Thursday, August 28, 2014

Make Mine a Double

The bar cart is having a moment thanks to our friend Roxy at Society Social for revitalizing it! I used to love accessorizing my wrists, fingers and neck but now I'm all about decking out my bar cart instead. Add a quirky drink quote, a bold ice bucket, printed glasses and fun cocktail napkins and you're set to entertain in style. Well, wait. Don't forget the alcohol and mixers!  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Business Babe: The Createrie

Sweets are totally having a moment! #AmIRight It seems like everyone is Instagraming a cupcake or ice cream cone. But you haven't seen anything yet until you've checked out @TheCreaterie on on Instagram. My friend Aly Debbas somehow combines style and baking into her edible, most adorable works of art. I've already been dreaming up what type of birthday cake I'll order from her this year, maybe Lilly themed? Keep in mind my bday is like still 7 months away....

Anyways, Aly is not only extremely (multi-)talented but also business savvy and sweet to boot! Check out her interview below!

What has been the biggest hurdle in the process of opening up your own business in your entrepreneur endeavors? How did it all begin?

I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so after spending a couple years post-college working for someone else, I got the itch to figure out how to make my love of being in the kitchen a life long endeavor. The cake business was born as an outlet for my creativity, but also as a result of my constant recipe testing. Starting with little orders for the children I nannied, I was hooked on the smile that each cake brings to someone’s face. Those smiles are what I channel in the moments where easy becomes OMG. The biggest hurdle would be figuring out profitability. If I could, I would spend hours on each cake, but time is money, so learning to streamline the process, and understand the market in which I am based, is a constant focus. I also am never afraid to admit that in owning your own business, staying self motivated, and believing that your dream is possible is a daily job in itself!

How have you blended two of your passions, photography and baking?

I picked up my first black and white manual camera at 10 years old. I was convinced that that was the answer to all of life’s problems... being able to capture the best of a moment forever. Now being in the business of making celebrations beautiful, and memories more delicious, I am so thankful that I have a love of photography to remember each day’s bits of sweetness. Thank you to my BFF Instagram for being an excellent way for me to not only grow my brand, but also share my snaps with my friends, family, and clients.

From teaspoons in 2011 to cups in 2014, how has The Createrie changed over the past few years? What are you cooking up for the future?

Every morning I wake up from the dream called, you’ve found your ideal bakery space. Right now, that is the main focus. Over the last three years I have nailed down my recipes, and curated an aesthetic all while building the most wonderful client base. Those three things were necessary before I could envision the future, and I let the process of getting there happen on its own time. Now, as much as I would love to continue to stay in the kitchen with buttercream and cake layers, I have to find a healthy balance between fulfilling orders and solidifying the numbers, to make the completion of the dream really possible.

Be honest – what is the favorite cake you have made for a customer?

My most recent favorite cake was one I did of Boathouse Row for the Agnes Irwin crew team... the more detail the better, and I loved being able to create a cake based off such a beautiful part of Philadelphia. Oh, and also, drunk barbie cakes. Each cake involves shopping for a barbie and her cute party dress, and what’s not to love about that.

What is the best piece of advice you can give people who want to follow their business dreams?

Be really really really really organized, even if it isn’t in your nature. (I wish someone could whisper that into my ear as a reminder every day). If for nothing else, it is so satisfying looking back at all of the progress in your documentation. I also think it is really important to acknowledge the power of every interaction you have each day.. you never know how one person may impact your end game!

Toughest question of them all - Cupcake or cake?

Don’t do this to me!!! As much as I adore a slice of Createrie cake, there is very little as satisfying as a mini cupcake. I use a two-bite size for my customer’s orders, and they definitely become the best two bites you take in any day. Especially if they are filled with a little bit of buttercream.

