I don't need another pair of sneakers, but I found myself on the Nike ID page and a few minutes later I got a confirmation saying my shoes were ordered. When they arrived, they were so beautiful, I had to take a million angles of a pair of shoes. As for the size, they are a tad bigger than the Nike Free's I normally wear for working out. I'm not sure if that's the style of the Blazer or just weird in sizing. I'm a 7.5 and that's what I ordered, but there is a little bit of room to wiggle my toes. I'm sure that extra space will come in handy when my feet are swollen from the summer heat. If you just want to purchase the Blazers but not make your own, I love these, these and these (and this pair if you're feeling brave).
Every year I get Ashley's birthday gift from Sephora, she's the beauty queen after all. I never expect anything in return, but this year, she outdid me by not only buying me a gift I love, but an experience! She introduced me to Turntable Kitchen with a one month gift subscription. Before you roll your eyes at another subscription box, this one is different. Turntable Kitchen has been a blog bringing together music and recipes. They were so successful at it, they introduced their blog to your doorstep, The Pairings Box. It's three recipes with a main ingredient and comes with a limited edition 7" vinyl from an up and coming indie band. Mine was turmeric as the main ingredient and I got IYES 7" with a limited edition cover of Beyonce's Crazy in Love with less than 150 copies made of the type of vinyl I got.
I love cooking and always having music going, it seemed like such a natural concept and it's been executed beautifully. I cooked a turmeric chicken with mint orange salad, and served it with their jalapeño agave lemonade (I added mint to mine). I played it on my portable turntable and it's small enough to fit in the kitchen. The recipe cards come on high quality card stock, so if you get it a little messy, they'll survive. TK also carries a wooden box for their vinyls and recipe cards. The whole gift was wonderful- the discovery of new music on vinyl (it always sounds better on vinyl), the recipes, which were healthy and can easily be substituted if needed, and the discovery of new food, and my growing love for cooking. Thank you Ashley! Obviously I sent the thank you card too soon! Check out Turntable Kitchen and their subscriptions.
Let’s get the FTC Disclosure out of the way- I was approached by Uncommon Goods for a review of one of their handmade pieces for compensation. I chose the product I would love to wear (it was a tough choice because they carry so many great designs) and this is my organic review on the product.
One of the many reasons I wanted to work with Uncommon Goods is they offer handmade jewelry from an artist. I chose the Record Cuff bracelet from American designer Jeff Davis. He took old vinyl thrown out (I hope my bracelet was something awesome like a Beatles record) and shaped it with rhodium plated brass. The cuff is recyclable, used from material already available, and can be adjusted to fit a custom size when run it under hot water. Before I reviewed it, I wore it all week to make sure this is something I wanted to recommend. I love it! It goes with everything since it’s black and this doesn’t flare up my sensitive skin. From a distance, it does look like a regular cuff bracelet but up close, the detail is sharp. If you’re an LP junkie, you’ll be able to spot the texture. This is a perfect gift for the vinyl collector in your life. You can check out what else they carry here.
Uncommon Goods is also offering a scholarship contest to a handmade jewelry designer. You'll win $1,000 plus the opportunity to work with Uncommon Goods and expand your portfolio. You can learn more about the contest here.
Being an adult has it's perks sometimes. I pay my bills on time and I get to buy what I wanted as a kid. When I was 18, I got a job at Nothing Shocking, a small but cool piercing and apparel shop in Orange County. When I stacked Harveys bags in the shop, I remember thinking I'd never own one, it was too expensive. Now I have a fun collection in my closet. Everything always comes full circle and now I had a chance to design my own custom bag with them. The design process was fun, and since I was working with only one design, the hard choices were the colors. I went with something I can wear all the time, and yes, there's a surprise of pink in the lining.
The Streamlined Tote is versatile. The few days I've had a chance to use it, it's survived being packed with groceries, library books, photography gear and just my general everyday Mary Poppins bag I carry with me. You can check out more of the bag here!
