Bright Lights on Lauren of Seventeenth + Irving

Lauren from Seventeenth & Irving has the best taste, which is just one of the reasons why her blog is so appealing (and popular!). Top that off with the fact that she’s gorgeous and super talented, and you might begin to feel a little bit of envy creeping in — if it weren’t also for the fact that Lauren is one of the most friendly and down-to-earth people you’ll ever encounter. I’m so excited that she’s giving us a glimpse into her beautiful world today by sharing her favorite things.

Frock Files | Bright Lights on Lauren of Seventeenth & Irving

What do you do for a living? I work in marketing for an e-commerce platform.

Places you’ve lived: I’m a Georgia peach! I grew up in a small town in Northeast Georgia, went to school at the University of Georgia, and moved to Atlanta after college. I met my boyfriend there and we packed everything up and moved to San Francisco two years ago. We love it here – I believe we’ll be on the west coast for a very long time.

Place you’d most like to visit: Since I took a lot of architecture history courses in college as part of my interior design training, I daydream about taking the “Grand European Tour” through Italy, France, and Greece to soak it all in.

Your favorite indulgence: Salted Caramel ice cream from Bi-Rite Creamery. I seriously have dreams about it.

The best advice you’ve ever received: My dad always told me to “measure twice, cut once.” Though it could be taken literally when I was in school, building to-scale models of blueprints, I apply it to other areas of my life. Think twice before you say something to someone that might be hurtful, weigh the pros and cons before making a tough decision, or double check everything before wrapping up a huge project.

If someone had just three hours in your city, where would you take them? Easy – if it’s a clear day, grab a bottle of champagne and a picnic and head straight to the top of Marin Headlands. From there, you get a birds-eye view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the bay, and the entire city skyline. I realize I’m 100% biased, but there is nothing more magical than that view.

Frock Files | Bright Lights on Lauren of Seventeenth & Irving

Chloé Eau de Parfum – My signature scent. It only takes a little, but it smells clean and feminine without being overpowering.

Staedtler Liquid Point 5 Pen – I am borderline neurotic about my pens. It must draw a super thin line, it can’t bleed through paper, it needs to be a certain weight. This is that pen. I buy them in bulk, always in black, and I will call you out if you try to walk away with my pen.

Poco Dolce Burnt Caramel Tiles – Another Bright Light, Mere from Not Merely Living, introduced me to these. They are my favorite salty + sweet treat, and the portioned tiles keep my indulgences under control.

Paddywax Mandarin & Lavender Candle – It not only smells incredibly clean and crisp, it’s poured into the bottom of a recycled wine bottle. I rapidly burn through them, but I keep the containers when I’m done and reuse them to contain makeup brushes, pens on my desk, or as vases.

C.Wonder Interchangeable Belts + Buckles (this buckle) (this belt in black) – I’ve focused on adding items that have maximum versatility to my closet this year, and the C.Wonder belt + buckle system is pure genius. Lots of bang for your buck – you buy the reversible belt straps that you like, you buy the buckles you like, and then you can mix and match them infinitely for new looks. Now my favorite elephant belt buckle can be paired with a black strap, brown strap, or gold. Sort of makes you wonder why more companies don’t do this, huh?

Restoration Hardware Vintage Washed Belgian Linen Bedding – A bit of a splurge for our home, but 100% worth it. I truly believe in purchasing the best you can afford when it comes to items you’ll use the most. I bought the “Fog” color because it feels both modern and warm, and the color name is just very appropriate for San Francisco.

Todoist – The one and only way I’m able to manage work, home, and blog tasks. If it doesn’t go into Todoist the second I think of it, it just doesn’t get done. The recurring task feature is my favorite, as it (gently) reminds me to be a grown up and take my vitamins every day.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore – I try to keep company with people that always have a great book recommendation. Jess at Curating Style is one of those people. She recommended this book to me and I finished it in a day. It’s light and fun, and quite the page turner.

Thanks for sharing all your fabulous picks, Lauren!

Have you fallen in love with Lauren yet? We haven’t met in real life yet, but I imagine that her world is filled with such thoughtful, practical, and lovely things. For more, head over to her blog, Seventeenth & Irving.

P.S. I love what Lauren says about being a grown-up. It made me think of this article, “How To Be a Grown Up in 10 Steps” — I’m still working on this.

