Gifting As The Pinterest Woman

WOW, what a week! This Christmas was absolutely wonderful – I had a TON of extended and immediate family time, loads of auntie time with the cutest little nephew a woman could have (and there is still more to come!) and nommmmmmmed on some of my FAVORITE treats, meals and snacks…I’m left feeling loved, content and FULL! 😉 Unfortunately while prepping for the holidays with a few The Pinterest Woman (TPW) recipes, I cooked my phone…whoops…so I lost a ton of photos that I hoped to blog about this week…so come with me on this journey and please excuse me for not having step by step photos!

As for this post, I want to focus on GIFT GIVING!

Gift giving was so much fun this year…not only was I more confident in purchasing gifts for people, I also had a nice time scanning Pinterest Wishlists for a few surprise gifts for people. I also received a few gifts off of my own wishlist – that was pretty cool ;-). Makes you realize who actually visits your boards! ha! As for being more confident in my purchasing of gifts, I always stress out when I need to purchase someone clothes. It is tough to know what is someone’s style when maybe it isn’t your style. As you may remember from my shopping posts with Carrie and Charlotte, Carrie LOVES to redo her look. SO, I had so much fun shopping for her gift this year.

Knowing she is a fan of AnnTaylor LOFT AND that she has loads of pants which she purchased during our most recent holiday trip, I headed to the LOFT for top options! Carrie also loves advice on how to put things together, but since my own personal style needs Pinterest, I figured, I’d pin a few ideas for her and put it with her gift…enter REAL LIFE PINNING!

Through Microsoft Paint, I made three TIP pages of the same size and put together a little three page book (sorry, I lost the final photo in the accidental cooking of my phone)

Through Microsoft Paint, I made three TIP pages of the same size and put together a little three page book (sorry, I lost the final photo in the accidental cooking of my phone)

I purchased the maroon sweater with a dark pink top (see top right photo) and gold and purple bracelet set. I then snapped a few shots of the sweater on display in store AND pinned a photo of the top online – with a few additional tips for how to pair the coordinating top with her cute new pants, this gift was a HUGE hit! While I don’t recommend gifting clothes with tips on how to wear it for everyone, it is a fun way to gift someone clothes who ASKS for the advice or tips ;-).

HAPPY DRESSING…and gifting dear readers!

XOXO, Karen

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My Personal Stylist Goes By The Name “Pinterest”

This afternoon I had lunch with Charlotte and she complimented me on my “Pinterest” outfits. Why am I bringing this up? Well, because I NEVER received compliments on my outfits until Pinterest. I always had dreams of going to Nordies (aka Nordstroms) and having one of their personal shoppers help me out – I used a personal shopper ONCE in college for a special dance event but it was a bad experience.*

PINTEREST has helped me avoid anything like that again and has been working out for me…and at no cost! I have been meaning to share a few slides to show my take on outfits and have FINALLY had a chance to put them all together…SO, here are a few of my favorite Pinterest inspired outfits from the last few weeks/days when I was getting ready for my Fleet Week Party, tuning into the Giants Game after work and, well, TODAY:

What do you think?!

Anyhoo, that is just a sampling, but fun all the same! Maybe I should give Pinterest a real name so when I refer to him/her as my stylist you all know who I’m talking about…hmmm…MISS P – like Miss J from “Americas Next Top Model!”

XOXO, Karen

PS. I know I’ve talked a lot about my Fiesta and have not shared much of substance yet. BUT we sent out a thank you note via my Paperless Post invitation today with a link to a Shutterfly Share site I created for photo sharing SO I hope to get photos soon!

*My personal shopping experience took place years ago at the Macy’s in San Diego. The woman brought me a shapeless white suit (like a work suit that was $500) so I walked out. But really!?! I was on a college student budget, I was going to a special dance/party and I WAS IN COLLEGE – who wears suits to stuff like that? Maybe the sexy, shaping ones, but not a boxy suit!

