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Every week I sift through Etsy trying to find the most awesome stuff to share with y’all. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen something that is just fabulous but its like a kajillion bucks—so I leave it off my list. Because, in my book, a find is not only beautiful (or cute, or funky, or unique) and functional, but it also must be a steal of a deal.  It is something that you proudly display on your mantle so people will ask about it and you can go into a 10 minute spiel about how you found it a garage sale for $5. But that is not to say that insanely expensive things are not special too. In fact, that is usually why they are insanely expensive  The Etsy fashion items below have a certain je ne sais quoi quality to them. And although they may cost you a few months of credit card probation after your hubby gets the bill, they’ll sure make you feel pretty.


I have this reoccurring fantasy where some remarkably thoughtful friend or relative has taken my kids off my hands for the day.  I am shopping at a Farmer’s Market sampling and smelling ripe berries, heirloom tomatoes, organic honey….And when I buy them, I slip them into a tote that looks like this romatic bag.  hey, a girl can dream, right?


This slouchy bag is custom made to your specifications of suede or leather.  I <3 how the hand woven linen on the bottom creates a ruffle effect.  Forget Louie and his silly logos, this beauty is where its at.

Okay, so technically this is a wedding dress.  And I suppose in that genre this is kind of a steal.  I have never been on board with knee length gowns on the day of matrimonially bliss.  If this dress was full length,however, I would probably be grieving at the loss of having not found it some six years ago for my wedding day.  But since it is a shorter length, I can see this being appropriate to wear to a variety of semi-formal/formal events.   Just don’t wear it to someone else’s wedding.$530

O.M.G.  Yes, I just omg’ed.  This 1920’s style coat is made from super soft virgin wool.  It looks so cozy and comfy while maintaining an aloof vibe.  I think I want it more than I should because I spent last winter feeling like a stuffed duck trying to cram myself into my pre-baby down coat, with little success I might add.  All of that room looks delightful.


In most department stores there is a itty-bitty bikinis section and a poufy, frumpy one piece section—with little to no options in between.  Leaving women who don’t want to show off their not so perfect middle with dwindling enthusiasm for the coming beach season.  Well, you can quell those feelings of tummy loathe with a  blast from the past.   I cannot begin to describe how in love I am with retro style bathing suits.  They are so feminine and flirty and they provide excellent coverage in all the right places (which is essential after 3 babies).  I have no doubt that I would feel like the prettiest girl on the beach is this little number.  Can you really put a price on that?


These soft leather mukluks are custom made and come in a variety of colors.  I have never been able to get into the mukluk craze.  They were always too much—too much fur, too much fluff and too much decoration.  I love these because the give you that slouchy, comfy feel with understated shabby chic style.


These pumps caught my eye because, well, they have big feathery flowers on the heels.   They remind me of the ballerina style shoes that wrap around half way up your calf, in the way that they draw attention to the ever under-appreciated ankles.  Let’s face it, for many of us it is one of the only slender places we have left to show off.  These heels are also fantastic because they add a little interest to a little black dress without making it seem like you are crying out for attention.


Ignore the price tag, I repeat ignore the price tag.  How badly do your kids really need to go to college anyway.  I mean there are these little things called scholarships.  I am fairly certain that this is an engagement ring.  And if so, I now totally understand why some girls cry when their to-be husbands pop open the ring box during a proposal.  Shucks, I teared up a little just looking at this sucker through a computer screen.  Not that my engagement ring isn’t lovely and filled with sentiment, but it sure doesn’t have this detailing–or the 2.48 CARAT diamond.


So often when you get together with your in-laws it can be a trying affair.  But sometimes you just get lucky. Not only because the gathering is easy but because you landed yourself some faboo in-laws!  And that’s where I find myself these days. I love my husband’s family to death! Sure issues may arise here and there but what family (or relationship for that matter) doesn’t? So, on certain days, it’s nice to spend some quality time with them, especially my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law. And, when we are all together, we love to do different somewhat girly things.

One day recently we went out for tea for two….well for all four of us, actually. Tea is alright I guess (I’m more of a coffee drinker myself) however, I never pass up an opportunity to go out for “Tea Time”. Not only can you find some scrumptious treats but the tea at most tea houses is incredible. I mean really.  If you’ve never been to a tea house, grab some friends and just go.  It’s so much better than anything you can find in a store. Seriously…. yuck!  So we went to the Tea Rose Garden in Pasadena, CA which is only 5 minutes from my house. Yay!

Though it wasn’t in September, I got a September tea cup which I thought was beautiful.  It was funny though because there were a few tea cups and saucers on our table that were plain white.  I mean come on!  With all the cool tea cup designs in the world, a tea house carried white tea cups?  I don’t think so.  So I walked over to an empty table and changed our white cups for pretty ones. Done and done.  Sometimes I have no shame.

Clockwise: Bonnie, Claire, their mother Karin and Me!

We each ordered our own tea flavors and shared all around the table.  We also made sure to drink our tea in a fancy way: Pinky’s Up!! Plus part of our order came with a tower of sandwiches and sweets. We had sandwiches like Cucumber Mint, Carrot and Cheese and Turkey Cranberry.  They were so yummy and we were so full.  I brought a bunch home to Movie Star because I couldn’t finish. I’m trying to keep my girlish figure you know.