Frock Files | More Bright Lights

Bright Lights on Mina of Bohemian Vintage

Meeting Mina Brinkey of Bohemian Vintage was one of the highlights of my experience at Alt Summit in January. We were roommates and we hit it off as soon as we met. I thought that my career background was varied, but Mina’s takes the cake! She was a lawyer when she decided to open her own vintage store, and eventually she went on to her current career as a high school teacher. She’s also been featured on big blogs like Apartment Therapy and in the interior decor book New Cottage Style. Pretty fabulous, right? But her most important role to date: mama to the cutest little girl.

Mina spoke at Alt this year, and I hope that we’ll get to spend more time together at next year’s conference (or before then, if we can swing it)! In the meantime, she’s agreed to share her favorite things with us.

Frock Files | Bright Lights on Mina of Bohemian Vintage

What do you do for a living?: I work as an AP Government & U.S. History teacher

Places you’ve lived: Raised in Miami, FL in my childhood and Tampa, FL thereafter

Place you’d most like to visit: Only one??? I’m going to cheat on this one and say I’d like to visit India, Morocco, Budapest, Thailand and Bora Bora.

Your favorite indulgence: A long, uninterrupted afternoon nap on the couch.

The best advice you’ve ever received: When I first brought my little girl home from the hospital, I felt incredibly overwhelmed because her room and her things weren’t perfect and ready (she was a preemie). My mother took me by the shoulders, looked me in the eyes and said “All you need to worry about is giving her love, nutrition and a warm place to rest. That is what she really needs. All else is irrelevant. Love. Just Love.”

It knocked me right into reality and put everything in perspective for me. From that moment on, (although I got the nursery and all else squared away), I have been conscientious about the fact that what my Savannah really needs is lots and lots of LOVE.

What’s your favorite part of your home? The living room. It’s the part of the house we spend most of our time in and the room I’ve put the most effort into.

Frock Files | Bright Lights on Mina of Bohemian Vintage

Modern Vintage Style is my favorite home decor book. As for parenting books, I loved Bringing Up Bebe because it’s very much my parenting style.

I swear by Clinique’s face moisturizing cream.

I also love my Ray Ban aviators.

I get my aprons mostly at Anthropologie when they go on sale. I use them all the time!

My keychain wallet is a little bulky, but super convenient for quick trips in the car. I only keep my license and debit card in there. For everything else, I bring my purse. But for quick trips… no purse. Just my keys! Voila!

TOMS shoes, especially the hemp ones, are super comfy! Plus, they go with everything!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Mina!

For more of Mina’s excellent style and taste, visit Bohemian Vintage. There, she blogs about the evolution of her own home’s style.

Frock Files | More Bright Lights

Bright Lights on Tan of Squirrelly Minds

If you haven’t met Tan yet, you’ve been missing out! Her blog, Squirrelly Minds, is beautiful and thoughtful. After meeting Tan this past January, I can attest to the fact that she’s both of those things in real life too. Tan has amazing energy and she’s so, so funny. Plus that, she has the prettiest fuzzy cat named Lucy. In my ideal world, Tan and I would live next door to each other so that I could spend lots of time listening to her stories and cuddling with Lucy — but until I’ll just hang out at her blog daily.

Frock Files | Bright Lights on Tan of Squirrelly Minds

Places you’ve lived: I’ve traveled a lot but only lived in two places. How awful! I was born and raised in Victoria BC Canada where I currently live, and when I was 20 I moved to Japan for one year to teach English. I plan to live in many, many more cities and countries.

Place you’d most like to visit: Oh my gosh…the whole world? Australia and New Zealand are at the top because I’ve always wanted to and, let’s face it, Lord of the Rings. I’d also love to hike through Iceland and laze on a beach in Fiji, or Indonesia, or anywhere down there really.

Your favorite indulgence: Tulips. I’m always so excited for tulip season to come around so I can fill my house with the beautiful flowers. And when it’s not tulip season? Chocolate of course.

The most memorable act of friendship you’ve been the recipient of: When I was 22 I had a really hard summer. My cousin died of a heart attack, my 17 year old cat died one morning followed that afternoon by my grandma passing and my being dad admitted to hospital. Then a few weeks later my great uncle passed. Needless to say, it was a hard time where no words could really help. It seems insignificant but to help get me through it, my best friend (since kindergarten) got me the movie Labyrinth, a favourite of mine that I didn’t have. It meant so much that she gave me the ability to escape into another world just for a little bit.

The best advice you’ve ever received: Well does Lord of the Rings count? (Yeah I’m making it pretty darn obvious that I’m a huge LotR nerd). In the first book/film Gandalf says, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” This has always resonated with me. It’s a beautiful reminder that you are in control of what you do and how you view and live your life, so decide to make it lovely.