Giants & Sailors & Readers OH MY! – Friday Inspiration

The weather is changing RAPIDLY here in San Francisco – we had a heat wave this week and now it is getting back to normal (65 degrees). WELCOME TO SF’s SUMMER MONTHS (aka. October). Why am I bringing this up?! Because weeks like this stress me out style-wise – I even reverted to my old self this week: keeping myself up at night, worried about what I was going to wear the following day! So, the other night, while Mr. Darcy was at class, I spent HOURS Pinning Fall/Warm & Cool outfits for the next few days – I have to look fabulous for Birthday Week/PLAYOFFS/Fleet Week!!! 😉

I THINK THIS MIGHT BE MY FLEET WEEK OUTFIT:

Speaking of style, look at this ADORABLE headband my girlfriend loaned me for my Fiesta :

OH YEAH, TOTALLY ROCKING THIS FOR MY 30th!!!

With that said, this weekend will be full of exciting activities – Fleet Week/Playoff parties, meeting up with old and new friends to celebrate all that is taking place in SF and prepping for the Fiesta! With my favorite sports team, friends and life in general to celebrate this weekend, I thought this sign, found in my Facebook news feed  was appropriate for a Friday post!

You may be small in numbers, but thank you to my dear readers who come back regularly and indulge me as The Pinterest Woman. You are helping me fulfill a fun goal (write a blog) as well as inspiring me to keep bettering myself. If I didn’t have you, I might not force myself to try new recipes, try and try again on my home DIY projects (I’m painting my garage door this weekend – stay tuned) and simply trying to be more outwardly thoughtful (I always have the best intentions for colleague’s birthdays, special holiday treats for friends, little ways of showing I care and yet, I feel like I never get around to it or simply don’t have a good way of doing this…YOU and Pinterest are helping). Happy Friday dear friends! I hope you have a fulfilling and relaxing/fun weekend.

GOOO GIANTS!!!

-Karen

P.S. Today’s outfit was inspired by PINTEREST – I’m loving that my new skinny black pants easily tuck into my boots (NOTE: I do not have a full length mirror at my disposal right now so I had to do this random leg-up-on-sink pose to get my full outfit in, hahaha…here’s to doing Yoga this weekend so this pose won’t hurt again, ha!)

HAIR…Flow it, show it, Long as God can grow it…My hair

Today was just one of those mornings. I hit snooze more times than I’m willing to admit and my guilty conscious prioritized taking our little one on a walk over getting snazzy for work (something I’m now regretting since I just had a meeting with my boss and he kept looking at my head – I will explain below- AND I’m meeting Charlotte for lunch in downtown SF). Anyhoo, I thought it was a good idea this morning so I decided I would just throw my hair up into a ponytail and FINALLY experiment with the sock bun. WHAT?! You haven’t heard of the sock bun!? Hahaha, j/k. WELL…

This Summer Mr. Darcy and I had the pleasure of going to Maui, Hawaii and I was set on finding no fuss hair styles and easy makeup solutions. My girlfriend told me about the SOCK BUN look and I Pinned it for later. I never had a chance to try it in Hawaii because I didn’t bring socks with me (flip flops and cute sandals for this lady) and Mr. Darcy wasn’t willing to let me cut up his socks – darn him! BUT, after surfing PINTEREST (part of my morning routine) I decided I would throw my hair in the sock bun and pull it out as soon as I got to work…

SOCK BUN TUTORIAL:

Here is how mine turned out…

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My Sock Bun

Well at least now I can do the Princess Leia look if I need a Halloween costume idea!

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Front AND Back – DANG look at those deep wrinkles in my forehead. By posting this photo to my blog, I’m telling you that I love you, dear readers, more than you know.

JUST in case my hour prep and commute time was not enough to give me those beautiful curls, I decided to try and copy a look* from Pinterest that featured a bun – see below:

Pinned this look because I thought it was so preppy, cute and simple!

Well, apparently you DO need to sleep on this look so this is what I look like today (hence why my boss could not stop looking at my head):

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My best Breakfast At Tiffany’s interpretation

Well, as I embark on a trip into the City and a long day in the office, I will just embrace it and pretend I’m Kim Kardashian, or some other celebrity that can throw their hair into God knows what style and pull it off. I promise to photograph the after shot once I pull it out…something tells me, mine is not going to turn out in flowing curls like the girls in the video…hmmm.