Ok so before you wonder how much I was paid for "sponsored" Harveys post this week, I wasn't. And it's not sponsored. Working with Harveys was something I've been wanting to cross off my blogger bucket list (yes that's really a thing). Not only did I get to tour the factory and meet Dana and the design team, but I had the opportunity to design my own custom bag (the more I say, it still sounds as cool as the first time). The 18 year kid in me is over the moon. I've always loved the bags but now I have a new agenda for using them. After touring the factory and checking out behind the scenes, my bag isn't just a bag. It's an idea to something bigger, and it made a journey *cue the cheesy background music* But seriously, there's a new found respect for Harveys and I'm so grateful to be a small part of it (ok, like really small but just let me have this moment).
Harveys donated one Chelsea bag worth $178. The giveaway is open to international readers, you'll get a piece of California if you win. It ends in one week, and winner will be emailed. If the winner doesn't reply within 7 days, you snooze you lose! I'll offer it to the next runner up. Enter below. If you don't see the embedded info, click here to enter. Good luck! Thanks again to Harveys for the giveaway!
I love bags; I’m kind of a crazy bag lady. My favorites are Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, and Harveys. Wait. What?? Yes, Harveys! While the other designer brand names have status of luxury and style, Harvey’s status is happy, while still being stylish. I’ve mentioned Harveys before but they deserve their own highlight. Harveys resides in Santa Ana, where it began with Dana making his wife, Melanie, a purse handmade out of seat belts almost 20 years ago. That single bag gained an influx of other bag followers and this became Harveys. Harveys is a successful company that can go wherever they want- LA, even NYC, but they decided to stay in OC where their roots began. They’ve grown from popular bags to cult status when Disney licensed with them and following collaborations with artists and brands. You can’t have your Mickey ears without your Harveys bag! To make it even more fun, Harveys has First Fridays, a collection of bags (usually a limited edition) and they sell quick. Dana didn’t just think he could bank off a fun idea, he has background in sewing and designing. The original bag he designed is his favorite, and has become iconic to the brand. They've expanded from bags to accessories over the years.
I love what Harveys represents-- they’re environmentally responsible, charitable, and have big plans to make a greener factory. Plus they’re 100% made in the USA. When I had a chance to tour the factory, I was blown away. They do everything in the building, from shipping, customer service call center, to their own screen printing for the lining of the bags. I know where my money was going when I buy from them. I support a local, conscientious company. They also stand by their product--so much, they offer a lifetime warranty...yes, a lifetime. I can’t remember the last time I read about an American company offering a lifetime of anything. I think my Marc Jacobs bag lasted me 4 years. At least Harveys has the bag spa-- drop your bag off or mail it in and let your bag have a day to be pampered come back to you as good as new.
When they expand, they’d like to give tours, and have customers design their own bags. I hung out a little bit with the design and social media team and they’re just as fun as the bags are. They’re funny, full of energy, and you can’t pick a favorite because you love them all.
You can follow them Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, read what they're blogging, see what they're pinning and shop online or both of their locations. Upstairs on the third level, they have a mini-museum of all the artists they've collaborated with, something fun to check out while you're there.
Harveys Santa Ana
3011 N. Main Street
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Harveys Chino Hills
13865 City Center Dr, Ste 3055
Chino Hills, CA 91709
Locals Only is a series on our.city.lights blog highlighting Anaheim and surrounding areas in the OC. If you're a small business and would like exposure on this blog, I love supporting local business'. Contact me here.
First, I should explain what The Criterion Collection is. It began back in the 80's when a film company wanted to distribute their favorite movies in the highest quality. When there is the recognizable "C" Criterion logo on a movie, it means it was formatted in the best technical format available. In other words, it's a collectors edition for film nerds.
Fantastic Mr. Fox was released in 2009, but the collector's edition on Criterion Collection (CC) just came out last week and it was worth the five year wait. I've collected the CC editions of Wes Anderson over the years. Anderson makes great films, but when he remade Roald Dahl's version on film, I think he would make a better children's director. It was adorable, funny, and clean (you know, like not something you'd be embarrassed to watch with your grandparents) but most importantly, it'll hold for decades just like Dahl's story has. The blu-ray comes with a booklet on a brief description on the making of the film, but it's worth purchasing the book published on it.
