Sunday, March 31, 2013

Get the Look | Kate Spade & ModCloth

Happy Monday! Lately I've been craving some good wallet-conscious finds. This past weekend I did a bit of browsing at the Kate Spade New York flagship store in San Jose and couldn't help but want every.single.item--especially the bow tie fit and flare dress below! However, my current budget will not allow. Therefore, I opted to find more inexpensive items on another one of my favorite sites, ModCloth. Let me know what you think of these adorable items below, all for a fraction of the price of the Kate Spade pieces.

P.S. I'll be hosting a Poshmark Party in the app tonight at 7:00 PM. The theme is "Preppy Glamour." Be sure to be join and share your fabulous items!

Get the Look | Kate Spade & ModCloth
Kate Spade || Bow Tie Dress $478 // Mint Satchel $278 // Red Sunnies $138
ModCloth || Polka Dot Dress $50 // Mint & Patent Satchel $55 // Red Cat Eye Sunnies $12
Linking up with the Northern Belle Diaries today!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Zesty Lemon Bars

I'm home for Easter and the lemon tree in our backyard has been producing the most perfect fruit. Thus, when life gives you lemons always make lemon bars! This recipe seemed to be the perfect combination of zesty and sweet, enjoy (see directions at the bottom)!



2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup softened butter

4 eggs
4 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoons lemon zest 
{I used about 4 1/2 lemons for this recipe}


1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2 Mix 2 cups of flour and confectioners' sugar together. Then, cut in butter and mix well until the dough resembles pie dough consistency. Spread/press dough into 9x13 inch pan. {I placed baking foil into the pan, which makes it easier to eventually remove the bars from the pan.} Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Filling: Beat together eggs, sugar, 4 tablespoons of flour, lemon juice, and lemon rind until there are no more clumps. Pour mixture over the baked crust into the pan.
4 Bake bars for another 20-25 minutes {I like them to be a bit chewy so I left mine in for 25 minutes}. Sprinkle confectioners' sugar on top once it has cooled.    
    xo, Elissa

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Piece of Purpose

"God didn't send us a first draft of Himself, He sent us perfection in Jesus Christ. We must do the same and offer only the best." 

I spent the last week in the Santa Cruz mountains at a Christian Writers Conference. First and foremost, I think God has given me a heart for written word, but finding my purpose within that gift has been a constant challenge. 

Part of the reason why I created this blog was to find my purpose through writing and to connect with other women like myself who are searching for their own.

This week I also learned about "Feeding the Artist Within," an idea that no matter what our special skills are, we must continue to grow in that skill and strive to know exactly why we have been blessed with it. One thing I must constantly remind myself is that Jesus came to Earth with a specific purpose, to be the redeemer for all of our sins. He fulfilled that purpose with incredible love and passion. Just as He offered us His best, I can only hope I am serving God and others with my absolute best as well. 

Do you have a talent that you've been neglecting? How can you use that talent to serve others?

{Busted out my tights and boots for the last time!}
{ "Find your voice in Christ and be the light in the darkness."}

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Four Favorites + Welcome Spring!

four Favorites 3/20

Today I'm linking up with the lovely gals from the blogs Let it Be Beautiful and Fancy Things. Here are four of my current favorites. I'm on the hunt for the perfect sweater/blazer/motorcycle jacket combo! (Is that even possible? I'm just going to believe it is.) After I saw this outfit look here, my hunt for something similar and more in my price range began! 

And, of course, Happy Spring beautiful ladies (and gents, if you're reading). I'm off to a Christian writers conference tomorrow in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains, so blogging will be minimal, but I'll be back in full force after Easter.


{Wednesday Finds} West Elm Sale

West Elm

Blue Chevron Monogram Pillow $9.99 // Owl Cookie Jar $24.99 // Velvet Monogram Case $12.99 // Decorate Workshop Book $27.50// Monogram Striped Towel // Decoupage Trays $6.99 // White Tri-Level Side Table $89.99

I'm sure you've heard countless bloggers rave about West Elm's gorgeous home goods. Nonetheless, I've jumped on the bandwagon and am in love with their urban-chic style (even if I don't live in a space pretty enough for these pieces yet! One day ... sigh ...).

