Our First Pop-Up!

Something kind of exciting happened this weekend, you guys...  We held our first Pop-Up Shop!  And oh my gosh, it was so fun!  I was so worried that it would be hard, that it wouldn't be a success, but it was a blast.  
We were fortunate enough to have a great spot at our local West Elm (shout out to the girls in


"Maybe girlfriends are our soul-mates and guys are just people to have fun with."
-Carrie Bradshaw

I love, love, love this quote.  I could not agree with it more.  Not in a male bashing way.  Just in the way that there is no other relationship like that we have with our close girlfriends.

Epsom Salt Bath

So it's been a while since I've written a post.  Life has been busier then usual and I am not always the best at handling stress.  I am definitely a creature of habit.  I like to stick to a routine and if that gets shaken in any way, I tend to not know how to react.  So I kind of let everything slide as a result.  I'm working on it ;)  I have been trying to find easy ways to deal with stress and one of my favorite new

Five Ikea Hacks I Need To Try

So, one thing you know about me:  I love to scroll through Pinterest.  One of my favorite things to look at?  Ikea hacks :)  Which brings me to today's lesson about me:  I love Ikea.  Seriously, I'm not even joking when I say I was just there this afternoon.  Whenever anyone says they are going there, I hop on the car and tag along.  Do I need something every time I go?  Of course not!  But I just love

Boho Girl

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I think it's fair to say that everyone is feeling pretty HOT lately. Weather-wise, that is ;) I know that here in the Northeast, it has just been awful. When the weather gets like this, I think we all just want to wear as little as possible. 

 So this is the perfect weather for boho styles. Light, flowy fabrics and loose styles are the perfect

Inspiration Necklaces

If you were to ask what the most popular collection is at Sparkle & Whim, the answer is easy.  The Monogram Collection definitely gets the most attention.  But if you were to ask what my personal favorite collection is?  Again, that's easy.  I love our Inspiration Necklaces :)  I don't think I can even pick a favorite out of the group.  I just think they're all so adorable.

Pinterest Inspiration: Pink for the Home

I don't care what season it is, I love pops of pink in decorating.  If I lived alone, my entire house would have pops of pink in every room.  I know it's not everyone's taste, but look at all of these rooms, with their little pops of pink, and tell me that you don't agree that pink has a place in every room!

White Jeans Four Ways

I love the look of white jeans in the summer. Actually, I love the look of white jeans year round, but particularly in the summer ;)  I recently had a conversation with a friend who said she loves her white jeans, but was worried that the trend was over.  My response?  "Never!" 

White jeans are as classic a look as blue jeans and there are so many different ways to wear them.

Signature Scent

I have always been a fan of perfume.  I love the way a scent can just become a part of who you are.  I love that you can smell a certain perfume and it can trigger a memory so easily; of a certain person, of a certain place, of a certain time.

I typically stick to one scent.  That is, I used to.  I started wearing L'eau D'Issey in college and I loved it.  I like to tell this funny story about it because it's true.  I was telling a former co-worker that guys always commented on how good I smelled and it had to be the Issey.  She was like, "Yeah, okay, whatever."  Not ten minutes later, a male co-worker passed by and said, "Meg, you smell great!"  See?  I never lie :)

I think certain scents just work for some people.  I'm not sure why, but I eventually stopped wearing the Issey and tried a few other scents.  Eventually, I discovered Leila Lou by Rosie Jane and have been wearing it for years.  I love the light, fresh scent and again, people often comment on how nice it smells.  I never like a heavy smelling perfume.  I want it to just feel like it's nice and natural and just a part of who I am.

Last week, my friend introduced me to Beach by Bobbi Brown.  Oh.  My.  Gosh!  She was buying it for herself and I had to go back and get one for myself as well!  I love that it smells like you've just had the best day at the beach- light and fresh, and just a little bit like suntan lotion, but in a really good way!  While I was looking at Beach, I revisited Issey and guess what?  I had to pick up that as well ;)

So now, the girl who only wore one scent exclusively has three in the rotation.  And you know what?  Each one makes me happy for its own reason, so there's nothing wrong with that!