Candelles candles are made in the USA, use 100% soy wax and scent their candles with essential oils rather than chemicals compared to paraffin wax. They also go the extra mile to use non-treated lead free cotton wicks, and no dye. Soy wax lasts twice as long than conventional wax, they don't give off carbon dioxide, they burn cleaner (less soot!), and I just feel safer breathing in soy wax.
If that's not enough to want to purchase, there's the packaging. It comes in a golden box with it's own gold foil matches. If that's not luxury for a candle, I couldn't find another candle to top that. It also doesn't have the luxury price. I've bought all kinds of candles from the clearance section at Target to the higher end Diptyche but they either have an overbearing smell, or the packaging doesn't look as good. Candelles has both! Pink Champagne is one of their new scents for Spring- it's sweet, has a tart underlining but not overwhelming. They just came out with a monthly subscription. It's cheaper to get the full year, but you can also get them month to month. One of the things I love about blogging is getting to know the people behind the brand, and I love Kelley and her candles.
For the love of common sense, don't ever light a candle under roses, this is purely for aesthetic purposes.
Find Candelles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Kelly is offering 15% off with code OURCITYLIGHTS good until 3/7/14. Thanks, Kelley! This is a sponsor for Spring 2014, but all opinions on the product are my own.
I love my Kelly Moore camera bag but I wanted something with more room. I've used diaper bags before to protect my gear (seriously, they work when you're in quick need), but with experience, I recommend investing in a great camera bag. There are so many out there, but rare as stylish as the one from Theit Bags, The Lula bag designed from one of my favorite blogger, Jen Lula. I've been looking for a bigger one for years, and I knew this was the one. I ordered it late last year and it has been worth the wait. It's even more beautiful in person! I wear all black, and I wanted to tone down the goth girl vibe a bit, so I chose the coral color.
Yes, it's beautiful but it's very functional. The padding is so thick, and I feel comfortable leaving my most expensive lenses in the bag alone without their cases, but not thick enough that adds excess weight to my shoulder. They're also removable, I can customize it according to what I'll be carrying that day.
Those cute front pockets work, and there is a zipped large pocket on the back, as well as inside the bag. What I love best about it is it doesn't look like a camera bag- it's adorable! But don't let the cuteness fool you, it really is a workhorse! It can fit everything I want.
I did notice there was this weird line going across the top flap of the bag. It doesn't bother me, but I thought it'd be worth mentioning since the bag is a little pricey. I already emailed them and I'll update the post with their reply. The rest of the details are well made and even though I've only used it for a day, I can tell it will take a few beatings while still looking great.
*** UPDATE! ***
I emailed Theit bags and they replied within 24 hours (within a few hours I emailed them actually). The line on the bag is a fold/wrinkle from the material, and it will go away overtime. They've never had a mark or defect, and they stood by their bag quality, they offered me a new one with the exchange I send the current one back. Honestly, I don't want to wait another day without my bag and since the fold will go away overtime, it's even better news since it didn't bother me to begin with but I can see it bother others. Plus I want to make sure I'm honest on everything I love and recommend. After the email with Nicole from Theit, it makes me love the company even more. I should also mention the bag isn't leather but a very strong resistant higher quality synthetic. I actually prefer it, because leather has more maintenance, this material feel like it could outlast some of my cameras.
I totally recommend this bag. I trust Jen as a mom, a blogger, a photographer and as a friend. I know she wouldn't put her name on something she didn't believe in, and she wrote about the collaboration process. Another blogger I love, Brandy, was also involved with working with Theit bags and I trust her standards as well. After testing out this bag, this is something I love, too. Get your own Lula bag here! More photos here.
I've had sunglasses, a bracelet and now a Instagram projector designed for me. I feel so honored with the relationships i've made with the most creative folks. I've mentioned Projecteo many times and all the projects involved with them (ICYMI, they're here, here, here, here, and here. Can you tell I love them?) The look on my face would have been picture worthy when I opened up the package I received from them- a custom PINK Projecteo! I feel so so honored. The current wheel I have for my projector is memories of Max and I will always treasure it, they hold a special place on my shelf. Projecteo is a great team I love working with and they were so so encouraging and patient when Max died. Most sponsors bailed (yes, as in see ya later!) and didn't wait, but they were so sweet. I can't praise them enough! Thank you, Projecteo!!
