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It’s a Travel Challenge!

travel challenge

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.

wardrobe travel essentials

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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Mother’s Day Event At Anthropologie!

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Today, we interrupt our normally scheduled Friday Faves for an AWESOME announcement! I’ll be hosting a Mother’s Day DIY at Anthropologie at Easton Town Center in just two weeks!

Spaces are limited, so be sure to sign up quickly! Click HERE for the sign up form.  You’re going to love the gorgeous ‘initial’ shaped floral arrangements we make which will be perfect for the big day.

I can’t wait to see you there!

 

p.s.  I have another really fun project/post coming up on Monday which has to do with fashion, travel, and packing those suitcases.  Get excited!

p.p.s. I am doing the aforementioned travel fashion post because I’ll be heading to Hong Kong on Monday!  If you live in the HK area, email me and let’s meet up for a drink!

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Grandiflora + Makr

small business printing marketing

I do not have a marketing degree.  Or a graphic design degree, or a slew of many other business and design related degrees that someone running their own private label may have.  I only have my little science degree and the experiences I’ve had in the 3o+ years of life I’ve lived.  I say this because I know that some big parts of my business are not my forte.  I do, however, LOVE wrapping gifts, making things pretty, playing with stickers, and sending snail mail.  This is probably why packing up my Grandiflora goodies before they head to their forever homes is such a fun part of my job.

Regardless of the ribbon, tissue paper, boxes, and bows I use, that still leaves one big hole for the marketing (again, not my forte).

I know this is such an important piece of the pie though.  What does the customer see when they open up a package? What do they read? Do they get a sense for who we are? I want them to feel like they’re getting a special, well thought out piece of my company. With all of the things I want a customer to feel, I can tell you that it doesn’t come easy… or cheap.  Hiring out services that aren’t my strength can be a stretch for a new business.   Continue Reading…

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Springtime Lemon Petits Fours

petit four with poundcake

Despite the snow that fell here in Ohio yesterday, it is indeed springtime and you can tell by the brighter, plumper produce at the stores that everything is warming up a bit.  There are so many flavors and scents that make me think of spring, so as soon as the temps start to heat up, I’m usually quick to try a new flavorful recipe.  That is why today me and a few other bloggers are showcasing some fresh, spring recipes for you to try out (links below!)

I am not a huge sweets person, but if I do indulge, I like light flavors like lemon or coconut.  I made these beautiful little petits fours to share at Easter dinner this weekend and they’re so easy I thought you should know about it too. The trick is that I use frozen poundcake to make construction a bit easier. The poundcake is firm and not too fluffy which makes it easy to work with for people who don’t love to bake. Be forewarned, I went a little photo crazy on this one!

mini lemon cakes

Although the pound cake isn’t lemon flavored, a tart filling and a creamy glaze – both laced with lemon – are all it takes to get some big flavor out of these little bites! Ready for the recipe?  Continue Reading…

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Spring Floral Series: The Low Wide Vase

floral styling series header

floral styling in a low shallow bowl

I gave you guys a sneak peek of this arrangement yesterday when I was teaching you how I made this vase (and for under $6).  But today is the day we learn how to make this floral design.  You could use any low, wide vase if you have one on hand, however. It’s absolutely perfect for your Easter table centerpiece.  You’ll wow your family with this one. Aren’t you guys excited?  I am.

I purposefully sought out flowers that had a more romantic, english garden type look instead of the very traditional spring, but if you switched out the roses for irises and the trailing greens for something tight like lemon leaves, you’d have a totally different look.

low wide vase flower arrangement

flower varieties

For a color scheme, I stuck with a monochromatic pinky purple theme.  My flower choice broke down as above.  Recall from my previous posts on floral design that I like to choose a few greens, a focal flower (here the dahlias because they’re the largest), a tall flower (here the larkspur), some irregularly shaped flowers (tulips and roses for me) and the filler which is wax flower here.

Putting them together in a really shallow vase could be a disaster without my favorite floral tool… foam. Don’t be scared, if you’ve never used floral foam before you’re going to love how easy it is.  Let’s start with the step by step shall we? Continue Reading…

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Gold Fruit Bowl DIY

parfait dish footed vase

So, this has turned into a bit of a preview for tomorrow’s post, but sprung up out of total necessity (which is how ideas for most of my projects are born). I was searching around this weekend for a footed fruit bowl or parfait dish for this weeks’ spring floral series post, which is clearly about large, shallow arrangements and how to put them together.