I found myself on West Elm's website after reading Glitter Guide's review of the Decorate Workshop--an interactive book by Holly Becker (the ultimate design blogger of Decor8) that I cannot wait to purchase! Since her new book is being sold on West Elm's site, I was eventually led to their sale section and thought I'd curate some of the chic (and affordable) items that caught my eye. 

Which of these items would you purchase for your humble abode?


Monday, March 18, 2013

Black, White, & Pastel All Over


While I was an intern for Los Angeles Confidential Magazine, I had the opportunity to assist the stylist for our 2012 spring fashion spread. One of my jobs was to organize the racks of candy-colored Chanel and Louis Vuitton outfits. Needless to say, ever since, I've been hooked on all-things pastel. Thus, I was so excited to see pastels emerge once again this year for spring and summer. Other trends I'll be taking full advantage of are black and white stripes (Can't wait to wear my striped Love Culture dress here), Victorian-inspired baroque patterns, polka dots, pattern mixing (like flowers and stripes), and unique silhouettes. What's not to love? 

What are your favorite spring/summer trends so far?


DIY | Painted Jewelry

I bought these simple gold and rhinestone earrings for $0.99 at Forever 21. I originally loved them for their vintage look, but decided to experiment with them since I've been seeing DIY nail polish jewelry floating around Pinterest lately. It's a fun way to make your inexpensive jewelry unique! 

Thus, here's how my simple 5-minute earring makeover turned out!

I'm thinking of painting a rhinestone necklace next. If you don't already have some pieces to paint, here are a few options from Forever 21 for you to choose from: Earrings | Necklace | Necklace


Friday, March 15, 2013

A Florist's Daughter

Pink Peonies - 8x10 Fine Art Photograph
{Peonies | via}

For most of my life I've grown up in a home filled with vases of fresh flowers in every room and window. My dad was a wholesale florist who provided bouquets and plants for small markets, which meant our home became the place for the beautiful "leftovers." One of my first jobs was helping dad prep the flowers for the bouquets. I can say my love for flowers began there--in a cold warehouse filled with floral fragrances and a daffodil tucked behind one ear. 

It's hard to describe how something as simple as a flower holds so much meaning to me. It's not only because of the beauty and romanticism associated with flowers, it's about the opportunity they provide to "fill-in-the-blanks" in our lives. This past year I read the book, The Language of Flowers, and thought to myself, "Where has this book been all my life?" Essentially, the book speaks of a heart-wrenching story of a girl in the foster-care system and how she uses flowers as her preferred form of communication. 

This language of flowers expressed in the book was created by the romantic early Victorians who thoughtfully planned every bouquet in order to deliver their desired message. Following the success of The Language of Flowers the author compiled a "dictionary" of sorts that describes the meaning behind 50 common flowers. Here is a great write up to discuss the guide further. 


QUICK TIPS: Maintaining Flowers at Home
  • Before placing the flowers in water, trim the stems at an angle (at your desired length), which helps the flowers drink the water more easily.
  • If you don't have the packet of flower "food" that the grocery store usually provides with a bouquet, place a teaspoon of regular bleach into the water instead. This helps clean out bacteria from the vase and surprisingly isn't harmful to the flowers!
  • Trim the stems again and change the water every 3 days.
  • Fun tip: Purchase flowers with white petals and place a few drops of food coloring (any color) you'd like into the water. Over the next few days you'll notice the petals turning into the color of the dye! It's a perfect tip to use during holidays like St. Patrick's day when a specific color is involved.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sparkles + Blooms

- - - -   

Glitter Heels // Walmart Bronze Bracelet (similar styles here) // Forever 21 Earrings (similar) // Sun Hat // Floral Dress // Emerald Nail Polish

{ Photography compliments of the boyfriend. Thankful that he was willing to snap some shots of my outfit! }

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Notes of Spring

Life lately through the lens of my iPhone ...

{My favorite season for candy packaging is spring/Easter because everything is pastel!}
{Simplistic beauty ... Even if these trees smell sour when they blossom ...}
{Photo Op: Green nails + a green Peep.}
{I'm on a floral kick 365 days out of the year. But spring is just another excuse to wear flowers everyday. You can shop this gray/black blazer in my Poshmark closet.}

Next week I'll be heading off to a Christian writers' conference in the Santa Cruz mountains. I'm excited to see what God has planned and for the learning that will come along with it. But I must admit that I've been praying that I will be able to build new connections and not let my intimidation weigh me down. Sometimes I'm easily discouraged by being a youngster in the publishing industry. Still, I know I'm in for an incredible treat.