Frock Files | Bright Lights on Tan of Squirrelly Minds

Morse Code Necklace by Betsy + Iya  I love my morse code necklace and get a lot of compliments on it’s unique design and it’s customizable engraved morse code. Mine says “so in love”.

Gold Stork Scissors  Crafting is so much prettier with pretty scissors. Don’t you agree?

Erase Paste by Benefit  If I ever leave the house in a rush I always make sure to dab a bit of this under my eyes and on any trouble areas. It really does erase those little flaws.

The Fall  So rarely do I finish watching a movie and I’m still thinking about it days later. This movie is simultaneously quirky, sweet and absolutely heart wrenching. I guarantee you will fall in love with the little Romanian girl with a broken arm.

All Out Of pad by Knock Knock  I’m pretty scatterbrained when I go grocery shopping and never remember what I need to buy. I keep this guy on our fridge so that when we’re out of something I can add a little checkmark right away. Bringing it grocery shopping with me has helped out so much.

Moroccan Pouf  My only regret, along with not getting more argan oil, is that I didn’t bring back more poufs from our Moroccan honeymoon. I love mine and the instantly comfy and laid back feel it brings to the room.

Citrus Squeezer  You know how you find tiny, mysterious cuts on your hands by the pain that ensues when you hand squeeze a lemon or lime? I’m so glad I don’t experience that anymore.

Multi-wrap Cardigan  I have more cardigans in my closet than is possibly acceptable. My smart husband added one more to the collection last Christmas and it has got to be the comfiest, most versatile one yet with 5 different ways to wear it. Pretty fun stuff.

Thank you so much, Tan!

Want more inspiration? Visit Tan at Squirrelly Minds, where she posts daily about all things pretty and fun for your wedding day, wardrobe, dinner plate, and crafting table.

Frock Files | More Bright Lights

Bright Lights on Mere of Not Merely Living

Mere and I met on the way to the Hello Social in Salt Lake City, and I’m thrilled to introduce you to her today! She’s one of those kind, warm people who looks at life as an adventure, and you’ll find inspiration to live fully each and every day over at her blog, Not Merely Living. I’m sure that you, like me, will wish that you lived next door to Mere so that you could hang out with her all the time.

Frock Files | Bright Lights on Mere of Not Merely Living

What do you do for a living?: I’m a fundraiser for an anti-hunger non-profit organization based in San Francisco.

Places you’ve lived: I spent most of my life in the deep South. I was born in Atlanta and lived there for a few years when I was very little until we moved to Alabama, where I lived until I finished college (most of my family still lives in the Bama). After college I lived in Chile for about a year and a half while I was studying hispanic literature. Then I moved to San Francisco, where I’ve been for five years now.

Place you’d most like to visit: I would really love to go to Vietnam with my husband. He was born there, and I’ve wanted to go with him since we met.

Your favorite indulgence: Champagne (because let’s face it, there’s always something to celebrate!)

The most memorable act of friendship you’ve been the recipient of: I got married last year, and I was lucky to have 8 of my dearest friends by my side. When I think of friendship, it’s hard for me not to think about everything those girls did for me over the course of that year. Their love and support was a constant reminder of how incredible each of them are and how very, very lucky I am to have them in my life. A few days before the wedding I hosted a brunch to thank them for all that they had done for me (shower, engagement party, bachelorette, general awesomeness), and they surprised me with an infinity necklace from Tiffany’s and a beautiful card that ended with, “This gift is a reminder that we are proud to stand by you now and for eternity.” It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

The best advice you’ve ever received: My boss recently told me, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” I’m not sure if that exactly counts as advice, but it has been really inspirational for me lately.

Frock Files | Bright Lights on Mere of Not Merely Living

Dolce and Gabana Sunglasses  I adore these sunglasses my mom got for me as a gift. They are light-weight, simple and go with everything.

Poco Dolce Chocolates  These are luxury chocolates at their finest. I’m literally obsessed with the chocolate and almond squares, and I try to always keep some at home for good days or bad days.

Sugar Lip SPF 15  Your favorite chapstick meets the perfect lip color. I get the petal color, and it almost exactly matches my lip color. Love, love, love.

The Book Thief  This is my favorite book I’ve read so far this year. The writing is incredible, and the story is extremely powerful.

Supersoft Gap Leggings  I live in these when I’m at home. I have several pairs, and I don’t know what I’d do with out them.

