Tuesday, April 26, 2016

FashionABLE: Jewelry That Gives Back

So, it's been awhile since I've done any sort of personal style post. (I think the last one was during our Tulum recaps!!) But, here I am, sharing an outfit:

Now, you might be thinking... "why is she posting a picture of the world's most basic black dress and equally basic leather sandals?" But the truth of the matter is, today I'm talking accessories. Specifically, my new (perfectly tiny) necklace that is so darn shiny it's a little hard to see in the photos. Sure, they were snapped en route to enchiladas and therefore I was a bit hurried, but still. So you could get a better look, I took a close up at home:

At long last, I'm officially (AKA legally) Kelli Lamb. And I wanted a little daily memento to remind me. I love horizontal bar necklaces as an everyday accessory. Big, statement pieces often steal the show -- hello, real housewives -- and these days I gravitate towards simple and sweet. I got it from FashionABLE -- a really cool online marketplace where everything is made by women, both in America and around the world, who have overcome major challenges.

FashionABLE believes that by empowering women, creating JOBS for women, they're making a difference. And they absolutely are. My necklace was handcrafted by a woman in Nashville named Melissa. She works with the Miriam Collection, a wonderful organization that employs women who have overcome everything from homelessness to prostitution to addiction. (You may remember this post on them from a few years ago.) So it's not just a necklace, it's a piece that gave someone an opportunity.

Their jewelry is all handmade in Nashville by the women who are looking to work, and they even have custom options -- like my little LAMB addition. Creating my own design was easy, and took about 5 minutes to get it exactly how I envisioned. And if a necklace isn't your thing or you want something with a little more embellishment, don't fret. It's all custom... so you can create exactly what you're looking for. Who wouldn't want to create their perfect piece of jewelry AND give women jobs? Just saying.

To learn more about the amazing work FashionABLE is doing -- and why they're doing it -- click here.  To create your own custom piece of jewelry, click here.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Slides to Save Your Feet

1. Matt Bernson // 2. Raye // 3. Tibi // 4. Coclico Shoes

So this is a little embarrassing. But, I basically ALWAYS have a blister (or 2) on my feet. Like, always. I don't know if it's the way I walk... perhaps I'm buying the wrong size shoe... the fact of the matter is, the first time I wear ANY pair of shoes, cheap or expensive, they destroy my feet. Once they're broken in, all is well. But man, those first few wears result in COMPLETE MISERY. Like put-me-in-the-grave-MISERY.

Now, when we were in Spain we discovered the MOST WONDERFUL TREASURE. Compeed!!!! Have you heard of these bandages?? We cannot begin to understand why they're not on the shelves of every drugstore in America, but these babies are foot lifesavers. Footsavers. They're cushy and gel-ish and incredible. You put them on BEFORE you wear a new pair of shoes or a pair that you know might cause some pain. And they almost become a second skin, protecting your feet with every step. The only problem is... sometimes I forget to wear them. SIGH.

So recently, we walked to the movies and I could have cried by the time we got there. I'd forgotten to use a pair of Compeeds and my "dogs were barkin." Not to be gross, but my heels were both completely raw and I felt like an idiot. The days that followed, I had to coordinate my clothes based on what shoes I could wear, and we had to cancel a hike. Dramatic!

I was telling Tim that I really need to get some shoes that I can reach for when that happens, and I think slides are the solution. Your heels are free to, well, heal, in a pair of slides. And I love that they're totally on trend this spring. It's like, the shoe gods knew my little blisters needed a break and so they sent down a trend that would save my feet and I'd still look stylish. I've found 4 that are at the top of my wish list. The only question... which to buy??


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wanderlust: 4 Hotels Worth Traveling For

I've got a major case of wanderlust these days. Lately, I've really been feeling in a rut -- creatively, socially, mentally. Living in a new city is a really hard thing, even when it's been almost a year. At times I feel displaced, and I definitely feel homesick... for San Francisco, for Idaho. I miss my friends and family A LOT, and I still don't feel like I have a "routine" down. I've found a lot of coffee shops I love, but I haven't found "my spot" where I'm comfortable and often opt to just enjoy my coffee at home. Same with restaurants... though, who are we kidding? One can never replace Tacolicious.