XOXO, Karen

*This look came from this website: http://prettystuff.tumblr.com/post/17574412207/hautemamasfaves-perfect

“What do you like better, Christmas or Wedding Season?”

OK, well, that isn’t really a fair question because I absolutely LOVE Christmas, but since I have quite a bit of time to share my obsession for the holiday, let’s “grab that net and catch that beautiful butterfly, pal!” (Ok, ok, I’ll stop quoting Wedding Crashers). SO, Mr. Darcy and I are back from the wedding and what a wedding it was! The wedding was in Carmel, Ca at the Carmel Mission Basilica. For those of you not from California, the missions are such a big part of our history. In fact, I just found out that only students in CA have to do projects on the missions (in 4th grade at my school). My East Coast friends knew nothing about this. Anyhoo, I just found out the Basilica is the 2nd mission that was ever built…CHECK OUT THIS PHOTO:

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The ceremony

Could you imagine if this was the church you got married in?! STUNNING! And the colors  – WOW! When you get married in a place like this you have to do little for décor. I, too, took advantage of a church’s décor during my wedding to cut some costs. The church my husband grew up attending FILLS the church with Christmas Trees during the holidays. Since we were getting married in December, I knew it would be filled with the delicious smelling trees so I did not need to invest in flowers for the church. Little did I know the day – ONE DAY – before my wedding, the Deacon would call to tell me the Christmas Tree Lot that usually donates the trees went out of business so there would be no trees, but I digress ;-).

The wedding was followed by cocktails, dinner and dancing at Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch: http://www.missionranchcarmel.com/ – HOLY MOLEY , this place was stunning. I wanted to hole up in a little cottage that was on the ranch (see directly below) but since it was already rented by an adorable elderly couple, I made Mr. Darcy promise he would book it for our 5 year wedding anniversary (Since this December 11th marks our 2 year anniversary, will someone please remind me in November 2015 that Mr. Darcy and I promised we’d do this?! OOOOh, I’m going to pin it right now…hold please….ok, PINNED!!!)

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Surroundings of the reception area

I cannot say enough about how stunning this property is. This is a shot from the walkway that goes between the reception area and a restaurant that turns into a piano bar at night (yes, that is where the after party took place and the bride and groom had generously ordered additional late-night snacks for all of us piano-singing fools).

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1 of 3 playful flower girls running by the reception area – LOOK AT THAT VIEW!!!

I also loved the bar area so I had to snap a quick photo because it was so simple and gave me an idea for my own house. The Ranch placed Christmas lights on the back of the bar where the glasses were stored. The lights cascaded off of the glasses and made for such a pretty backdrop. Now I want to do this in my hutch during the holidays!!! I will pin this with the Pinterest App to remember for later.

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The bar – LOVE the big white barn lighting. The Christmas lights were simply laid on top of glass shelves where the glasses were sitting and hanging making for a cascade of white lights that perfectly contrasted with the dark wood of the barn…Simple, yet gorgeous.

Now, this wedding was on a Friday and I must say, I was a big fan of the Friday wedding! It gave me an excuse to take a day off of work and it made the weekend feel LOOOONG! In fact, I had never been to Carmel so I loved that the bride and groom made plans for the entire weekend that were very CARMEL! They set up a wine tasting tour on Saturday early afternoon, then planned a bonfire at the beach that night. Mr. Darcy and I only went to the first winery – Chateau Julien* because we wanted to spend some time walking around the ADORABLE downtown Carmel (uhm, it was SUPER pricey, but we thoroughly enjoyed the little bakery’s on the street, lol) and then took a long walk on the beach which was FILLED with families and dogs (Carmel is a VERY dog friendly town – we only wished we had thought to bring our little one).

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Chateau Julien Winery in Carmel, Ca – DAY 2

If you aren’t familiar with Carmel, it is where Pebble Beach is…and you do not need to be a fan of golfing to appreciate the amazing landscaping that goes into a course like Pebble Beach:

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Bonfire beach – Yep, that is Pebble Beach way off in the distance. Mr. Darcy and I walked right up to it…incredible!

