shopping // of a kind

Every time I try and get into a regular rhythm of blogging, my life goes crazy. So here it is, I’m going to try harder, I will fail less, and I still won’t have a regular posting schedule. So there’s that. And without further ado…shopping.

Of a Kind, it is pretty safe to say that I’m obsessed. If you have no idea of what I refer to, here is a bit about them per their website:

“We select designers whose work we love and feature them on the site, one at a time. We share a series of stories about each designer—inspirations, personal life, taste, training, you name it—along with a limited-edition piece designed exclusively for Of a Kind.”

I love the products, I love the designers I find through them, and I love the weekly emails from the founders Claire and Erica (I’ve been known to forward them to many people and use them, in meetings with my boss, as examples about the proper use of email newsletters). I also really love that right now everything is on sale and with that, I’m sharing my current “I Want” list with the world.

**If you were not recently reminded by your mother that you are on a budget, you can take 35% off everything with code UPINYOURGRILL through 07/08/2014 (so exciting!)

Life, Photography, Travel

istanbul // a mosque + some tales


Our first glimpse of the Blue Mosque happened the first night we arrived in Istanbul. Ann and I made it to our hotel after overnight flights and a wild, nausea inducting shuttle ride, so the need to stretch our legs was great. It should be noted that we arrived in Istanbul sans a Turkey Guide book and, well, we won’t note that I only had about $75USD due to a bank fiasco…clearly planning wasn’t on my side for night one. Thus, we set out with the decision that we would only walk straight down the road with the tiny postcard sized map from the hotel in hand so not to get lost on our first outing. After about five minutes we emerged onto a square and poof there was the Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque right in front of us. It was an amazing and well-illuminated site.

istanbul blue mosque, Istanbul

Blue Mosque, Istanbul



Fast forward to our first full day and we had lots to see which included a trip to the Blue Mosque and meeting by far one of the funnier Turkish men (in comparison to the annoying ones that inspired lots of Minnesota niceness and even more California annoyance…I’ll let you guess who was who).

blue mosque, istanbul

blue mosque, istanbul

blue mosque, istanbul  blue mosque, istanbul

blue mosque, istanbul

blue mosque, istanbul

So in addition to finding the Blue Mosque, we also picked up a friend while searching for the visitor’s entrance. A mini tour of the Blue Mosque, photos and the line “let me have your camera and I will go where visitors can’t go and take special pictures” later (we clearly gave him Ann’s camera as I held his shoes as a guarantee), he led us to Jennifer’s Turkish Towel shop. Jennifer the Canadian. My English speaking soul sang with a joy that can’t even be imagined. Shopping! Textiles! English! I think Ann may have laughed at how gleeful I was. My bank account left a little lighter.


istanbul istanbul

Oh, and there was mid day break for lunch and some tea. I’m telling you, tea…everywhere! Epic fail when you’re the girl that doesn’t really do hot beverages. Needless to say, every waiter loved Ann and was annoyed with me, or that could be my complete inability to put up with the offers to have someone “teach me turkish”…
I may not have see Taken, but I know how this whole “teach you the language” thing goes, it’s called you go on vacation get and kidnapped/offed. Maybe. Back on topic now.



Next up, Ann and Whitney go to a palace. And maybe do some more shopping. (It’s me on a vacation, do we expect anything less).

Fashion, Life, Shopping

wish list: here we go, Turkey.


I have discovered a problem I didn’t know I had. Going on vacation makes me want to shop more. I have visions of great outfits, amazing jewelry, and the bags…oh the bags. It can probably be blamed on the fact that I have started to think of life in photographic snapshots so the vision of a flowy skirt blowing in the breeze while on a cliff overlooking the sea while wearing super cool jewelry and holding an awesome bag, I mean that can totally happen, right? With Turkey quickly approaching, I thought I would share what has tempted me most recently, i.e. my vacation wish list. However, I will say that what is actually going into my bag will be a lot what I currently own and love quite a bit.  From my amazing lightweight colorblock scarf from scarf shop, perfect for darting in and out of locations that require head-coverings, a few pairs of well loved (and broken in) sandals care of Aldo, Rainbow & Madewell, a plethora of skirts below my knee, and of course my camera and a lot of camera cards to go with it.

1. camera case 2. random dye scarf 3. stack ring 4. gem ring 5. sandals 6. tote 7. guides


wantful. i want.