I think as a result of this feeling of displacement, my brain just feels compelled to leave. To explore somewhere else new, and justify this lost feeling I have by feeling it elsewhere. For some reason, it's easier to explore and enjoy a place when I'm just visiting. I find it really hard to get out of my comfort zone when I'm living somewhere new and unfamiliar.

Maybe it's because I just love hotels. I would travel to the dullest place in the world if there was a beautiful, interesting hotel. And is it wrong to want to travel to a place because of a beautiful hotel? If so, I don't want to be right. I've said it once, and I'll say it again... I am my best self in a hotel.

(Except when there are bed bugs in said hotel. I mean, then I have a full meltdown and stop breathing and call my husband screaming and he initially thinks I've been attacked but in many ways I have, you know? But that's a story for a different day. The hotels below would NEVER compromise your luggage -- or sanity -- like that. These hotels are so well designed, I'd try to pull an Eloise and never leave.)

In the midst of my wanderlust, here's what I came up with:


As a member of Design Hotels, Ion Iceland obviously has a beautiful interior. The rooms are designed with thoughtful Nordic details -- like fluffy sheepskins and natural wood. The rest of the hotel takes pride in immersing you in the natural benefits of the area. There are numerous adventures available (horseback riding, glacier hikes, volcano visits, fly fishing), but I think I'd like to just soak in the warm outdoor pool with the northern lights twinkling above. Swoon!


I first discovered El Fenn when Claire Zinnecker and photographer Molly Winters shared the space with Rue Magazine. El Fenn was originally a private riad (a Moroccan home with a private, enclosed courtyard) and has been converted to one of the most popular resorts in the area. There are 28 rooms -- each different from the last -- alongside gardens and swimming pools. I personally would spend most of my time at the gorgeous rooftop restaurant.


Another getaway discovered via Rue, and this one is driving distance from the very spot I'm sitting in now. Located in quirky Solvang, CA, this spot is modern and so visually appealing. Plus, it's a short drive to some of the Santa Ynez Valley wineries, meaning you could really make a weekend out of it. Perhaps it would nip my Napa craving in the bud. (I also am gathering inspiration from our own bedroom design based on this exact space.)


I've never been to Paris but I've always wanted to go! (Obviously.) Hotel du Temps is adorable -- featuring vintage furniture, pieces from local artists, and, HELLO, floor to ceiling palm print curtains in the guest rooms. So charming! PS... let's talk about the lounge. I love when hotels have a cute spot for a nightcap!


Basically, I need to stop shopping the ASOS sale and save my pennies for a vacation! Any spots I should add to my bucket list?? Let me know your favorite destination(s) in the comments!

Monday, April 11, 2016

LISTEN TO: The Lumineers

Just making sure we're all listening to Cleopatra, the new album from The Lumineers...

We are, right? SO GOOD.

I have to say, I was super nervous about their next album. Considering it's been 4 years -- FOUR -- since their last album, I was a bit nervous.

You see, one of my favorite memories is watching their concert at The Greek in Berkeley -- a gorgeous venue with a view of the San Francisco skyline. Tim and I went with our good friends Ricky & Tina, and it will always stand as one of my favorite concerts. Or the time that we watched them sing Ho Hey, for free, at Hardly Strictly in Golden Gate Park and I felt like moving to SF was the best decision I'd ever made. And truth be told, we ALMOST used "Dead Sea" for our first dance song. When you associate so many moments with a band, it's almost as if you feel like they 'owe' you. Like, if their new album is a bomb, a dud, an assault on the ears... they've let you down, personally. It's a disappointment that's totally out of your control. Rude.

I'm pleased to say that Cleopatra is the opposite of a bomb. It's energizing, emotional, and after a long weekend of travel that allowed me to listen over and over again, I'm pretty sure I already have all of the lyrics memorized.

I think it will be on repeat right through the dog days of summer. While some people try to avoid binge-listening to an album (you know -- so you don't get sick of it right off the bat), I'm the opposite. It's so powerful to associate an album with an exact time in life. For example, in the midst of one of the most emotionally tumultuous times in my life, Lungs by Florence & the Machine got me to the other side and I feel empowered every time I hear it. I listened to Babel by Mumford & Sons on repeat when I'd just arrived in San Francisco, terrified and homesick and lonely and many times, lost on a street I'd never been on before. And I listened to their next edition, Wilder Mind, as I planned our wedding and it forever will remind me of that anticipation.

