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Stop and Smell the Roses

I'm not going to lie- I don't spend enough time living in the moment at all. I have bad days, I wish them away, and I start each new day off fresh. I don't realize the good that could be happening around me when I'm so focused on the negative. In addition, I spend way too much time with my face buried in my phone. A couple weeks ago I had one of those moments that just catches you off guard... I was on my way out the door to go somewhere with my dad, probably checking instagram or texting, and he said "Is that a cardinal?". There was this beautiful red bird in a tree in front of my house. I kind of just stopped, flabbergasted, and was simply amazed at how I missed that because I was so busy on my phone.

Now a days, who isn't always on there phone? When you go somewhere and feel awkward, you take out your phone (or at least I do) and check twitter until you figure out what you're actually doing there. For me, that simple question was so eye opening. What else am I missing daily? What other beautiful things could brighten my mood that I don't notice?

I'm not just writing this to reflect... One of my brother's friend's brothers passed away earlier this week. His name was Greg, and he was diagnosed with bone cancer early fall of last year. Greg was so well known, and quite frankly, sort of famous here in Wisconsin. He was such an inspiration to us all that he even trended on twitter with 20.1K tweets. A friend of mine went to the visitation for his funeral yesterday and told me that it took over an hour and a half just to get in the door. Greg was my age, and it was probably 0 degrees outside, and still so many people showed up to celebrate his life and mourn his passing.

People like Greg are so inspiring... they may not have as much time as the rest of us, but they prove that we should take time to appreciate all of the beauty and positive things  in our lives.

Today in honor of Greg's funeral, I encourage all of you to take a minute to stop... and smell the roses.



Dreaming Of...

spring break

Yet another day of school was cancelled yesterday due to the weather. Once it hits 0 degrees I think it'll be time to break out the shorts and take a dip in the pool ;) 

In all seriousness, I'm dreaming of actual warm temperatures... 70's or above please! I put together a glamorous little ensemble for a day at the beach over spring break. That bikini and those sandals are definitely at the top of my list! After seeing all of Rachel Parcell's shots from Hawaii I've felt so inspired by her beach style.. What do you think?


The Leather Tote {For All Budgets}

I have a few vacations planned for this year and I've been looking around for a good, versatile carry on. Introducing: the leather tote. Classic, basic, and durable for all occasions, leather totes come in a million and one styles and prices ranges.

leather totes

My personal favorite has to be the classic Mark and Graham.. don't forget that baby can be monogrammed! Oh, but what's love to love about that gorgeous Anabel Ingall bag?

Which is your favorite?

Fur on Fur

I have this weird obsession with big cats. I'm allergic to house cats, but I'm kind of in love with tigers and foxes and lions. I mean, they're so fun and pretty, am I right? I guess you could say that was the inspiration behind this outfit.

I am dying over this hat and I never want to take it off- it's too fun and I feel totally hipster. Not to mention, this whole outfit is completely out of my comfort zone... 

Fur Hat: Juicy Couture // Fur Vest: Target // Top: H&M // Pants: J. Crew // Booties: Topshop


Navy + Black

Between my best blogger bud, Gracey, and Tory Burch, and everywhere in between, I can't help but notice that navy and black is trending. A few months ago when I got to chat with the Teen Vogue editor, I asked her what she thought of the trend and she said, totally casual, "I think it's great, but I also think people should just wear what they want". 

Well, here I am wearing a new favorite. These pants are the most comfortable things in my closet... oh, and I got new shoes ;)

Top: Vintage // Cords: LC by Lauren Conrad (now on sale!) // Tory Burch Flats // Old Banana Republic bag (old)

What's your opinion on navy and black?

How I Edit My Pictures {For Instagram}

A few people emailed me and a few other people commented on this post asking how I edited my pictures. Thanks to a helpful conversation with my blogger friends, I use an app called VSCO Cam. That's pretty much the only app I use, unless I'm posting a picture with faces and then I might use Aviary for touch-ups. Also, I occasionally use whitagram for resizing pictures, but I don't do any actual editing on that one.

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at my Instagram... The before and afters of what I post!

before + after of instagram

As you can see, I don't revamp my pictures completely when I edit them. For the most part, all I do is crop, add a filter, and maybe fool around with the exposure a little if necessary.

Here's the general process I go through before posting a picture:

1. Find the inspiration - I don't just sit around and take pictures 24/7. I actually have to realize: oh, this is a good moment for a picture, this would make a good shot. 
2. Take the picture - I'm not an amazing photographer whatsoever. I take the pictures on my Nikon, but I still have to snap anywhere between 5 and 10 shots before I find one that's ok. Typically I style the photo a little so it looks how to I want it (ex: the thank you notes on the book; the spoon parallel to the bowl)
3. Upload - This part is kind of annoying because I have to upload the pictures onto the computer, email them to myself, open them on phone, and then I'm finally ready to edit
4. Edit - Like I said, I really only use VSCO. I crop my pictures into squares, usually use F2 for the filter, and then adjust exposure, contrast, the filter, and the temperature as needed.
5. Post - Finally, I can post the picture! The process can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes, but I love the feeling of posting a picture I'm proud of.

How do you edit your pictures?

3 Fun DIY's For The New Year

There's no better way to kick off the new year than to get our hands a little dirty in some glitter! I blog stalked (#guilty) a few people over winter break and I was surprised at the creativity of these cute DIY's!

I'm kind of obsessed with this idea... Basically you take a plain dress and sew big sequins to the collar for a fun twist! {See full DIY here}

How fun is this?! DIY birthday candles for the party girl we all are... {See full DIY here}

And a nauti take on our craftiness: this is such a cute idea; add a little sparkle to a basic rope for a chic yet simple statement necklace {See full DIY here}

What fun projects have you attempted as of late?

