anything a girls heart could desire.  These girls really pulled off an amazing fete.

I have to tell you, though, before my trip to Palm Springs, I was feeling a little bad for myself.  I just wasn’t feeling my usual spunk and I felt drained and without inspiration.  So as we’re spending time together in a hot, tropical valley, I got to thinking about growth.  I set out to explore, to learn, and to grow with these other talented women.  So that is what I set to do, get out of my funk. Unfortunately, things sometimes get worse before they get better, but I learned that mountainous growth most evident when you’re in a valley…theoretically (and literally in this case).

Settle in for this (novel of a post) and let me explain.  Aside from generally feeling stagnant, my trip didn’t start out stellar. Continue Reading…

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50′s Desert Glam: Mid Century Cali

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I am in the midst of getting myself ready for a long weekend in Palm Springs with a few other bloggers and some of my favorite people from Bing to spend some time being creative together and exploring the town.  Bing is going to be showing us all some new things they’ve got brewing and I’ll be sure to take careful notes to come back and share with you all!

I’ve never been to Palm Springs before, but I am so looking forward to it.  Partly because its been a tundra in the midwest all winter and I am ready to not be cold for the first time since last fall, and partly because I’m excited to be trying out somewhere new with a bunch of creative and amazing bloggers. It’s such an inspiring place to talk about design and learn new things.

Speaking of new things, when I think about Palm Springs, I always think of it as almost the exact opposite of my ‘comfort zone’ for design.  I’m mostly neutral, minimal, industrial and a little glam.  While Palm Springs is known for being over-the-top colorful and embraces everything mid-century. It has a 50′s desert glamour that is hard to describe. I would say the only thing about the style that aligns with mine is the desert part – it goes with my natural inclinations.

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 (click on each photo above for the link)

When I look at photos of the Ace hotel in Palm Springs above, I begin to wonder if our styles aren’t such a big departure after all.  Natural textures are everywhere.  There are lots of warm neutrals – amber, rust, marigold, wood grain.  While the overall thought of Palm Springs isn’t necessarily minimal, the lines of mid-century designs sure are.  The Eames chairs, the clean stucco facades of buildings.

Now, the style of the town and the design that will surround me has me curious.  What inspiration will I find that will make it’s way back here to House of Earnest? Maybe a bunch, or maybe just a few little ideas.  I still don’t think I’d deck my house out in the Palm Springs style, but that’s why vacationing in it and being open to new design ideas will be so fun.

Tell me, is there a place you’ve been that’s opened your mind to a distinct style? Where was it?

 

 

photo source: 1 | 2 | 3

 

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As Gorgeous as it Gets – A Savannah Fall

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I woke up this morning in Savannah, Georgia after driving all night down from Ohio. I am so excited to be in a city full of such gorgeous homes, streets, sidewalks, you name it. The whole place is downright beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it.

I am getting started on the wedding flowers for the weekend, slicing hydrangea stems, gathering giant lavender garden roses, cleaning vases, and preparing yards of ivory satin ribbon. It’s going to be gorgeous.

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I’m taking a little bit of time aside from the floral design to peek around the city and I’m getting some serious inspiration for my own fall front porch design (coming next week!).

Have a wonderful Thursday, guys!

 

photos:  1  | 2  | 3 | 4

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Savannah Bound!

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I’m off to work for the day and then leaving direct from the office to drive the 10 hours to Savannah, Georgia!  I have never been to Savannah before, but based on my previous proclamations that New Orleans is my favorite city in the US, many have predicted that Savannah might soon top my list.

I am going to be working on wedding flowers for a gorgeous bride and wonderful friend and couldn’t be more excited to make their special day beautiful!

Since I’ve been on planes for the past two weekends, I’m actually pretty excited to be driving this time with my husband, Matt, and a good friend of ours. We’ve got snacks, tunes, and comfy clothes to make the trip lots of fun.

I’ll be sharing lots of photos on Instagram, so hit me up!