Onto the dish… I went to no less than 5 stores looking for the footed dish I had in mind and still was at a total loss.  everything was plain looking and too large. Although I know some of you probably have dishes similar to this already in your arsenal, I don’t, so I decided I’d make something.  I’ve seen so many DIY candles and cake plates online, so I thought I’d put this knowledge to use and make myself a fruit dish for the arrangement (or for fruit, or candy, or anything).  Are you ready for this tutorial?

diy fruit bowl

Want to know the best part about this project?  It cost me less than $8. And that includes the paint and the glue.  Keep reading for the full tutorial!  Continue Reading…

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Friday Faves 4.11

Friday Faves 4.11

ONE the perfect spotted pillow isn’t too wild, but is just the right bit for a subtle hint of glam.  $45 from Society Social.  TWO Crane flower candle from Voluspa mixes grapefruit, geranium, lavender, and nectar inspired by the bird of paradise flower… to me, it just spells like a heavenly vacation.  $38 from Anthropologie. THREE a nice little reminder from Sugar Paper to sit above your desk or display in your bedroom.  The gold foil print is 11 x 14 and is $50. FOUR handmade and so pretty, this gold border ring dish from The Object Enthusiast is lovely and makes a gorgeous gift at $34. FIVE how darling is this mini bow cord keeper? I want one for every charger in my arsenal, and at just $6 from Oh Hello Friend, I can afford to!

 

Happy Friday friends!  You know those weeks when you feel energized, optimistic, and on top of all your ‘to-do’s’? Well, it’s been one of those weeks for me.  I’ve been able to think ahead on some projects, get a couple fun dinners in, and overall just breathe a little.

How has your week been?

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Meet & Greet with Amanda from A Hammer & Heels

Meet and Greet - Amanda 5

I have SUCH a treat for you guys today!  For this month’s ‘Meet & Greet’ I want to introduce you to Amanda from A Hammer & Heels.  I have known Amanda in the blog world for several months, but just met her in person last weekend at Go Blog Social in Kansas City.

Amanda is possibly the most grounded, stylish person I’ve ever met.  She has an amazing knack for fashion and for creating her own original DIYs and does this all while still in college…. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a college apartment look this good.

Amanda even gave me a few style secrets while we hung out drinking wine and chatting about blogging.  I can’t wait to share my new purchase that she inspired! Until then, Let’s learn more about Amanda.

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Learn more about Amanda’s tree stamp pillows here and tie dye pillows here.

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Can you believe this apartment? Here is Amanda’s Sourcelist or head over to A Hammer & Heels to get mega inspired and meet this sweet girl for yourself!

 

photos by Justin Salem Meyer for The Everygirl

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Pushing Myself with Paint

spicy red console

Ok, so was it killing you?  The wait to find out what in the world I painted red in my home that consists of no red whatsoever? No? Ok, well, I’ll show you anyway.

I confessed last week that I strongly strongly dislike (possibly bordering on hate) the color red. But I also challenged myself in my yearly goals to push myself a bit more outside of my typical grey, black, brown comfort zone. I like style that is earthy and relaxed with classic lines and a tid bit of glam.  I know it doesn’t all seem to go together, but I think my living room is a great example of the looks combined.

Red, in my opinion does not fit into this look. BUT I had a super ugly piece of furniture that needed a new life so I decided in honor of National Painting Week (SWPaintingweek.com) to offer myself up for something that made me a little uncomfortable.  I volunteered to paint it red.

side note: do you ever volunteer to do things that push yourself because you know that you’re held accountable for the end product? Like, volunteer to cook for a work function when you’re learning to cook or something? So you can see why I did this? 

Continue Reading…

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Watercolor Art without Paint

watercolor art

This week marks my fourth wedding anniversary and although the traditional fourth year gift is flowers, I decided to make a little customized watercolor art.  We hardly ever buy each other real gifts but instead do a nice dinner together or go on a trip, so small little tidbits are more my style.

This watercolor quotation art doesn’t require any actual watercolors, which is why it’s so easy for anyone to do! It uses a bit of a trick that I borrowed from technology which makes it all the more foolproof!

quote art watercolor homemade quote art

Get your iPhones and home printers geared up for this Tuesday tutorial!

Continue Reading…

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