Desk Acessories

After writing and receiving some positive feedback on this post, I decided to shop around a little for some desk accessories that I could spice up the space with...

Desk Inspiration

Corner Bookcase:: I'm in love with the idea of a corner bookcase; it would be perfect for storage while  being visually appealing and space-saving.

Leopard Pillow:: This pillow is seriously too cute. I'm not quite sure if it would match with my room, but I love it nonetheless.

Task Lamp:: This lamp is super chic. I feel like I would get totally distracted with bending it around (is that weird?!) but it would look perfect with my wooden desk idea.

'Bonjour Print':: I mentioned I was planning on doing a gallery wall and now I think I would definitely have to add this piece to my wall. We all know my obsession with Paris... ;)

Desk:: If I hadn't already narrowed down my options, I would've definitely added this beauty to the list. So chic and versatile for any workspace!

What's on your desk?

Life Lately

After two weeks, this is my last day of Christmas break.... brb, crying.

School was cancelled today because chillwaukee (aka freezing cold Milwaukee) is like negative one million degrees outside, so I'm #blessed that I got another day off to relish in the happy life of no school. Basically, that means one more day to sit around and literally do nothing because I've been waking up at 11:45 for a solid week and a half now; is it bad that I didn't even wake up until 10 on Christmas?!

As I mentioned, I haven't done much over winter break but I thought I could share a few snaps from my Instagram to catch you all up on my life!

Saturday was the only day I couldn't sleep in. I had a field hockey tournament in Chicago at 8, meaning I had to wake up at 5 AM to meet up with my team at 6 so we would have enough time to drive down and warm up before our first game. We lost both games but the tournament was just for fun and it was understandable considering the girls we were playing are totally legit travel teams... #intimidating. Fortunately, I got to endure the trek (and the snow) in my new Bean Boots and I was generously accompanied by my Chai ;)

On Friday my mom made Julia Child's Clam Chowder and got Panera bread bowls (my favorite) to serve it in. Ohhh, it was so good. I think I may have had more bread than chowder (typical), but I could've gone the whole break on this meal- it was that good.

This is the wreath on our front door! How cute was it that my dad added the bow all by himself?

The #DWC clique did a gift exchange and Gracey was too sweet to get me these Henri Bendel candles that I'm now obsessed with.. the fig is my favorite, it smells so good.

Aaand, how could I conclude a post of what I've been up to without mentioning the snow?! This picture is from a few weeks ago, so it currently looks a lot whiter outside... Hard to believe, I know. There is over a foot I think now and this was taken at only a few inches.

What have you been up to?

Sugar Paper for Target

I popped into Target yesterday and immediately fell in love with the Sugar Paper collection. All of it was beyond adorable and the prices were so inexpensive! I ended up picking up the pool big desk calendar which was surprisingly only $10!

Seriously, everything is to die for. I might have to go back for one of the planners ;) you know I can't resist a little hot pink and gold!

Have you picked up anything? What do you think of the collection?

Learn To Love Yourself First

new years

This post is going to be part story part life lesson, but let me just preface it by saying that I have a ton of confidence when I straighten my hair. I mean, I'm not trying to be narcissistic, but when I straighten my hair I just feel really good about myself.

So I think there are definitely "themes" when it comes to new years. Basically everyone wants to tone up a little, maybe lose a few pounds, attempt something fun like skydiving or chopping off 10 inches of hair.... But I noticed this year something that kept coming up was how you should learn to love yourself before anything else and then the rest of life's surprises and outcomes will just fall into place.

Well, guess what. I was getting into bed on January 1st after an extremely terrible day basically convinced 2014 was about to be the worst year of my life (let's just say I got into a two hour text fight with a boy that didn't end until 4 AM and then my mom was sick the rest of the day leaving me to watch a boring movie and pour her water constantly), but right as I tucked myself in I realized: I would never ever want to be anyone else in the whole entire world. Sure, people have things better than me by a lot and some people's lives are just straight up fabulous and I wish I had aspects of that and I'm jealous of other people and I idolize celebrities.... but at the end of the day I realized I simply just would not want to ever give away my life. I can make myself frustrated and annoyed and I regret some things I do but I realized that I do love myself and that's something so important that I don't think anyone could ever take away from me.

Now, back to the whole "straight hair" thing... Obviously my hair was straight when I had this little epiphany so that could possibly be the reason for it but like, what else is new.

SO, after a terrible day... I ended up right where I needed to be to start the year off on a fabulous note.

Happy 2014...

xoxo, fran.

Room Update

Remember this post? I've finally narrowed down my desk options and these were my biggest inspirations:



In honor of that first workspace, I've decided to do a more rustic-looking, yet modern, wooden desk- or should I say chic table? I think doing a gallery wall or some sort of inspiration board like in the second picture behind it will spice up the area and make it a little more glamorous.

I can't really resist those gold legs in the second picture... Maybe a DIY will be in order!

What do you think?

Hello, 2014

Hello new year and new beginnings! I decided to kick off the year by setting a few goals for myself... I don't like to make things too specific because let's be honest, then I would never get anything accomplished. I do, however, find it encouraging to set a few general parameters for myself to try and attain to throughout the year.

I would love to grow TBP and write more on here to expand and improve on my writing skills, in addition to reading more, whatever that might include, to expand my knowledge. I think those two sort of go hand in hand with each other because the more I know, the more I can talk about. I would love nothing more than for 2014 to be carefree without a ton of anxiety and stress (that was 2013's job, thank you very much.) and I feel like I could really prevent that by worrying less and taking more risks and just doing what I love. Finally, who's goal isn't to get a little healthier this year? Maybe I can finally motivate myself to eat healthy and exercise more in this new year ;)

What are your goals?