Shop the scents here:

Pink and Navy

Summer is a time for color.  Lots of color.  And classic combinations.  For me, nothing says summer like navy blue.  It is just synonymous with all things summer.  But navy on its own can get a little boring.  Mix it with white?  I love that!  But mix it with pink?  Now we're talking!!

I am always drawn to pink.  I don't think there is anyone that it doesn't look good on.  Brighter pinks especially are perfect for warmer weather.  So throw on all the navy you want.  But punch it up with pops of pink!

Summer Reading

I'm not sure why, but I have definitely been slacking on my reading lately.  I go through phases with reading.  I will devour book after book and then, nothing.  But I have been in a particularly long dry spell and I am determined to snap myself out of it.  I blame Netflix ;)  At the end of a long day, it just seems easier to turn on a show and tune out everything else.

Remember in school getting those dreaded summer reading lists? And then trying to jam in all of that reading the last week of summer break?  Well, this summer I have compiled a list for myself.  Except this time, it is full of books I have been wanting to read or authors I love.  This time, I'm excited to get to my summer reading.  Here is my list, read along with me!

Happy reading!

Sparkle & Whim Printshop

I started Sparkle & Whim about a year and a half ago for various reasons.  I had a job with a lot of downtime.  I had a background in retail.  I had spent the previous holiday working for an online boutique.  I like jewelry.  I like pretty, sparkly things.  And so, Sparkle & Whim was born.

I knew I was going to have a good time picking out the pieces to put on the site.  I knew the business end of it would be challenging, but something I might enjoy learning.  What I didn't expect was how much fun I had actually building the site.  I loved setting up the boutique.  I loved picking the theme and the layout and all the colors.  I spent so much time playing around with it.  And I still am constantly tweaking everything.  It will never be just right ;)

I bought Photoshop Elements and started teaching myself how to use it.  I spent hours on Google and YouTube trying to figure out how to do certain things.  Will I ever be an expert?  No way.  Have I surprised myself with how much I have learned?  Definitely!

A few months ago, I bought a new logo for Sparkle & Whim.  It is perfect and beautiful and I love it.  But I started to think that I could probably do that, too.  I had been making a list of fonts that I liked and I opened up my Photoshop and started playing around.  After a weekend, I had a couple of branding kits that I had put together and I decided to take it a step further.

I put the kits on Etsy, along with some business card designs and downloadable prints and all of a sudden, I had a new shop!  And Sparkle & Whim had a little sister :)  At first, it was fun to check the stats and see if people were looking.  And they were!  And then (wait, what?) people bought things!  And they used them on their blogs and business pages!  It brings me such joy to see them in actual use :)

Here are some of the items from the shop (just click on the image for details!):

If you have a moment, please stop by!

Chic Sunglasses Under $10

I believe there is a time and place to spend money on fashion. A great, classic winter coat? Yes. A good cashmere sweater? Of course! A statement watch? Bring it on! 

 When it comes to sunglasses, however, I come up a little short. I know my friends love their Gucci, Prada, and Chanel sunglasses, but I just can't seem to get on board.  My favorite sunglasses are from Target. I have been wearing them for years, they are the perfect shape for my face, and the style is totally classic.  And I'll bet I paid under $10 for them (like I said, it's been a while, haha!).

Last year, a friend of mine introduced me to these sunglasses.  I had been looking at a designer style that was soooo similar and guess what?  These babies were $9.99!  There are so many great options for chic sunglasses.  Forever 21, H&M, Target, and Walmart all have amazing selections.  Why spend your money on the higher priced styles?  Save it for cashmere- it won't be summer forever! All of the options below are $10 or less!

Shop the look:

Beach Babe Hat

I've been seeing this one particular hat everywhere.  You know the one, the ADORABLE Eugenia Kim "Do Not Disturb" hat.  It is just the cutest thing.  The $485 price tag, however, is less than adorable, unfortunately...

So I decided I would attempt to make my own version.  I love DIY projects, but they always look so much better in my head than the actual finished product.  But I actually love the way this turned out.  And with a total price tag of only $14.79, I have a fun hat that I can actually wear to the beach!  I decided to shake it up a bit and go with "Beach Babe" on mine.

So here's what you need:

Beach Hat
Fabric Glue
Sequins by the Yard

And here's what you do:

(The first thing I actually had to do was remove that cord detail on my hat, but it peeled off pretty easily!)