Sometimes you find something that is so perfect, brilliant and amazing that you want to:

a. share it with everyone
b. give it to everyone
c. hide it away for yourself and tell no one (but be the super awesome gift giver)

Because I blog, I felt like I needed to go with option a, however, my aunt and mom wanted me to go with option c so that they could utilize the greatness that is Wantful before news of it’s wonder got out to people they know (and give gifts to).

Here is how simple it really is (per the website):

How it works:

  1. PersonTell us a bit about the person you’re buying a gift for.
  2. GiftWe’ll help you curate a set of 16 perfect gift ideas.
  3. BookYour collection is delivered in a custom printed gift book.
  4. ShipThey choose the item they love the most and we deliver it.

I have taken the quiz based on different people and curated a variety of different collections to get a feel for the site and I love it. The items are wonderful with a vast amount of option at varying price points, so it is pretty easy to stay within your budget. You can select 16 items per collection and options range anywhere from decor, jewelry, hammocks, electronics, totes, bar ware, food, and art, so you will always find items to, well, fill a whole book. You may now become everyone’s favorite gift giver.

Wantful can be found online at


meet: 31 Bits

Do you know 31 Bits?


I always love finding out about new shops, etsy vendors, and pretty much any place I can encourage people to spend their money. I especially love shops that give back in some shape or form. So meet 31 Bits (per their website).

Kallie Dovel, traveled to Uganda in the summer of 2007, getting a first- hand look at life in Northern Uganda. While she was there, she met women making paper beads but who lacked a plan to market and sell them. After spending time in their homes and hearing their stories, Kallie knew there had to be a way to give opportunities to her new friends. She brought a box of jewelry back to the U.S., and spent the next year finishing her degree and dreaming up the concept of a development organization. She brought a few friends on board and her ideas quickly evolved into 31 Bits. The girls traveled back to Uganda in August 2008, and selected six women to begin buying jewelry from on a monthly basis. Since then, we have grown to 99 women; each with a unique story of suffering that has been overcome with joy and liberation. 

Pretty jewelry, unique, good cause. I don’t think it gets much better than that.

Find 31 Bits online at

Parties, Shopping, Wedding

must have monday: geronimo! (balloons)


Balloons. Who doesn’t love them? How can you not smile when you see one? Doesn’t everyone dream of a giant balloon with fringe? Okay, that may have been pushing it a bit far. Moving on.

Geronimo balloons has been creating what can only be called balloon art for less then a year now, but is already much loved. Especially for the fun element it brings to photos. It also can’t help but bring a smile to your face when you see it.

Have I mentioned they are giant?

More information can be found online at

Life, Shopping

recap: day four in california

Day four went something like this…..”Josh, pleeeease take me to Venice.” Yes, I am ashamed to admit it, but I whined, because, well there was a cake stand calling me. But it was in Venice.

Meet Bountiful. (I found the store care of a 100 Layer Cake pop up sale/blog post and need to visit them in person).


There isn’t any official signage. But there is a telltale sign to know that you have found the right place. About a million and one cake stands stacked in the window. Josh was a bit nervous to walk in, heck, I was a bit nervous to walk around. One false move and a tower would fall on top of you and I’m pretty confident you wouldn’t be found for days.





There are more than cake stands. Actually there was a $9200 set of chairs, but I wasn’t there for those. Though a super cute vase, that may have jumped into my hands, or something like that.










A wonderful trip to the hipster beachy area. I may be the proud owner of a few more things then I walked in with. Oops.


wednesday want: scarf shop

I know that Mondays are supposed to be the day for me to post about my most recent “i must have this” moment.

But it’s SCARVES!!

And for two reasons I couldn’t wait.

One. I am completely obsessed with Scarf Shop. I came across it this morning and I have been filling (and emptying) my shopping cart ever since. In case you weren’t aware, scarves on on my list of favorite things.

Two. Next Monday will be a special blogging day. But more on that later.

So, if you love scarves as much as I do, visit: scarf shop (you won’t be disappointed, though your bank account may not feel the same way)

Photos care of the scarfshop website

(and to my mom: i have a birthday coming up…hint,hint, nudge, nudge)


must have monday: keys

I am not quite sure why, but I have loved skeleton keys for a long while. I have wanted one in some form of jewelry for just as long. So imagine my delight when I stumbled across an etsy vendor who sells not only a hodge podge of vintage items, but also….

…old keys!

A happier discovery I could not have made. So if you are looking for something fun (and vintage), pop on over to Found Vintage Style on Etsy, just don’t buy all the keys before I can get to them.