Thanks Aly! Now I'm hungry...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Want It, Need It

 I remember back in middle school everyone looked forward to their birthday when during the morning televised announcements they shared the birthdays and you got to see your name on tv! Life clearly was a lot simpler back then if this is what we looked forward to right? Or even before then as a child I remember when my parents would have the local newspaper announce my birthday with my picture and all. I guess that was before they realized the safety threat in doing such. Regardless, all of these were the reasons I've developed a love for birthdays.

So if it's your birthday let's celebrate with these birthday themed goodies!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Guest Post: Mae Badiyan

I'm so excited to welcome Mae Badiyan today to the blog, she's sharing a guest post on planners. And trust me, if you've watched her Youtube videos you know this gal knows her organization and agenda stuff. Trust. Enjoy!!

I've always, always been a paper planner girl. Don't get me wrong I LOVE technology & my phone is practically surgically attached to me, but nothing beats pretty paper, cute washi tape and a smooth-writing pen. Plus technology crashes and paper lives on. So while I love my phone, I keep all of my appointments, to-dos and important information in a paper agenda. Now I've gone off the deep end with this stationery hobby of mine but I'll spare you that extreme. 
Let's talk about some quick & easy tips for getting started organizing with a paper planner. (If you do happen to fall in love with this wonderful world of paper goods and want to talk more in depth, feel free to get in touch with me. I can point you in the right direction!)

1. Find the right planner for you
There are 2 major decisions you'll need to make: size and form

There are tons of available sizes but the most common are the standard ones you'd expect: small (aka pocket), medium (aka personal) and large (aka A5)
I prefer the personal size because it's like the Goldilocks of planners, portable yet roomy. But you may need to experiment with different sizes to see which is the best fit for you depending on how much information you'll put on your pages & how big your handwriting is. And also how much you want to decorate

The second part is deciding whether you want a ring-bound or spiral-bound planner. The ring bound agendas like Filofax or Kikki-K offer endless options for customization. However, there are also fabulous (and beautiful) spiral bound planners from brands like Kate Spade and Lilly Pulitzer that are equally as efficient. 
Again, you may have to experiment with a few different ones to find a system that works best for you. 

2. Buy the right tools

If you're using a ring-bound agenda, I suggest you invest in a 3-hole punch so you can add your own note pages and custom documents. You'll also need pens! It's amazing the difference a quality pen makes. If you're into fountain pens, try the Lamy Safari. They just introduced a limited edition neon coral that is so beautiful. You can also get affordable pens from office supply stores and Target. I love the Staedler pens and they offer tons of color choices. The Sharpie pens also write very smoothly. Sharp scissors, a glue stick, and extra sticky notes may come in handy too.

3. Add some decorations 

Washi tape is all the rage right now and it is just so darn cute! You can literally get it from anywhere -- Etsy, eBay, Target -- even luxury brands like Kate Spade are designing washi tape. Definitely pick up a few rolls and use it to spruce up your planner pages, block out vacations on your monthly calendar, tape in important notes….there are a million uses. I find that when my planner is fun and festive, I want to look at it and use it more.

If you're feeling adventurous you can also get cute diary stickers to use in your planner. Again these come in a million different designs, you can get stickers to help you keep track of the weather, your water intake, hair appointments, date nights….you name it, there's a sticker for it! Just search diary stickers on eBay and you'll find tons of affordable options. 

4. Use your planner!

It's so much fun to decorate a planner, write in important dates and flip through the pretty pages but none of that is going to do you any good unless you actually use it. Your agenda should house your important dates but it can also be a place to keep track of daily to-do lists, financial information, wish lists, health information and daily routines. Think of it as an extension of your brain. Create sections for the major areas of your life and fill them up. Use the calendar pages for forward planning next month and even next year. 

It's amazing the sense of relief I feel when things are out of my head and on paper. I free up valuable space and energy to tackle important projects. I know that everything has a place and I know where to go when I need that information. If you're interested in learning more about planning or just want to join stationery addicts anonymous ;) feel free to get in touch via my website or twitter. There's a super fun community of ladies (and some gents) who love paper goods, pretty sticky notes and getting stuff done, and I'm happy to put you in touch with them! YouTube is also a fantastic resource for learning more about planning and organization!

