ACCESSORIES THAT TRAVEL WELL

Choosing which accessories to bring on a trip can be challenging. I always have a fear of losing something or having something stolen, so I tend to select jewelry that isn't too valuable. But, on the contrary, we want to look our best and dress to impress and shouldn't have to sacrifice quality and style just for the sake of travel. So, I've partnered with Shane Co. to share quality accessories that travel well and won't break the bank. And, as an added bonus, they will coordinate with every outfit you pack!

Tip 1: Cover your bases - Make sure to choose one pair of earrings, at least one bracelet or a time piece, at least one necklace (I prefer three that I can layer) and a stunning ring.

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Tip 2: Stick with your metallics - Gold, silver, and rose gold go with everything. You never have to worry about whether they will match your outfit unless you wearing a gold or silver dress. 

Tip 3: Diamonds and pearls should always stay on you. If you want to wear your engagement ring or a less expensive cocktail ring in its place make sure to keep it on you at all times. Same rule applies with those diamonds studs of yours. That way you will never have to worry about them being stolen or lost.

Tip 4: Make sure all of the accessories work together. After you select you metallic, you'll want to make sure the jewelry you select is a similar style so you can mix and match on your travels. 

That's it! I guarantee that you won't be able to mess things up by just keeping it simple and planning ahead. You can shop my whole look below:

Jumpsuit from LOFT
Gold bracelet
Tear drop earrings
Diamond custer ring
Gold layered necklace

Photos by Rennai Hoefer

SUMMER READING

I am finally catching on some summer reading thanks to the best app discovery around, Texture. I have partnered with Texture to share this new life hack with you, and you really are gonna have your mind blown...Ready?...

What if every single magazine you subscribed to could be in one app, and you would only have to pay $9.99 for all of them? I don't know about you, but I have stacks of magazines all around my home that have gone unread for months. That's wasted money in my opinion, but I always tell myself I'm going to get around to reading them so I keep my subscriptions. The problem isn't because I don't have time to read them, it's because I spend my time on my iPad and scrolling through Instagram, blogs and Pinterest instead. However, I'm still missing out on my what the fashion authorities from Vogue are talking about or the latest beauty trends are from Allure.

Enter Texture - a game changing app that has all of my favorite magazines in one place on my iPad. Every magazine that you see on a news stand is on Texture and you can access them all for only $9.99/month. 

My favorite feature is that you can download these magazines so that you don't need to use WIFI to read them. It's the perfect travel companion on a long flight. No more shopping at airport news stands! You better believe I'll be doing this next week when I go to Atlanta. Plus, being paperless helps the environment. So, go try it and thank me later! GAME CHANGER!

Photos by Rennai Hoefer

BEFORE & AFTER: LIVING ROOM REVEAL

We are coming up on our 1st anniversary of living in our new home, and I can honestly say it feels like our home now. After transforming the bedrooms (master, girl room, nursery and guest room), updating the kitchen, and sprucing up the dining room, we have finally completed our living room and truly made this house our own thanks to Cost Plus World Market. It's arguably the space with the most transformation because we had to fill in a sunken in room with 10 inches of gravel and 2 inches of concrete.

Formal living rooms are usually wasted spaces in homes, but I was determined to make ours one worth living in. After-all, you pay good money for that real estate. I'd love to share with you the elements that I included to make this space one that we would use often. But first, let's see the ugly before pictures so you can see how UN-livable the space was.

This house was built in 1993, and hadn't been updated since it was first built. Sunken in living rooms used to be a popular design element, but not anymore. Not only does it chop up the space, but it's not easily accessible. The banisters made the living room feel secluded from the rest of the house.

Eek! But, the reason we bought this house was that it had great bones and tons of potential. So, after filling in the living room with concrete to make everything level with the rest of the house, stripping off the banisters, painting the walls white and adding wood floors we had a beautiful blank slate to work with. 

