colorful christmas decor

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Decorating our homes is always one of our favorite parts of Christmas.  Every year we like to mix it up and try something new. We have done traditional red and green decor and black and white decor, so this year we decided to decorate with lots of color!  Charlie, who is 4 years old, informed us that pink and blue are not Christmas colors, but we loved the way they looked with red and green. We made tassels, painted ornaments, used felt balls, and bottle brush Christmas trees to create our colorful Christmas decor.

Wreath

To make the ornaments for this year’s theme, we bought plastic ornaments at Michael’s and filled them with craft paint in the colors of our choice. To make these ornaments, follow the instructions from last year’s colorful DIY ornament post. We wired the ornaments to a boxwood wreath and finished it off with a pale pink ribbon.

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Mantel

We added color to Hallman’s neutral stockings by making a collection of tassels for each stocking. We decorated the mantel with our DIY painted ornaments, a collection of green bottle brush Christmas trees that we found at Michaels and Target, and a felt ball garland from Paper Source.

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To make the tassels, we started with a few skeins of yarn in the colors of our choice. To make the large tassels, we wrapped one color of yarn around 4 fingers 40-50 times depending on how thick the yarn was. Then we cut the  yarn and carefully removed the looped yarn form our fingers. We then cut a 12 inch piece of yarn from the same skein, folded it in half, thread it through the middle of the looped yarn and tied it in a double knot very tightly. This became the top of the tassel. Next, we cut another 12 inch piece of yarn in the same color and tied it tightly in a double knot around the looped yarn, about 1 inch down from first knot we tied. Finally, we cut the looped ends at the bottom of the tassel so that they were even. To make the smaller tassels, we wrapped the yarn around 3 of our fingers 20-30 times, depending on the thickness of the yarn. Then we followed the same steps we used for the large tassels in order to finish the small tassels.

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We tied varying colors and sizes of the tassels together, and then tied each tassel group to the loop on each stocking.

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Table

We continued our theme to the table using the same ornaments, bottle brush trees and felt balls to create a centerpiece. On each place setting we tied the napkins with a set of three handmade tassels. to add a pop of color to our neutral linen napkins.

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Happy Decorating!

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Hallman + Ashley

 

 

all dressed up

Even though Holiday decorations have been out for weeks we always feel like Black Friday is the first official day we can start to shop for festive Holiday attire. We all have a few parties in the books, whether it’s a casual gift exchange with friends, a family Hannukah dinner or a fancy New Years Eve party! What better way to kick off the shopping extravaganza with some Holiday outfit inspiration.

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Pinterest

Velvet

Velvet is very versatile and pairs well with everything from denim to a cocktail dress, so we can see why everyone is sporting this luxurious fabric. We are seeing it in statement tops, classic blazers, skirts, dresses and even pants.  Velvet pants however, can often be difficult to pull off so we like to stick with tops, jackets and shoes which look great on everyone!

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Mia Mia Mine

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Sandra Semburg

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My Style Pill

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Viva Luxury

Pleated Skirts

Pleated skirts are everywhere this season, especially in midi length flowy silhouettes. Whether it’s in jewel tones or classic black, we love how they look paired with a statement pump or a high heeled bootie. If you aren’t ready to commit to the full length skirt, this shorter pleated skirt from Banana Republic is a great way to test the waters.

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They All Hate Us

Longer pleated skirts can create a lot of volume so we like to keep the top simple and fitted. A classic slim-fitting crew neck sweater, a slinky tank, a tailored long sleeve blouse or a slim leather jacket work perfectly.

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Closet Full of Clothes

Statement Tops

Statement tops are a great way to elevate a favorite pair of jeans or ground elegant stovepipe slacks. Depending on what you’re looking for, there is something for everyone! Bell sleeve and full sleeve silhouettes like this One by Stylekeepers can easily go from the office to cocktails. More tailored silhouettes like this off-the-shoulder Petersen blouse always look great on everyone.

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Pinterest

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Shop Style

Sequins

Adding a little sparkle is such a fun way to update classic pieces we wear every day. Sequins is a Holiday staple that looks great in small doses and works best when it’s worn on one statement piece such as a jacket, clutch, shoes or tank top. We also love to pair a sequin pencil skirt with our favorite denim!

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Pinterest

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Pinterest

trend-2-wear

Pinterest

Happy Shopping!