Thanks so much Patricia for having me over today! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Business Babe: Carolina Alvo

I randomly stumbled upon Carolina Alvo over a year ago through Twitter... I'm telling you Twitter can take you places, people! As a petite girl (I'm 5'1") I've always struggled to find clothes that fit. Roberto, the tailor in Malvern is a godsent, he's always taking up shoulders and hemlines for me.
Enter Carolina, a petite herself, she's designing a line of clothes specifically for petites! Umm why hasn't anyone thought of this before? Regardless, I couldn't be more excited to find clothes that actually fit from the first time I take them off the hanger. But this petite power house needs our help to make this pint sized dream a reality. She recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds. So small girls unite! Let's learn more....

Why did you create your company, Carolina Alvo?

Carolina Alvo was inspired by a very personal frustration. I am as Petite as it gets; at 4’9” I’ve never had a shopping experience that wasn’t teeming with frustration.

I’ve seen it all: the pant leg so long I could have made a whole new pair with the excess fabric, the shirt that could be worn as a dress, the V-neck top that would have gotten me arrested for indecent exposure if worn in public. I decided that if no one was making the clothes that I needed, then I should take matters into my own hands and make them myself. And Carolina Alvo was born.

What is petite?

Petite refers to women who are 5’4” & under, regardless of shape or size. Whether you’re a size 2 or 16, as long as you’re 5’4” & under, you are Petite.

“Petite is powerful” serves as the Carolina Alvo slogan. We love it! Explain your reasoning for the catchy phrase.

A common complaint among Petites is that they feel like they are not taken seriously because of their size, particularly in the workplace. Carolina Alvo, whose mantra is “Petite is Powerful”, wants to help change this perception by creating a platform for Petite woman empowerment. For starters, we're naming each piece after a Petite woman we admire, starting with our Kathleen Dress, named after an inspiring Petite venture capitalist. 

Describe your personal style.

I tend to wear simple basic pieces – like jeans/t-shirt/blazer or dress – with funky statement accessories. I have traveled a lot and have amassed quite a collection of earrings, necklaces and rings from everywhere I’ve been. I love mixing different ethnic pieces with a wardrobe that otherwise would be super muted and simple. 

Carolina Alvo donates 1% of its profits to “Girl Rising”, an organization dedicated to girl’s education. Why is giving back so important to you?

Carolina Alvo was founded on the belief that businesses can play a big role in helping solve major social problems. That’s why Carolina Alvo gives 1% of their profits to Girl Rising, a global action campaign for girls’ education that drives donations to programs that help girls get in and stay in school.

My previous career was in the international development field and I saw first hand how the most fundamental things that we take for granted – like education – are still unavailable to millions around the world. It’s going to take a lot to make sure everyone has access to these fundamentals and I think there is a role for traditional business to play in raising awareness, funds, etc.

Where do you hope your company is in five years? In ten years?

I hope that Carolina Alvo is known as the go-to source for amazing Petite fashion that actually fits!

Thanks Carolina! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Night In

MISS WITHIT Bow Pillow, MISS WITHIT Love You Pillow, Society Social Pillow, Macy's Sofa, Forever 21 Nightshirt, Headband, Shop Dandy Mug, UGG Slippers  

I can happily admit that my ideal night would include sitting in my pjs on the sofa surrounded by adorable pillows watching reruns of bad reality tv on repeat. No shame in lazy game. While my friends are much more content jumping from bar to bar and being hit on by guys (please hold the cheesy pick up lines), I prefer a cute and cozy night in. Hey, being an entrepreneur is exhausting, I tell ya! 

This would be the ideal situation...ideal

Monday, August 18, 2014

Want It, Need It

I grew up going to art museums, I have to thank my parents for always taking the time to introduce me to museums, theater and other culturally significant places. While I wish I could afford a real Warhol or a Degas (girl can dream!) right now on I'm shopping for budget prints for my home.