The first element I made sure to include in our livable living room was plants. Having living things in your spaces makes you come back and care for them. Plants also provide oxygen, and with these tall windows, it was the perfect home for them. I love the popular design trend of using macrame planters, and I used them to bring the eye upward and fill in the empty space above (made by Sonora Handmade). I also made sure to have several plants on the ground to even out the green. My favorite "planter" is this geometric brass wall art from World Market. I decided to use it to host several air plants and add some interest to an empty wall. 

The second element was creating a conversation circle with furniture. We already had a shag rug, vintage rug and a mid-century coffee table to start. So, those elements kicked off the inspiration for the space. Having enough seating for our family and guests is important. Our previous home didn't have a formal living room, so we purchased additional furniture for this space. I fell in love with this blue velvet sofa from Cost Plus World Market. It was unique and it married my dining room and living room perfectly with the color. We added two mid-century style leather chairs, and placed fuzzy throw pillows on them for texture.  

To separate the chairs, I found the perfect mid-century style accent table at World Market that had hair pin legs, and then I found a brass mid-century table lamp to to with it. I love the unique bubble shape and marble base. 

Good lighting is important for conversation. This room had plenty of natural light, but at night we needed something more than just a table lamp to illuminate the room. I spotted a cool wooden tripod floor lamp at World Market and grabbed a linen lamp shade to keep with the soft elements of the room. It was exactly what we needed. 

The third element to our livable space is including inspiring art. For my birthday, my mom let me have a painting I had grown up with in my childhood home. It just so happens to be my favorite piece of art because of the memories I have staring at the colors and texture. It makes me so happy when I look at it every day.

This room has become my favorite space in the house. It's cozy, modern and inspiring, which are all of the elements that make me was to live in a house.  You can shop the room below, and head on over to World Market STAT because that are having a big living room sale. Many of the items from this room are from their latest Naturals collection and on sale, so go quickly!

Shop the room:

Photos by Rennai Hoefer

BACK TO SCHOOL CAPSULE WARDROBES FOR KIDS

Back to school is an exciting time for parents and kids. Shopping for school supplies, picking out some new fall clothes, making new friends, and welcoming another year of learning, fun, and growth. However, with all of these exciting changes, it can make morning routines much more complicated. Every parent knows the stresses that occur Monday-Friday in the wee hours of the morning before school, trying to get the kiddos (and yourself) ready for the day ahead. In my experiences as a mom (and remembering back to my own youth) one of the biggest time sucks in the morning can be picking out outfits for the kids. 

This year, I've decided to test out a capsule wardrobe collections for kids to simplify the process of getting ready for all parties involved. The key is pairing down your children's wardrobe to a smaller, more manageable collection of items that they truly love, while still having all of the essentials for whatever weather or activities come your way. Around thirty-forty clothing items is ideal for a true capsule wardrobe, but any consolidation you can do will make your life much easier this back to school season. Take a peek at the capsule collections below for some inspiration, and feel free to shop the looks straight from this page! 

SUMMER STAYCATIONS IN PHOENIX

Travel can be tricky with two kids under the age of 3, and navigating an airport with little ones is often more of a headache than a vacation. That's why I love taking advantage of the beauty of our own backyard and embracing staycations. Arizona is known for it's beautiful resorts, and you can score MAJOR discounts on rooms during the summer months. Yes, it's mostly because no one is crazy enough to travel here in this heat... but considering we're already here regardless, we might as well take advantage of the deals. Ha! No matter what kind of staycation you're in the market for, you'll find it below.

If you're wanting...

A great pool for the kids: Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak from $103

A trendy girl's weekend: Hotel Valley Ho from $79 (20% off) 

A swanky Scottsdale getaway: Fairmont Princess from $119 (61% off) 

A romantic experience: Royal Palms from $169 (15% off) 

To be pampered: Sanctuary on Camelback from $167 (20% off)

To golf: Scottsdale Links Resort from $79 (60% off)

To explore downtown: Hotel Palomar from $132

Photo by Michelle Herrick