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Ashley + Hallman

diy embroidered denim

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One trend we have been loving this fall is embroidered denim. We’re seeing it everywhere, whether it’s an ornate floral design or a simple monogram. Embroidering denim is a simple and colorful way to update an old pair of jeans, a denim shirt or even a favorite jacket! Using a simple chain stitch you can easily personalize a basic wardrobe staple with a few strands of embroidery floss and a needle. Because we love a good monogram, we decided to personalize our own favorite jeans with a set of bright red initials. The best part is, when you’re tired of the stitching you can simply take it out!

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Supplies:

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Using the fabric marking pencil, start by writing your initials on the denim of your choice. If you’re monogramming a pair of jeans, the upper corner on a back pocket or just above a front pocket are great places. If you’re embroidering a jacket or shirt, placing a monogram just above the front pocket or on the cuff look great as well. Thread the embroidery needle with the embroidery floss and tie a knot at the end of the floss.

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Making a chain stitch looks a lot more complicated than it really is. Run the needle through the fabric, from back to front, at the bottom of the first letter. Make your first stitch by placing the needle back down into the denim along the line of the letter. Start making your next stitch by bringing the needle back up through the denim from front to back, just a little bit above the first stitch, making sure that you are following the lines of the letter.

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To make the first chain stitch, run the needle through the first stitch from right to left. Then place the needle back down the hole through which you just drew the thread through. Now you’ve made your first chain stitch!

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Continue making chain stitches, following the lines of the letters you’ve made with the pencil.

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When you finish the first letter, make a knot in the thread at the back of the denim and cut the thread. Then begin again on the next letter.

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Our DIY monograms were really simple and took only about 20 minutes to make, but a few major retailers like Madewell and J.Crew offer customized denim monogramming and embroidery services as well. If you’re looking for more embroidery inspiration, we’ve put together a few of our favorites:

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Jean Stories

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Madewell

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Honestly WTF

EXCLUSIVE: Olivia Palermo in all denim with monogram shirt walking her dog in Brooklyn, NYC.

InStyle

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A Pair and a Spare

Happy making!

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Ashley + Hallman

pouch patrol

How often do we reach into the bottomless pit of our tote bags, scrambling to find a lip balm, or schlep that same tote bag into a store when we really only needed our wallet and keys? We have recently become completely obsessed with using pouches in every size and color because they are the ultimate multi-tasking accessory.

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We use bags like this Legend of Lido pouch for everything, from organizing our kids’ snacks and toys to a night on the town. We especially love how Happily Eva After paired her colorful clutch with jeans and leopard sandals to give her outfit some pop! Because we can’t get enough of these pouches, we’ve put together a collection of our favorites that can seamlessly go from a tote bag accessory to an evening clutch:

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1. Mark and Graham Foldover Clutch ($29.99), 2. Legend of Lido Rays of Aloe Pouch ($89), 3. Bungalow LA Kampala Travel Bag ($42), 4. Monserrat De Lucca Leather Pouch ($150), 5. Baggu Leather Clutch ($29), 6. Mark and Graham Leather Pouch ($49.99), 7. Sole Society Faux Leather Clutch ($44.95), 8. Legend of Lido Jaipur Pouch ($72), 9. Herschel Clutch ($44.99), 10. Madewell Small Zip Pouch ($18.50)

Happy Shopping!

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Ashley + Hallman

our favorite podcasts for kids

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We love a good podcast! Whether it’s informative or for pure entertainment, podcasts are a great way to pass the time in the car, but sometimes the content isn’t appropriate for kids. With so many Summer car trips we wanted to find a few podcasts that our kids would enjoy. After some research we’ve come up with a list of family friendly podcasts that will keep everyone, including parents, entertained on the longest of road trips or even short car rides between pick ups and drop offs:

For kids who love adventure stories

The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified: A fast-paced, comedic adventure series for kids, The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified is a radio show created by a producer of the well-known radio show, Fresh Air. Eleanor is a journalist, radio host and adventurer, and her investigations often get her caught up into precarious situations. Set in the future, it has an old-time radio show feel complete with amazing sound effects, fabulous voices and story lines that carry on from one episode to another.

Story Pirates: This silly, completely kid friendly podcast features stories written by kids, and adapted into sketch comedy and musical theater. Our kids love listening to all the crazy, zany stories written by kids and performed by a lively group of actors complete with sound effects and music.