It fits perfectly with my pink camera collection, too!
I know I always say 'I'm so excited' in every intro to my blog posts, but really, I am! The same folks that brought you Sticky Gram and Projecteo, bring you Boomf. They cooked up a funny idea to put Instagram photos on marshmallows. It sounds like a novelty, but again, just like they blew me away with Projecteo, I was surprised at how much I love Boomf.
The marshmallows (marshmellows?) come in a secure box, in foil and individually wrapped and separated to preserve the photos printed on the candy.
They are surprisingly resilient to touch and especially being shipped from the UK, they came in perfect condition.
I chose 9 of my images from Instagram, and about a week and a half later, they were at my house. I have a friend getting married this year and I can imagine these would be great for her bridal shower, or a topping on cupcakes, stacked at a baby shower, and I can go on and on!
And yes, they were tasty! The printed photo doesn't take away from the marshmallow taste! (Also, why in the world aren't marshmallows spelled as marshmallows?? I can't write this post without mentioning it). Get your Boomf 'mallows here!
I'm so excited to be a part of the Rivet and Sway ambassador team! I've tried many glasses companies, and while they offer great styles, Rivet and Sway is my favorite. I've experienced them as a customer and I was equally impressed. This year, they've lowered their prices, and offer new packaging to their at-home try-on. They're also offering a new hard case with the lowered prices, something customers wanted and they listened. The new packaging is so beautiful! I just picked up a pair last month, but when the time comes, I'm excited to check it out. Use code DIANASWAYS for 10% off they're new lowered prices. All photos from Rivet and Sway.
Obviously, I love the color pink, preferably hot pink. I'm loving this soft pink tone seen everywhere now, or maybe I'm just noticing it. I've had a few things bookmarked and some extra time, I really love making these collages. It also gives me an opportunity to get a small percentage on affiliate links. I use the $ for giveaways, Gadchick and pay my Squarespace fee's. Thanks for the support!
Sid Stankovits is a world renowned tattoo artist and I'm proud to say he's the only artist doing my tattoos (you can check out what he's done here). Funny story on how I started going to him- I met him ten years ago when I took an ex-boyfriend to his shop after I heard about his work. Obviously, the tattoos lasted longer than the ex-boyfriend. Almost a decade later and almost 50 hours of sitting his tattoo chair, I was so excited to see Sid work with Harveys, a company hand making bags made out of recyclable seat belts here in California (I've blogged about them here). I went to say hi at the release party last Friday, and even got a temporary tattoo. They had a raffle ticket and one lucky customer got a free tattoo at the end of the party done by Sid himself! I love his style- vintage Americana and it reflects well in the collaboration.
The bags are made with Harveys signature seatbelt material, so you'll know they'll last you forever. The ones pictured in the post are my personal favorite but you can see the other cleverly titled "knotical" style here.
We all know I'm adorable (ha) and I just raised the bar with a Foldable Me. They began through Kickstarter and is now one of the popular projects of Mint Digital, who work with StickyGram and Projecteo, and both wonderful people to work with. It was easy to make, sturdy, and takes less than five minutes if you follow the instructions, and they are so cute!
They even have a Christmas themed Foldable Me!
They are normally $11.99 each, but they are offering $8 each with the code HOHOHO. You can buy them here.
There is so much good stuff happening online this week, I'm excited to share.
+ I was featured in Melissa's annual Blogger Wish List. I'm so honored I would be included with such a great group of women.
+ Moore Seal Shop added new jewelry in time of the holidays. I'm in love with these earrings.
+ My favorite Instagram photo this week is showing off my sweater from Hello Apparel, my new Harvey's Seatbelt bag, and my Keds Kate Spade glitter shoes. I'll admit I've been shopping more than I normally would for myself, but my grief therapist literally suggested retail therapy and yes, it's working. It's getting back to "normal" things like interests, hobbies, you know, "normal" stuff, and if a pair of glitter shoes will get me there, by all means, I will do it.
1. Gold Twist Scarf from Emerging Thoughts. I love this for a bracelet, or to jazz up messy hair days.
2. Pink extension cord by Coleman. Indoor or outdoor, if I'm going to have extension cords around the house, I may as well make the most of it (pink!)