I love discovering new young and aspiring artists on Etsy and social media. With prices like these you can afford to build a whole gallery wall while supporting someone else's little shop and dream. Win, win! I also frequent One Kings Lane, Zulily and the pop up art shops Design Darling and Furbish have been hosting.

PS. Have you noticed bar cart art is totally a thing now? #cheers

Friday, August 15, 2014

Highlight In Pink

Piqued PR Photo by Haley Cairo 

Today is the last day for the Hattan Home 15% off sale with code "VACAY15". I stocked up on greeting cards like this, because everyone is getting a ring on their finger these days!

Love this summer bucket list from Maxie of Ilo Inspired on The College Prepster. I'm crossing off #5 tonight at the Luke Bryan concert with Darci.

Speaking of country, I just purchased these on super very first pair of cowgirl boots.

I have to admit, my new blog crush is Katey of Chronicles of Frivolity. Love her girly glam style and kinda obsessed with this cheeky tee post.

I spent the beginning of the week in NYC at The Park Lane, lunching with new favorite petite blogger Olivia of Corporate Catwalk, chatting with Samantha of Trend Tribe (#BusinessBabe interview to come soon) and scouting out event locations like posh nail salon The Paint Box. Seriously, how'd I get so luck to call this a job?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Business Babe: Jessie Holeva

I was introduced to Jessie Holeva of Trend Hungry through our mutual stylish friend Courtney. Since then Jessie and I have become friends, supported each other through our various projects and collaborated often. Check out my guest post on her blog: here

Let me tell you, "Trend Hungry" is the perfect title for Jessie. She can rock a trend like no other! Always dressed up, I've seen her rock cat eye sunnies for coffee, vintage bling over pizza and made a summer maxi work for winter by pairing it with a chunky knit trimmed in fur for an event. I love her fearless take on style and ambition to make Trend Hungry a household name. 

“Fat Closet, Skinny Budget” is the slogan of your blog, “Trend Hungry”. Tell us about your blog and what it provides your readers?

Trend Hungry is all about enjoying the trends and looking and feeling fabulous on a budget. It’s meant to satisfy your style cravings without guilt. Spending more on a bag or boots shouldn’t give you more self worth. Additionally, you don’t have to spend a lot to be up to speed with style. Fashion and beauty should be fun and make you feel good, not something that adds stress and strain on your bank account.

Who doesn’t love a candy bar? You say your mother got you hooked on a candy bar a day – what’s your favorite sweet treat?

So many! I do love chocolate and still get candy bars often, but ice cream wins my heart. I LOVE Talenti gelato in Salted Caramel. Salted caramel anything wins my heart.

On a regular day, what is your must-have accessory?

Sunglasses. I wear them all year round and even if I’m running late I’ll still turn around to grab a pair before running out the door. They protect your eyes, prevent wrinkles, keep ya incognito, and look chic on those I-forgot-to-do-my-eye-makeup days.

What is your favorite part of being a blogger and an entrepreneur?

Having control. Being on your own is great because you have a choice and can take on projects and collaborate with brands and individuals that inspire you. It’s fulfilling and has made me become more independent and strong. I get a rush from what I do.

What are your plans for Trend Hungry in the next few years? 

Big question. I wish I knew, kidding, sort of.  I don’t have a big five-year plan. The reason I even started blogging was because I knew I wanted to do something with my passions and by blogging I’ve been able to create a job for myself that involves being creative in what I love. I get to style looks for real people and media outlets, create content and contribute to various outlets, collaborate and consult with brands to grow awareness, host events, and go on air as a style and beauty expert. I’m now working on a capsule collection with a local designer and also sell vintage jewelry. My goal would be to get better at delegating so I can add more people to the Trend Hungry team in a greater role so we can help more brands reach their goals, offer more styling services, and continue to inform.

Describe your style? Where do you find inspiration?

Eclectic, boho, girly, glam, a little trendy. Everywhere - old movies, magazines, catelogs, Pinterest, people watching.

Thanks Jessie!