For curious kids (or adults)

Brains On: This may be one of our favorite podcasts. Co-hosted by kid scientists and reporters, they tackle all those fascinating questions that kids ask. Questions like, “Is there life on other planets?”, “Why does tickling make you laugh?” or even, “How do sneezes work?” This is a great podcast for the whole family!

Tumble: This is a show that explores the stories of science discovery. Using questions they receive from kids, the show’s two hosts interview scientists and experts in their field to answer questions like “Do invisibility cloaks exist?”, “How do black holes work?”, “Why do bats hang upside down?” Our kids always enjoy learning the answers to some of life’s most interesting questions.

But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids: Another science-based show that answers some of kid’s most interesting questions. This podcast gets to the bottom of questions like, “Who invented words?”, “Do bears sleep all winter?”, “Why is the sky blue?” But Why, occasionally addresses topics that can be sensitive or more complex for younger listeners, so be sure to look at the description in the notes of each podcast. The host is also good about giving a heads up when the topic of any given episode could be sensitive so no need to worry about little ears hearing something they’re not ready for yet.

For kids who love fairy tales

Stories Podcast: The fairy tales featured in Stories Podcast range from classics like snow-white and Peter Rabbit to completely original work. Whether it’s a classic Grimm fairy tale or a new take on an old myth, they are all completely family friendly. This podcast isn’t as lively as some of the others so it’s perfect when you want something a little quieter and less animated.

Storynory: This podcast features fairy tales, children’s stories and poems read in a way that sound and feel like an audio book. Our kids loved listening to these stories because they were completely new to them, and we were completely taken by the readers’ fabulous British accents.

Happy Listening!

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Ashley + Hallman

johnnie-o + jane can…father’s day giveaway

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Father’s Day is just around the corner and our kids couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this special day with their dads. Our kids put so much time and love into the special gifts or cards they make each year and they can’t wait to present them on Father’s Day. We take a slightly different approach and head straight to johnnie-O for a few Summer essentials for our husbands. We love johnnie-O because it’s West coast prep style goes seamlessly from the beach to a dinner with friends…and our husbands love it because it’s comfortable and stylish.

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Trucker HatMen’s Graphic TeeJohnnie-O Jr. TeeMen’s SurfSucker Surf ShortJr. Surf sucker Surf ShortFeatherweight FlipFlops

johnnie-O always has a well-curated selection of polos, button downs and beach-worthy T-shirts, which makes stylish dressing a completely effortless task for our husbands. Right now we are especially loving the buttery soft, slightly worn look of the Sunburnt Polo paired with a preppy Surfsucker short, and the Quinn jacket for chilly evenings at the beach.

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Mack Button Down, Stackhouse 1/4 Zip Pullover, Baja Shorts, Trucker Hat, Featherweight Flip Flops

We are excited to announce that our favorite men’s brand is partnering with us for a special Father’s Day promo! Do you want to win the ultimate Father’s Day gift: 3 polos a month for 3 months? All you need to do is click on the photo below to enter a chance to win the giveaway by midnight, June 12th. We’ll announce the winner on social media (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) on Monday June 13th, so be on the look out to see if you’re the lucky one!

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Happy Father’s Day!

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Ashley + Hallman

the new one-piece

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Last Summer we started seeing a resurgence of the one piece. While it took us a little while to get behind the trend, this Summer we are completely on board! The new one piece is no longer the “mom” bathing suit we remember, it’s equal parts classy, sophisticated and ever so slightly sexy. We are seeing everything from traditional Maillots, to daring prints, interesting cut-outs and plunging necklines. We love the style, quality and fabric of this Marysia one piece. Truth be told…it is a bit pricey, but one thing we’ve learned is that a well made suit is worth the investment. Whatever your preference or price range, we have you covered with our favorite one piece bathing suits for this Summer!

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1. Marysia Antibes Maillot, 2. Mara Hoffman Fractals Cut Out One Piece, 3. Zara V-Neck Swimsuit, 4. Old Navy Scallop-Trim Swimsuit, 5. Solid & Striped Anne-Marie, 6. J.Crew Cutout One Piece, 7. Kate Spade Bandeau Maillot, 8. Topshop Maui One Piece

Happy shopping!

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Ashley + Hallman