3. Nike Dunk Sky High Vac Tech in pink. If you've been reading my blog for a few years, you know I love ugly shoes. The uglier the better and these don't compromise on the ugly. They also come in mint and yellow.
4. Boring is Best sweatshirt from Stay at Home Club. Who am I kidding? I love staying home and doing "boring" things. Let's crack open a new book and get cozy.
5. Olive oil decanter by MOZI. I've been cooking a lot Mediterranean meals lately and I'll admit the dark bottle from Costco is an eyesore in my bright kitchen and I don't like to keep on my counter. This is a great bottle to show off and keep at your convenience.
6. Pure Barre at home collection. If I could ask for one thing over any of these items, it would be the gift of health. After a 25 hour painful labor, plus a 12 week recovery, I don't have the stamina to keep up with my old Pure Barre class. I would love to do something at home to go at my own pace. The plus would be getting back to my pre-baby body, but I honestly just want to walk around the block without getting winded.
7. Lightroom 5 by Adobe. I love iPhoto but I want a little more than what Apple has to offer. I would love Lightroom and with VSCO Film packs for Lightroom, it's an even better reason to step up my photo organizing and editing.
8. Take a floral arrangement class. I love flowers but I know there's a little more to just trimming them and sticking them in a vase. After all the flower arrangements that arrived at my home the week Max was born, I was surrounded by beautiful arrangement for days and felt so spoiled. I would love to learn how to put something together. Photo credit is from Piece of Cake/Peace of Mind's beautifully arranged flowers.
I know this year was hard, but realistically, none of these things will make my heart heal faster. I really just want peace, and that's something I can't unwrap. Pretty things make for a great distraction and I have a ton more on Pinterest if you'd like to follow along.
A few weeks ago, when Ashlee and Ashley came home from Liberia, they sent me two gifts intended for Max. When I opened the package, I was in awe at what I saw. Not only the baby shoes (those little shoes kill me), but the cutest elephant backpack (with pockets and adjustable straps!). What was even better was the quality. My mom was a seamstress and my grandpa taught me a thing or two about sewing. I instantly pictured the women who were a part of this, and how this is their craft. I felt like giving these to Max were not only saying Ashlee and Ashley wanted to get him something for him, but wanted to show him a little more than a backpack and shoes.
If you want to read more, Ashlee wrote the perfect words for it. They have a pop up shop available on Instagram. It's available only for this week and you can read more about that here. I love local business because they support hard working residents. Amani women may be miles away but I'll happily support them.
When I first heard about Projecteo, I thought it was a cute novelty but was still curious to try it. Projecteo is a mini photo projector from a 35mm photo wheel. You can choose your own photos from your Instagram stream, and make as many wheels as you'd like, nine photos at a time. Once it's inserted into the projector, it runs on the battery provided by Projecteo.
I decided to theme my wheel from all my favorite moments in pregnancy so far, the hardest part of this process is choosing which 9 photos. I wasn't sure if it was something for me, as much as I love gadgets. However, as soon as it arrived, I can see why this is more than just a novelty. It was easy to store (it's barely 2oz), the wheels are cheap to purchase, and most importantly, you can't put a price on the nostalgia it brings. It was easy to set up, and our darkest room with an empty wall was the nursery closet, we both oooh'd and ahhhh'd at how cool it was to use (stuffed in a closet and all).
I also imagined what a great gift this would be. There are no cords, no wifi, all you need is a wheel, a wall, turn off the lights, and you have a projector. It would be a perfect gift to capture the best wedding photos, baby shower, or your favorite Instagram photos.
Thank you, Projecteo! I can't wait to make another wheel. Sign up using promo code FRIEND03OM and get $5 OFF your first wheel.
Blogger Disclosure- yep, I was offered a Projecteo for free and yep, I loved it so much I decided to tell you about it.
One of my favorite things about blogging is taking photos of beautiful things. I like to catch every silly detail, even a shoe. When my Liberty Asics pair arrived, I had to pull out my 40mm for these babies. They are so beautiful in real life, I just want to display them next to my real flowers.
I can't wait to pop this baby out so I can bend over to tie my shoes. I can't find the high tops anymore but I did find another beautiful low top pair at UO.