Begin writing your letters directly onto the brim of the hat with your glue.  I worked just two or three letters at a time so the glue wouldn't dry out on me!

Place sequins onto glue and press down to make sure they are secure.

Go to the beach!

A few notes on this project:

I did NOT care for the glue I used.  It was super thick and messy and I had a difficult time controlling it coming out of the tube. (I'm still peeling it off my fingers as I type this, haha!)

Look for sequins by the yard in a single strand.  You can see in the photo, mine were multiple strands woven together, so it was pretty time consuming getting them apart.

I've linked some fun beach hats below to either decorate yourself of just wear as is :)

Style Crush: Stripes

Is it just me, or does summer just call for stripes, stripes, and more stripes?  I find that every season, I purchase a new striped dress and it instantly becomes my new favorite thing.  Seriously, ask my friends and family.  It is my standard summer uniform :)

Stripes in the summer just always seem appropriate.  I will throw on a striped dress with a tassel necklace and sandals for work and then dress it up for dinner with wedges.  For a more casual look, pair a striped tee with white shorts.  Have the perfect solid dress?  Change it up with striped espadrilles.  The possibilities are endless!

Pinterest Inspiration: Neutrals

My style is kind of all over the place.  Eclectic, I suppose would be the right word.  I am drawn to so many different types of styles in both fashion and home decor that it's just hard to pin my taste down.  
Scrolling through Pinterest this morning, I found myself pinning lots of pretty, soft neutrals.
 So I guess that's my taste du jour, haha!  But really, look at all of these beautiful, neutral photos and try not to be inspired :)

Pin along with us @sparklewhim.  We are always finding pretty things!

$5 Acrylic Tray

You guys know by now, I love ANYTHING with a monogram.  So I've been wanting a monogrammed tray to help organize my desk.  I check on them online from time to time, but, not being a really necessary item, they always seemed just a bit too expensive.  

But then I found this tutorial and I just couldn't resist jumping on it!  And when you seen how easy it is to make, you'll be like, "why on Earth didn't I think of that?!?!"  Oh, and the best part?  Mine actually was less than $5 because the frame was on sale, costing me a grand total of $2.58 plus tax which included the frame and the printing (I opted to have mine printed at Staples using my own card stock for $0.59, but really, come on!!!).

So here's what you need:

Acrylic Frame Box (any size you like- I used 8x10)
Card stock

And here's what you do:

Create your insert image in Photoshop (doesn't have to be a monogram at all!!)
Or, you can just use a pretty paper

Remove the insert from the frame- THERE'S YOUR TRAY!!!

Trim card stock to fit and insert into tray

Accessorize as you like!!

Easiest thing in the world!!

Egg Muffins

I've been making an effort over the last six weeks or so to try to be healthier.  I say "try", because that's usually easier said than done.  I've been concentrating mainly on getting more exercise (shout out to the Jawbone Up! for tracking my steps) and getting 8 hours of sleep a night.  But food is a different story.  Breakfast and dinner are easy, but coming up with a healthy lunch that is also grab and go is much more challenging.

Enter egg muffins.  I've been seeing these on Pinterest for a while now and have been wanting to try them, but for some reason, I have always put it off.  Until today.  And wow, I wish I'd made them sooner!  So easy, so yummy, and only 200 calories for two muffins! 

And so easy to make.  Here is the recipe:

6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated cheddar (I only used 1 cup- seemed like enough!)
3/4 cup spinach cooked and drained (about 8 oz fresh spinach)
6 bacon slices, cooked, drained of fat, and chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional- I opted to leave it out)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a regular 12-cup muffin pan.  Spray the muffin pan with non-stick cooking spay.
2.  In a large bowl, beat eggs until smooth.  Add milk, salt, cheddar cheese and mix.  Stir spinach, cooked bacon into the egg mixture.  Ladle the egg mixture into greased muffin cups 3/4 full.
3.  Top each muffin with grated cheese (optional).
4.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven, let muffins cool for 30 minutes before removing them from the pan.
(recipe from juliasalbum.com)

And enjoy!  I'm already looking forward to lunch tomorrow!