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Business, Beauty, and Blogging in NYC

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As you guys know, I spent last Thursday and Friday in New York for a workshop with the Better Homes and Gardens editors.  They were nothing short of miraculous with the informative and inspirational content, speakers, panelists, and one heck of a party that they put together.  It was an amazing time and I got to re-connect with some bloggers I hadn’t seen in a while!

I spent Friday meeting with some brands regarding upcoming content for both their blogs and for mine.  I think you guys are going to flip when you hear what West Elm and I have in store for you! Get ready!

Although most of my time was consumed with meetings and business, I got to grab drinks with Clara, who I’d never met in person, but felt an instant connection with.  I also met some good friends who live in New York for drinks and meals! What a whirlwind couple of days.  I took the train out of the city to the Newark airport (which was a bit of a disaster – cue to visions of me booking it through the airport then shouting for them to hold the door for me).

Regardless of the tight ending, it was an all-over amazing weekend with even more amazing people!  I hope you guys like this little glimpse into my trip!

Happy Monday!

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(In Need of Some) Summer Reads

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I’m taking off this morning on another business trip and a 15 hour flight to Hong Kong.  I haven’t had much time to read this summer, so I’m really excited for the downtime and the opportunity to catch up on some of the volumes that have been waiting on my ‘must read’ list.  There aren’t many (and I didn’t include any crime novels although I’d love some good recos), but here are a few titles topping my list.

For the all-around-good-reads, I’ve heard wonderful things about The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman, Tell the Wolves I’m Home by  Carol Rijka Brunt, and The Cuckoo’s Calling by J.K Rowling.  I only home that the latter is better than her previous non-HP attempt, which I didn’t love.

I’ve also got a fair amount of design books that have been taking a back seat to the abundance of summer projects I’ve been trying to bust out.  I pretty much love anything by Darryl Carter, so The Collected Home has been on my wishlist for a while.  Interior Portraits by Victoria Hagan looks to be a beautiful slew of inspiration, and The Soul of a House by Chris Madden is one that I’m sure I’ll take my time pouring through.

Have you guys read any of these?  Thoughts?  Or if you have a phenomenal book I must get, let me know!  I’ll pick it up at the airport!

 

Have a fantastic week, guys!  Just because I’m out of town doesn’t mean I don’t have some amazing stuff lined up.  I’ll be unveiling my herringbone walls this week, we have a $500 giftcard giveaway going on, and I’ll be sharing style and travel amazingness on Instagram!

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By The Seaside

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I spent the weekend in Chicago and whenever I’m there (or New York, or San Francisco) I remember how much I love being by the water. I’m not a huge water activity person – I don’t love swimming or boats – but being near the water makes a noticable difference in the atmosphere, doesn’t it?

Although I am back in Columbus today, I am still inspired by the sea, with its mix of greens, blues, and specked darkness. There is a sense of peacefulness that comes with the water and I’m aiming to carry it with me through the busy work week.

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These three beautiful images just popped out at me as being very sea inspired.  Obviously the top one IS a body of water, but the bottom two might give someone a sense of being on the water even while being landlocked.

I hope you have a serene, peaceful week ahead!

 

Photos: Laura Murray Photography | New Ravenna Tile | Leif bowls

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Holiday Weekend in Nashville

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I may not have told you before, but I went to college in Nashville, Tennessee and learned firsthand what an absolutely fabulous town it is.  Both my husband and I have family there now and I love returning to the city to be a tourist in the town that shaped a part of me.

I hadn’t taken time from work in several months, so I was very happy to kick back and relax a little.  We spent some time poolside, stayed up late chatting with friends and family and I also learned some really cool new things in the outdoor cooking arena that I’ll be sharing with you all this week. I hope you’re as excited as I am!

In the meantime, I’m getting back into the swing of things today in Ohio and wish you a lovely week!

 

p.s. we have been partners with Home Depot all summer and have another giveaway going on NOW!  Entry details here!

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