The Happiest Place On Earth: A Day at Disneyland

Disneyland with Made U Look

A trip to Disneyland is always better with friends.

When Gala and I heard that Kat had never been to Disneyland, we knew it would be the perfect spot to take her for her birthday. So the day after I arrived in LA in April, we set out to give her a tour of the self-proclaimed happiest place on earth (while staying determined to ignore the fact that it was Spring Break).

Disneyland with Made U Look

We awoke early and hit the road but things didn’t go quite as planned (they never do!) As we ambled along the freeway, Gala got sick next to me and boy, was I thankful that there was an empty Starbucks bag nearby. Once we arrived, we realized just how bad the crowds really were. With every line snaking on with at least an hour wait, we ended up having to bypass nearly all the rides.

CLICK FOR MORE DISNEYLAND GOODNESS…

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The Week In Pictures: 6.28.13 | Hello From New York!

the week in pictures

Spending a week in New York with two BFFs was just what the doctor ordered. Routines need to be broken every once in awhile and I’d been feeling really restless, caught up in a routine of all work and no play. Even though our main reason for being together was our workshop, Kat, Gala and I slipped plenty of fun into our packed schedules. These were a few of my favorite experiences during my time in New York…


FAVORITE OLD SCHOOL HAUNT: YAFFA

the week in pictures

Yaffa holds a special place in my heart. I stopped in on my first night in New York in 2001 and it’s been a favorite ever since. I love that it’s remained nearly unchanged since I first saw it twelve years ago. The walls are covered in multiple patterns of wallpaper and there are golden statues, gaudy art and animal prints everywhere. Very Liberace on acid.


FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP: NINTH STREET ESPRESSO

the week in pictures

The morning I flew into New York, it was crazy humid and didn’t let up for the whole time we were there. We just used it as an excuse to stop for lots of iced coffees. Ninth Street Espresso was right around the corner from our apartment and I loved the basic menu, black and white decor, tasty coffee and treats.


FAVORITE SETTING: PATINA

the week in pictures

Patina is a furniture rental business tucked away in Bushwick and there’s just no way to do it justice with a handful of photos. I walked in and was immediately floored — the massive space was full of intricate vignettes, painstakingly curated with the finest in couches, candy-colored typewriters, golden skulls, rotary phones and globes. I’ll share more of the interior soon.

the week in pictures

Back in October when we did our first New York workshop, Patina had contacted us a few days before, offering up seating and their beautiful venue. Sadly, we’d already lined everything up and had to pass. Lame! So when we launched this New York date, we knew we had to partner with them. We’re still gushing about how great they were to work with!


MOST INSPIRING: BLOGCADEMY NEW YORK

the week in pictures

New York was where we held our first ever workshop so to make our way back for a second time was really exciting since we’d made so many changes. Each group of women we meet is so different but one thing holds true: we leave feeling completely invigorated and inspired by their personal stories.

the week in pictures

With the crazy humidity and two whirlwind, action-packed days, we were slayed by the end. Haha.


FAVORITE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE: BITE LIP LAB

the week in pictures

On Monday, I posted about my obsession with Bite. I’d first noticed the packaging at Sephora and soon after, found out that they had a pop-up shop in Manhattan. Well, the experience was everything I could have hoped for.

the week in pictures

I have a full post coming soon (we brought photographer June Cochran along to document the experience!) but here’s a little peek. I felt like I’d entered a mad scientist’s lab…dedicated to mixing perfect lipstick shades.


FAVORITE CLUB NIGHT: ON TOP AT LE BAIN

the week in pictures

Two years ago, my friend Bianca took me out to a club night I’ll never forget: as the elevator snaked up to the top floor of The Standard, I felt like I’d entered a time machine back to the 90s. New York’s finest club kids, swathed in face paint and platforms ruled the dance floor. As I made my way through the crowd, I noticed the jewel of the space: a hot tub with a disco ball spinning above it. At that moment, dancing to house music in a hot tub overlooking the city seemed perfectly normal.

the week in pictures


Photos by Bianca Alexis

This time was no different. Bianca, dressed in a white spandex catsuit, swung by and her friend Tash, reminiscent of the Statue of Liberty juxtaposed with Lady Gaga joined in on the fun. We made our way across the astroturf-covered rooftop to the crepe stand (alcohol and crepes, what a nice mix!) and took in the sights.

If you have a free Tuesday night and a glam costume you’ve been waiting to debut, make your way to On Top. You won’t regret it.


FAVORITE PLACE TO CHILL: WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK

the week in pictures

Every time I walk through Washington Square Park, I feel like I’ve been transported to a colonial setting in a storybook. It’s so beautiful this time of year.


MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE: OUR MEET-UP

the week in pictures

A highlight of our week was getting a group of the girls together from our original Blogcademy class for lunchtime and funtime at The Smith. It was awesome chatting with the grads and hearing how their blogs and lives have progressed since then. Love them so much!


FAVORITE PASTIME: WINDOW SHOPPING

the week in pictures

When I’m in New York, I never buy a whole lot but that doesn’t stop me from doing massive amounts of window shopping. This dress is still on my mind…


MOST FUN: PATINA PHOTO SHOOT

the week in pictures

The girls at Patina had an idea to do a full photo shoot while we were in town and with five unique sets and a crew of close to 10 people, they pulled out all the stops. Honestly, I was blown away with all the planning and coordination it took.

the week in pictures


It’s always hard to say goodbye to New York. We flew to Minneapolis yesterday afternoon and spent the night soaking up the sights on a friend’s pontoon as we floated across Lake Minnetonka. We can’t wait to explore more of the city today and teach over the weekend. Have a great one! xo

Link Love: 6.27.13

link love

link love


Circus and the City by Matthew Wittmann


• Zen Habits explains why it’s pointless to compare yourself and your life to others.

