What I’m Loving This July

Yesterday marked the halfway point of my absolute favorite month of the year (my daughter’s birthday + the fourth of July + my birthday + the height of summer are all in July!), and I wanted to share ten things with you that I’m loving right now. Happy, happy summer, friends.

A roll-up Straw Visor

Collagen Peptides

This book is simultaneously really deep and easy to read

The perfect sunscreen for when I don’t have time for sunscreen

The square necked + smocked top of my dreams
My absolute favorite workout sunglasses – in a fun color combo!

Never owned a pair of Gap denim shorts I didn’t love!
Super basic style but super stunning color

I love how lightweight these are and now they’re only $4!

Super bright and the only nail polish I’ve worn on my fingernails all summer (for real!)

Summer 2021 Trend: Plastic Birks

Let’s file this post under blog posts I never thought I’d write – seriously, can you explain to me how plastic birkenstocks are actually TRENDY?? No, no you can’t explain it, and neither can I – and oftentimes that’s just how trends work. Last year, enough people, or at least enough influential people purchased plastic birks (probably because they were wearing them around the house, ha) that retailer buyers took notice – so fast forward to this summer, and it seems like every retailer has their own version of plastic birks. Henceforth, plastic birks are currently trendy and everybody wants some. Including me, which is funny coming from someone who loves her classic Birkenstocks but wouldn’t call them trendy, and hates Crocs. Anyways, I digress. Plastic Birks are here for the time being, they’re fun, and if you purchase the real thing or a high-end brand, you’ll get great support. If you do choose to purchase a cheap knock-off (like I did from Target), you won’t get support but they’re great for the pool. Here are a few of my favorites!

If these were in stock in my size they would be in my shopping cart right now…

Amazon Finds May 2021

Hello and happy (..end of) May! Here are this month’s Amazon finds, just in time to kick off summer with Memorial Day weekend. Cheers!

$13 Set of Two Cooling Racks – The quality on these is really good!

$20 Set of Four Cropped Workout Tanks – Only $5 for a shirt, and in a variety of colors

$18 Workout Tank – Love the back detail on this

$18 Plastic Knock-Off Birkenstocks – These come in so many colors!

$12 Black Sunglasses – Because there’s no such thing as too many pairs

$30 Tye Dye Shorts – Super comfy and super trendy

$25 Crochet Beach Coverup – Ridiculously dramatic and I kind of love it!

$20 Toddler Swim Trunks – These come in so many adorable prints

$17 Toddler Pajamas – Just continuing with the tye dye trend..

$20 Motivational Water Bottle – But can you really put a price on hydration? 😉

Spring 2021 Trend: Smocking

It’s taken me long enough to write this blog post that I almost had to change the title to “Summer 2021” instead of Spring – but the good news is, this trend is sticking around for both seasons. 🙂 I love smocking – it’s feminine and flattering. What more could you want in a trend? I’ve selected a few smocked dresses and tops that I’m currently loving. My only suggestion when shopping for smocking (say that ten times fast!) is that you always make sure there’s fabric below the smocking – crop tops with only smocking on them are a no for 99% of us.

Amazon Finds March 2021

Well, I didn’t get around to this in February, so let’s try again for March! In this month’s Amazon finds I’m loving clean beauty, swimsuits, and books!

$12 Lip Pencil – A great clean beauty brand and a fun color too!

$11 Risen Motherhood Book – A worthwhile book, perfect for reading through with a friend

$10 Set of Two Pocket Bibs– The perfect, practical gift for any new parent

$5 Visor – The price is so cheap on this one, I own it in multiple colors!

$25 Floral Maxi – This would be so cute as a casual dress for this summer

$32 Exfoliating Scrub – Beautycounter discontinued theirs so this is next on my list to try!

$28 Bikini – Love the colors and the print on this one!

$17 Book – The latest from one of my very favorite authors!

$16 Markers – The very best brand IMO and perfect for sketching

$27 Foam Roller – My husband is obsessed with these lol

January 2021 Creativity Challenge Outcome

Like I’ve done every January for the past few years, last month I completed a creativity challenge. A lot of artists do creativity challenges, and each one looks a little different! For me, my challenge was to design one print every other day through the month, and to find inspiration for the next print on the other days. It’s the exact same format I followed last year.

Some days it was super easy to get it done, other days it was simply unmanageable – either because of time restraints or a lack of inspiration/motivation (hello, winter and life during COVID). Either way, however, I got. it. done. Yes, I fell a little behind a couple of different times throughout the month, but I always managed to catch up, and I’m so glad I did. I now have fifteen brand-spanking-new prints to start off the year and boost my portfolio. I’ll be adding them to my Spoonflower shop soon!

I’ve grown a lot as a designer in the past year and a half, and one thing I’ve found to be so true is quality over quantity. I used to think the more prints that I cranked out, the better – but, truth be told, most of them were very poor and didn’t help me in my career at all. Now, I see that it’s better to spend more time on one print and to really make it amazing, rather than to settle for overly simplistic prints in the name of productivity.

I will share that I wouldn’t say I love every print I made during this year’s challenge, or even that all of them are solid designs. That being said, there are still a few that I do love, and I’m sharing them below. Here’s to many, many more designs and lots of growth this year!