Mr. Darcy and I had a fabulous time and were sad to leave…both because of the FUN wedding festivities and because my nephew (and sister and bro-in-law) were in Carmel at the same time and we hated leaving them (look at the little hat my Godmom made for my nephew from a photo my sister pinned on Pinterest – yes, we sneak onto one another’s Pinterest boards to get ideas for what we each like, we are sneaky like that):

PUMPKINS!!!

We are home now and I’ve been doing QUITE a bit of ThePinterestWoman blog post prep – I went on a huge grocery shopping spree this morning and I’ve already made a to-go breakfast for the week, a no-bread pizza and prepped dinner for tonight! I look forward to sharing updates on how those activities went! OH, and I went to the mall today to run a few errands and I utilized the PINTEREST App to pin a few outfits as I window shopped in real time…check them out:

HAPPY FIRST FOOTBALL SUNDAY (aka lazy Sunday mornings as Mr. Darcy enjoys the Sunday football package and entertaining our little one, while I recreate Pins ;-)). Our little one is going crazy so I better sign off and take her for a run. Chat with you tomorrow!

XOXO, Karen

P.S. Since I am not planning a wedding or helping with one any time soon, I had to share one of the most creative “Will you be my bridesmaid?” requests I’ve ever received. This is what my good friend sent me to ask me to be in her wedding, it made me smile and continues to (it is proudly displayed on my fridge):

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Will you be my bridesmaid?

*They were setting up for a wedding when we were tasting wine and it looked like it was going to be such a neat event. First, the venue was gorgeous, BUT the bride and groom rented vintage furniture to create seating around the dance floor and outside of the winery to create additional seating for guests. I took a bunch of pictures as they unloaded the truck because I was so impressed that you can actually RENT this stuff…If you are in the Bay Area the company delivering the furniture is called One True Love Vintage Rentals: http://onetruelovevintage.com/ I’m sure it costs a bloody fortune, but SOOO SO pretty! See, NOW I want to do my wedding again!!!

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RENTALS: Vintage chairs and tables for creating an extra sitting area at winery

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They had SO much stuff…I only wish we could have stayed to see how they set it up!!

The Pinterest App is making me a narcissist!

OK, that may be a bit of an overstatement, but seriously – you can pin your own photos people! I have to admit, I repinned this “arm candy” photo…

Arm candy inspiration from Pinterest!

And then pinned my OWN “arm candy” photo to see if people liked it…NO LIKES or REPINS YET – OH, but my Speedy Asparagus Pin was repinned 16 – SIXTEEN times!

OH MY GOODNESS, I just had a flashback of 4th grade with mean girls and teasing little boys…But seriously, I was so excited that I could somewhat replicate this girls’ arm candy that I had to share!

While I LOVE the original Pinterest photo (I would love that gold bracelet), I am very excited to have arm candy* of my own. So, as the long weekend approaches and my godmom’s advice is in your head, “dress like you are going to meet the person of your dreams every day,” remember your accessories! Pinterest is a great place to get some ideas: A white t-shirt + jewels = SOMEBODY’s FABULOUS (said in my best Jim Carrey’s the Grinch Who Stole Christmas voice).

HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND READERS!!! I hope you have a fabulously long weekend! Lesson for today’s post: BE A BETTER WOMAN BY GIVING UP ON WORRYING WHAT OTHER’S THINK!

I’ll be sure to work on my WordPress App use this weekend so I can be a better weekend updater ;-). I plan on making all sorts of dips and treats for our back to back barbecues. I made this dip for my grandmother-in-law’s birthday party and it was a HUGE hit (this weekend I will swap the mayo for yogurt or sour cream because Mr. Darcy and I were not fans of the mayo, but otherwise, it was delish…and easy!): http://ginamarieskitchen.com/2010/10/28/hot-corn-dip-2/

Another EASY go-to appetizer is the infamous cream cheese and chili chip dip. WHAT?! You don’t know what I’m talking about?! OK:

Ingredients are simply – block of cream cheese, can of chili (meat and bean chili is preferred – Hormel’s chili with beans is THE BOMB), hot sauce

Steps – Plop (fancy cooking word) block of cream cheese and chili into pot on stove or microwave safe bowl and warm ingredients while stirring until blended (microwave for 1-2 minutes). Drip a few drops of hot sauce to taste (Mr. Darcy and I like quite a few drops). Then serve with chips (Fritos if you want to just embrace the BADNESS of this dish…MMMMM).