I guess this season will be the season of The Lumineers.

Things are pretty close to perfect right now, so I can't wait to hear this in three years and remember THIS EXACT TIME in my life.

So, go ahead and give it a listen.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Currently Pinning...

I've got great news: I finally remembered Pinterest was a thing. (I think wedding planning gave me P-PTSD. Pinterest Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.) I have been pinning my little heart out before bed each night. For a hearty dose of pretty, here's what's been catching my eye lately:






I think it's pretty obvious -- I've got summer on the brain! I always gravitate towards pinks and corals as soon as April hits... perhaps it's the influx of rosé in my system??

Anyways, it's been so refreshing -- both the pinning and rosé consumption -- and I feel totally re-engerized with the new season lingering. I'd love to see what inspires YOU on Pinterest, so be sure to comment below with a link to your account. Can't wait to follow along!

Friday, April 1, 2016

The 5 Year Anniversary of (the end of) StopShop

I hate April 1st, SO much you guys. Because you can't trust anything on the internet. Like, I saw a post today about wearing a button up shirt backwards. And I was like, this sort of seems like an April Fools' Day prank but I also am very certain I saw a blogger wearing that a few weeks ago? (It was not a prank. People want us to turn our shirts around and wear the buttons in the back. What a time to be alive.) Additionally, some people I follow on social media posted very questionable photographs and I thought "Ah ha! I'm being punked!" But then I really thought about it, and then had to face the hard reality that they just post questionable photographs and perhaps I should stop following them.  And so, you can't trust a thing on the internet on April 1st. NOT ONE THING.

That's why 6 years ago, when I set out to "stop shopping" for an entire year, I started on April 1st. Because if I failed, I would tell everyone it was just a very elaborate and lengthy April Fools' joke and they were all suckers.

However, I didn't fail. And that was so surprising. Let me tell you, that was one HECK of a year. A terrible, no good, very bad year. Looking back, the things that made it terrible have an air of humor to them, and occasionally turn into fish stories told over cocktails with friends. (I'd share them here, but I've got to save something for that book of comedic essays I plan on getting rich off of someday.) But even if that seems like ancient history by now, it still was a crappy, crappy time in my life.

I tried to blog through the entire thing -- the not-shopping part -- but I wasn't very diligent. I had only about 75 posts for the entire year, and you can read every last one here, on an embarrassingly turquoise blog with a lot of cell phone photos. If I regret anything about StopShop, it's that I didn't post more. I didn't share what I was wearing (and re-wearing) in my closet. I didn't share more DIYs. I didn't express how I was working through the challenge of not buying new clothes or accessories for an ENTIRE YEAR. In hindsight, it's because everything else in my life was a challenge, and in a way... the blog was like a tether that got me to the other side. By having something else that was allegedly "hard to do," I was able to mask the things going on in my personal life that were actually hard to do.

It's been 5 years since that project wrapped, and I can tell you one thing -- I've learned way more in the last five years than I learned in that one. I'm not trying to discredit my accomplishment in any way, it just took me awhile to reflect on what it actually meant to me.

What I learned by tackling such an aggressive goal was that willpower -- and fear of embarrassment -- is usually all it takes for me. I felt so out of control in all other areas of my life, that it was such a relief to be able to control whether or not I bought a stupid pair of pajamas at Target or a pair of "going out" shoes. On top of that, I had told everyone in my (fairly small) town to share my blog on their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. (Instagram wasn't really a social thing yet.) I refused to fail. I refused to go to Dirty Little Roddy's (hey-oh) and see some girl who had said mean things about me and know that she knew I didn't actually make it an entire year. The girl was an idea -- there was not an actual girl I was afraid of. Well, there probably was but you know, it's been over 5 years, who can remember this stuff?

Essentially, the public accountability made it a very risky thing to take on. But my willpower is what made it a success. And somehow, just at the end of that year, things really started to get better. You can probably correlate that to the fact I had some nice new outfits, but really it was just a matter of time. Everything is fixed by the simple passing of time, I think.

Anyway, some of you have been reading my blog SINCE those days. You stuck with me when I posted photos of Uggs and cardigans from the inside of my cubicle, and then again when I posted CRAZY outfits for the sake of "fashion blogging," and still further when I stopped writing all together. For that, I say thank you. And I hope this post opens the door to the next wave, whatever it might be.