Wacom Tablet This is a great investment for bloggers if you want to easily add your own handwriting or drawings to posts. It takes a while to learn how to use it, but once you do it’s amazing. I like this size because I can literally stick it in my purse!

Champagne Stoppers  Aren’t these the greatest invention ever? No more wasted champagne! Yes please.

Silver Glitter Toms  I bought a pair of these for myself and for each of my bridesmaids, and I absolutely love them. Not only do they remind me of our wedding day, but they also just make me want to dance any time I wear them!

Thank you, Mere! Friends, hurry over to Mere’s blog for more of her beautifully open perspective on life. And more Bright Lights right this way

Bright Lights on Melissa of Lulu the Baker

We’re making Monday celebratory again with the Bright Lights feature! I put Bright Lights on hiatus over the holidays, but now that spring is right around the corner, it’s back — and I couldn’t be more excited than to re-launch with my gorgeous friend Melissa from Lulu the Baker! Melissa’s beautiful blog features delicious recipes, sweet crafts, and occasional stories about farm living. You may have seen her lovely business cards featured on the many Alt Summit recaps. I practically clobbered Melissa with hugs every time I ran into her at the conference. Read on and you’ll be equally smitten!

Frock Files | Bright Lights on Lulu the Baker

(Melissa & me at Alt Summit! Pretty sure that guy works for Smilebooth.)

What do you do for a living?  I used to teach high school Chemistry, but I “retired” 6 years ago to stay home with my kids. Retirement is awesome!

Places you’ve lived:  In chronological order: Philadelphia, Honolulu, Maryland, San Antonio, Las Vegas (with a little Utah and 2 months in Monterey thrown in somewhere), and now Eugene! And I don’t think we’re going anywhere; we’ve put down roots.

Place you’d most like to visit:  Oh, this is such a tough one! I love going anywhere warm and tropical. And I’d love to go to the Mediterranean. And then Prince Edward Island, which is the polar opposite of tropical or Mediterranean! (And yes, I’m an Anne of Green Gables fan!)

Favorite indulgence:  I love creme brulee! If we go out to eat and it’s on the menu, I have to get it. And it really never disappoints!

Since February’s theme is love, how did you and your husband meet?:  We met ice blocking at the park with a big group of people in Las Vegas. He made some joke about a golf cart that looked like a “surrey with the fringe on top,” and that was that! Oklahoma is my favorite, so we were meant to be!

Frock Files | Bright Lights on Lulu the Baker

Books: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson; I’m usually a fiction girl all the way–non-fiction puts me to sleep! But this is one of the best books I’ve read in years, and it is 100% true! It tells the story of the Chicago World’s Fair, and it is just plain gripping–I promise!

Technology: I try not to let my kids play on my smart phone a lot, but I’ll download apps and games for them every once in a while. Toca Boca has great kids’ apps, and I’m actually a little addicted to Toca Band. There are 16 different characters in the game, and each has a unique noise or beat. You can mix and match them and make these really awesome little songs. It’s pretty cool. That’s about as techy as I get!

Fashion: I love looking through the mini Boden catalog! They have the sweetest little dresses and tops and rompers. It’s seriously too bad I’m not 8 anymore–I’d love their clothes! I like the women’s clothes too; there’s just something especially cheery and joyful about their kids’ line.  This little outfit is one of my faves!

Beauty: I’m really particular when it comes to perfumes. I think lots of fragrances smell great on other people, but when I try them on, they drive me crazy! One of the few perfumes that I love to wear and can’t get enough of is I Want Candy from Tokyo Milk. If it were a food, I would eat it. Seriously! And I love their product packaging and the names they choose for their perfumes. The next one I want to try is called Sea & Sky, and Honey & the Moon sounds pretty great too!

Cooking: I’m not usually a fan of big, clunky kitchen contraptions that don’t multi-task. However, I make an exception for our apple peeler/corer/slicer. We really only use it during the fall (to make applesauce, apple pie, apple-banana bread, apple crepes, etc), but I just can’t imagine life without it, and it somehow earns its keep in those few short months of use.

Crafts: I’m kind of obsessed with yarn right now, especially for making pom poms. And the great thing is, cheap yarn works really, really well for pom-pom making. As long as it’s soft, it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive!

Thank you for sharing all your fantastic finds, Melissa! (I can’t wait to get my hands on an apple peeler.) Stop by Lulu the Baker each day to see Melissa’s latest recipes. But beware: they’ll make you hungry!

Bright Lights will be back every other Monday with generous friends sharing their favorite things. Check out past Bright Lights here!

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