XO, Karen

*My godmom and I are fans of the Chan Luu bracelets and last weekend she spoiled me with the Chan Luu-Esque bracelet seen above!!! You TOO can get this bracelet on Sofinuni’s Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/listing/102578852/silver-crystal-mix-beaded-wrap-leather

HAPPY MONDAY – Weekend recap: SHOPPING SPREE

What a wonderful weekend! It felt long, I enjoyed lots of QT with friends and family AND projects actually happened around the house.

This Monday I have to move my “Front Hump” Day post up because I’m SO excited about a weekend shopping spree that is helping with my internal stylist self. My cousins (let’s call them Charlotte and Carrie – C&C) and I went shopping…and by shopping, I mean SHOPPING. We headed out to the outlets in Napa, CA and did some damage at the Gap, JCREW and Ann Taylor (sorry Banana Republic, LOFT, etc., by the time we arrived at your doors, we had spent WAY too much money – we didn’t even go in). We didn’t forget about the kiddos – we checked out GAP Kids and Gymboree as well. Charlotte purchased something for her hubby and my Goddaughter (her daughter 😉 ) and Carrie scored adorable stuff for her daughter as well, but I, well, I only purchased things for myself…whoops.

Before approaching the trip, I consulted my Pinterest Board titled “envious styles, clothes, accessories” and created a list – it was long. C&C agreed. I threw on a Pinterest inspired outfit for easy changing room activity (see below) and grabbed my list and we were off.

Now, I pin Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon quite often and repin a ton of ideas from two particular friends I’m following – SO FUN! Their styles are pretty simple (t-shirt and jeans with a scarf or jeans, jacket and fun top) but so put together at the same time. So my purchases were really focused on getting the basics – nice white t’s, jeans, and a few colorful items to plus up my wardrobe. VERY excited to wear THIS:


INSPIRED BY THIS (the vibrant blue is so gorgeous and I had it on my Birthday WISH LIST Pinterest Board but I simply could not wait):

Street Style! Real Celeb Looks Straight Off the Street! | Posh24.com


TIP: As Fall approaches, I’m seeing a TON of pinning activity around scarves. One VERY helpful repin I did this weekend was to this “6 Ways to Tie a Scarf” http://pleasantriesandpitbulls.com/2011/09/01/6-ways-to-tie-a-scarf/ I LOVE #6!

I am sure I will have MANY more “Front Hump” posts to share STARRING my newest wardrobe additions, but for now, I’d love to end this post with a quote from my Godmom who told me “You should always dress like you are going to meet the man/woman of your dreams that day.” This can even be applied to workout gear – no need for makeup ladies – the man of your dreams will eventually have to see you sans makeup, but it is so easy to look put together with today’s workout wardrobes.

CONFESSION – If you read my post on Friday, I never had the chance to bake the lemon pull apart bread – it was a bit more involved than I had thought (NOTE/CHALLENGE to self – Take on a few more baking challenges. Tackle lemon pull apart bread in a few months – definitely by the holidays). Tonight, I will bake SELF.com’s Baked Beef Taquitos from their DROP 10 Diet plan. Although baked and healthier for you, they taste like you are indulging and Mr. Darcy even approves! A fun tip I learned from them – Swap *Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream – DELISH! (NOTE: You have to sign up to get the recipe, but here is a free Self.com recipe that you could swap lean ground beef in for the black bean- cornmeal mash: http://www.self.com/fooddiet/recipes/2012/04/black-bean-tacos-corn-salsa).
*For other fun Greek Yogurt cooking ideas check out VOSKOS or Oikos Pinterest Boards!