• I’m so impressed with the latest incarnation of Squarespace. Their templates are so beautiful.

• NYC Type documents interesting typography all over the city.

• Taking your vitamins might not be such a good idea after all.

• The newest edition of Launched is live, documenting the best in blog designs.

• When it comes to blogging, some of the best posts transpire when you go back to basics.

• Making your own almond milk isn’t so difficult after all!

• What are your ideal hours to get work done?

• Luminous Lint covers the history of color photography.

• I’m loving the redesigned Kinfolk site.

• The two most highlighted books of all-time are The Bible and Steve Jobs!

• In the late 1800s, Jacob Riis documented what it was like living in New York’s slums.

• Tyler Adam Smith is working on a project, 100 Books that SHOULD be Written and the outcomes are awesome.


Check out even more Link Love columns here.

Tools of the Trade #6: My Go-To Backup for WordPress

Tools of the Trade

It’s been a long time since I wrote a post about the importance of backing up your WordPress site and that was in part because I wasn’t happy with any of the plugins I tried (and boy, did I try a lot). That all changed last month when I gave WordPress Backup to Dropbox a spin.

If you’re new to backing up your WordPress site, your image assets are only the half of it — the other, equally important half is your database. This contains all of your posts, comments and site customizations.

I found plenty of plugins that would back up my database but I wanted the peace of mind of having everything, including my image assets saved in one place and WordPress Backup to Dropbox does just that.

The plugin is free, the install is painless and best of all, it sends the backup straight to your Dropbox account. Every week, a complete copy of my site is automatically delivered to me — It doesn’t get easier than that!


Photo: Made U Look.
Check out more Tools of the Trade posts here.

Latest & Greatest #20: Bite Beauty

Latest & Greatest: Bite Beauty

Latest & Greatest: Bite Beauty

Just as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t judge a lipstick just by its exterior. But, that’s just what I did when I stumbled upon the Bite Beauty display tucked inside Sephora. With its matte black tubes and subtle, tonal application of logos, the line immediately stood out in the sea of over-embellished displays and packaging that surrounded it.

Intrigued, I went home and did some research and was pleasantly surprised by what I learned: Launched in 2011, the Toronto-based line features food-grade ingredients and contains no petroleum byproducts or synthetic chemicals. Produced in small, handcrafted batches, Bite straddles the line between healthy and high performance with fantastic results.

I’ve been smitten since learning about the line, scouring Bite’s Pinterest for even more visuals and after falling down the rabbit hole, I found out about a brand new service offered at their pop-up lipstick lab in New York City. For $28.00, Bite’s lab techs will custom mix your perfect lip color! Needless to say, this is on my must-visit list while I’m in New York this week.

Latest & Greatest: Bite Beauty

Have you tried Bite products yet? What do you think?


All images: Bite Beauty’s Pinterest and Sephora.

The Week In Pictures: 6.21.13

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Finally, after a lot of anticipation over the last few weeks, I just landed in New York! I always take an overnight flight so I can wake up just as the sun rises and get on with my day. I’m rooming in the East Village with Kat for the week and it’s nice not waking up to 20 emails from her since she’s sitting across from me. 😉

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I always start packing my suitcase a week in advance so I have time to jog my memory and make sure I’m not forgetting something super important. And over the years of too-full suitcases, Gala has taught me the art of rolling everything; it makes such a huge difference!

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I’ve been on a big Joyce Lee kick. To me, her photos have a poppy, commercial feeling without being too perfect. My desktop is an image from her Vibrant Life series.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Traveling is one of my favorite things to do but no matter what the occasion or locale is, it’s still really hard to say goodbye to Joey and Rocky. The boys finally learned how to do a video chat last time I was away so it’s gotten a little better but still…homesickness always starts setting in for me after a week apart.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

In those in-between moments, I’ve been trying to read more. Online, offline…just as much as possible. It’s so easy to make excuses so I’ve started stacking books and magazines on my desk as a reminder and not putting them back until they’re finished.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

You know those items, whether they’re for your house or wardrobe that you dream up and wish existed? I’d wanted something like this dress for years because I liked the exaggerated hips and multiple zippers on this jacket. Nasty Gal’s in-house collection came up with this design and it’s perfect. The cut, the color, the jumbo zippers…I can’t wait to wear it this week in New York.

Have a great weekend, everyone. I’ll be spending mine teaching in Brooklyn and can’t wait to meet the new group of girls. Posting around these parts will be a little quieter but you can keep up with more on-the-go snippets on my Instagram. xo

Link Love: 6.20.13

link love

link love


William Eggleston


• Is social media encouraging us to act out online? The New York Times thinks so. “Our growing collective compulsion to document our lives and share them online, combined with the instant gratification that comes from seeing something you are doing or experiencing get near-immediate approval from your online peers, could be giving us more reason to act out online, for better or for worse.”

• I love this advice that covers how to have a fascinating conversation with anyone!

• 3 awesome summer art camps!

• The Everygirl offers up two strategies for managing stress.

• Classical statues dressed up as hipsters? Yes, really.

• Mike McDerment just released a free e-book that teaches you how to charge what you’re worth.

• 27 is a weird age. I remember it well!

• Are your blog posts falling short of greatness?

• Facebook is introducing hashtags. The downward spiral has begun!

• Did you know that some public service jobs in the U.S. have loan forgiveness that can wipe away college-related debt after 10 years in a field?

• Looking for some simply beautiful thank you cards? These new designs from Blow got my attention.

• Remember, we’re all just people.


Check out even more Link Love columns here.