After 5 days in the mountains I'll be spending time at home in San Jose for Easter. I'm thrilled to see my parents and simply love being in their company. Though we only live a 6 hour drive away, I miss them everyday!

Do you have any spring vacation plans?


Friday, March 8, 2013

{LOVE} Everyday

Lately I've been feeling like a recipe for a breakdown, with the main ingredient being stress. Everyday is a challenge to remind myself to simply relax and realize that the weight of the world is not on my shoulders--telling myself that everything will be OK even if I can't hangout with that person, or don't have time to get that task done. This week I was reminded through flowers, friends, and fashion that life can be beautiful and simple if you want it to be. 

{After a down day, finding yummy roses in my room was exactly what I needed.} 
{Not to mention the sweetest post-valentine box from a dear friend.}
{Loving the crisp spring weather and getting a chance to wear my 
coat before the blazing hot warmer weather hits. Jeans: Express 
(old); Coat: Forever21 via Poshmark; Boots: Urbanog
Striped Shirt: Old Navy; Bag: Urban Expressions }
{Enjoying a few sips of hot coffee and quiet time before work.}

How do you  "stop and smell the roses" in your everyday life? 


Posh Party Live from LA

I had a wonderful time last night with the staff and awesome users of the Poshmark app. I was blown away by everyone's sweetness and the love in the room. This growing fashion+tech community is beyond what I could explain in a simple post, so I'll just share some snapshots from the night. {Most pictures are courtesy of Poshmark's lovely PR team.} If you have any questions about how Poshmark works, and would like to see why I rave about it so much, feel free to leave me a comment below and start selling clothes in the app today!

{Left: Kate of Wear in LA and Manish Chandra, the awesome founder of Poshmark}

I met Kate via Poshmark, and realized that we lived 10 minutes down the 210 from each other. This led to chatting about our love for fashion, blogging, and Poshmark (of course). We met for the first time, last night, at the posh party and have officially dubbed it our "Blind Date" meeting. She is so incredibly lovely and an amazing blogger! If you have the time, stop on by her blog, Wear in LA

{Thankful for Krys and Rachel who were able to come with me last night!}

{Right to Left: Maria Morales of Kitties + Couture, Me, Lyann Chhay (Poshmark's first employee), and Kate of Wear in LA!}

{Necklace: Forever 21; Heels: Badgley Mischka; Dress: Express Studio. And I'm actually selling the Little Black Dress I wore last night. If you're interested, you can find it here!}

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lady on a Bicycle

{Olivia Palermo; Via}

Delicate dresses, cat eye sunnies, vintage bicycles, and a woven basket.
Perfection! Too bad a dress and heels might make riding a bike a bit difficult. But for the sake of dreaming, let's hold off on the reasoning for a moment. I've loved these images of Olivia Palermo for months now and I am so inspired to pick up a two-wheeler from the flea market myself. I might even attempt the "lady in a dress on a bike" trick one day with the lovely pieces I chose below. {Get each of the pieces below at, they have truly stepped up their fashion game and I'm so excited to purchase some of these pieces from their spring collections!}
Skater Dresses


the extra accessories

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

{Shop} Ruche

Today's post is all about spring inspiration. One of my favorite online retailers, Ruche, just came out with their 2013 spring "lookbook." I'd live in this lookbook if I could!

Enjoy the beautiful images below and be inspired to host a tea party of your own.

{The hair! A must try. Shop this look here}
{Heart bauble necklace and delicate pieces. Shop look here.}
{The flirtiest of skirts. Shop look here.}
{Macaroons, heart shaped tea cups, and pastel colored cakes ... sigh. Shop look here.}

 The whimsical and ladylike pieces are perfectly picked by the lovely Ruche staff, and I hope to make some of them a part of my wardrobe this spring. What are you favorites from their 2013 lookbook? 
For the full book of inspiration, click here.

{This is not a sponsored post. All images are courtesy of}