And boy did we get fancy tea strainers!  They were old and brass and certainly hard to figure out.  No really, we sat there and messed around with them for like five minutes getting all kinds of junk in our tea cups and then my mother-in-law just picked up the strainer, set it on top of the tea cup and poured her tea. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

All and all, we had a wonderful time in this old building that use to be a stable for horses. Yep, that’s right, that fountain and windows were a part of the original stable to took up that location. People would come to visit downtown Pasadena and “park” their horses here. I always love old things with history.

Again, I highly recommend you go out for tea some time this summer. Most towns or cities have a tea house or two so search your area and go. You will get to sample some fine tea, conversation and gobble up english sweets!

  • Bonnie - June 24, 2011 - 11:09 am

    Now I want to go again. That was so fun!ReplyCancel

I recently started a part time job and boy is it kicking my butt!  Regardless I have not had time to make as many pretty, practical or fun things as I normally do.  The only things I have been working on are Bookmarks for the Father’s and Grandfather’s in my life as a gift on their special day. But I have been doing some searching  for items I can make to decorate me home for the summer months. I don’t know about you but I always love to change up my home decor for the seasons and summer has so many options!  Here are my favorite summer crafts I know you’ll love making some of them for your home too. Have fun!

Summer-Saying Posters make for classy artwork on a shelf or hanging on an otherwise blank wall space. In fact, search for sayings that fit every season of the year and swap them out when the times change! You can make these exact ones by printing them out from here or you can use the same sayings and make them your own with paint or scrapbooking letters.  Frame the posters in large white frames or in thin frames with a white mount.

Do you have a home office like me? Why not spruce it up in some fun and decorative ways with this embroidery hoop craft?  Now if you are not in the mood for crafting or simply can’t make them, feel free to purchase them here on Etsy. But if you are ready to head to the craft store and get moving on this, here is how I think they make them:

  1. Purchase a few embroidery hoops in different sizes, some fun summer fabric and batting.
  2. Attach the batting and fabric to the embroidery hoops as you would any other time you plan to embroider.  Make sure they are secure.  If that means you have to hot glue a bit, then do it!
  3. Trim any excess fabric and batting and you are all set.

The batting helps with using pins to attach notes or trinkets and gives the hoop mats a more finished look.  Hang anyway you’d like!

Now when I stumbled upon this, I almost lost it! What a great way to showcase your family’s summer vacation? I think this would also make a great gift for someone who took you on a vacation (you know, the person who paid for or orchestrated it?)  My parents have always been generous in that way and I can’t wait to make this for them to place in their new beach house. Here’s how I think it should be made:

  1. Purchase a large glass jar and print out a picture from you vacation.
  2. Either buy or pick up some sand to place at the bottom of the jar. If you didn’t take a tropical trip, you can also place colored stones at the bottom for a camping or river trip too.
  3. Next mount the picture on some card stock with a border. As you see in the picture you can attach some stickers or embellishments to the photo or just stick it in the sand (like they did with the ticket stub).
  4. Add a few other memorabilia or some shells in the sand if you’d like.
  5. Lastly, you can place a sticker or rub-on saying to the outside of the jar that talks about vacations or time spent with family.

And then there is the simple decor choices that add color and vibrancy to your home. I love what Kim the Starshine Chic did with her mantel so much that I just had to share it.  She gives a great little tutorial that is sure to get you painting and gluing. I am definitely painting my vases this summer.

  • ShootingStarsMag - June 23, 2011 - 10:40 am

    Oh, I love the hoops and the jar. I’ve never seen the jar done before. I think it could be fun for any type of photo…just decorate to coordinate it.ReplyCancel

    • Lindsey - June 23, 2011 - 2:00 pm

      Yeah me too! I agree that it would be great for anything. Such a find. If you make one, please share it with us!ReplyCancel

  • Amber - June 24, 2011 - 8:13 am

    Oh my gosh, these ideas are so cute! I really like that beautiful jar idea, very unique.ReplyCancel

Do you love coffee? Yeah, we do, too, which is why we are giving away Bosch T20 Tassimo Coffee Maker complete with packages of Maxwell House Cafe Collection Cappuccino and Gevalia French Vanilla to get you started! This coffee brewer is different than most, because it makes single servings of coffee and does so under 1 minute. So, no more need to go to Starbucks, because you want a cup of coffee, but don’t want to make an entire pot. Now that you know how cool it is, I bet you’re wondering how you win it.

Like Inspiring Pretty on Facebook and let us know your username below. In your comment, also tell us how bad of a coffee junkie you are 😉


To earn additional entries, do any of the following. Each thing you do earns you an additional entry.

1.) Follow Inspiring Pretty on Twitter (Let us know your username in the comments below).

2.) Tweet about the giveaway mentioning @InspiringPretty in the tweet.

3.) Leave us a comment on one of our other articles. We always love to read comments!


Please leave us only one comment below as only one comment will be counted. The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM PST, July 11th, 2011. Good luck to everyone and thanks for reading Inspiring Pretty!


Rather than bringing you another installment of wedding trends, I thought I’d share with you a few unique ideas that I have stumbled across in different places. Many weddings are very ‘status quo’, very predictable and void of anything that sets it apart. I don’t like this, because it’s your big day! It should stand apart from other weddings and be memorable for years to come. Plus, it’s always cool to say “no one has ever done this before” or “you just never see that at a wedding”. So, here are a few very simple wedding touches that will hopefully help set your special day apart from the rest.

courtesy of idoengravables.com

Silver Tray Engraving as Guest Book

Instead of having your guests sign their name on paper, have them make a lasting impression. Rent or buy an engraving pen and have your guests leave their messages. It makes for a beautiful decoration in your home. It’s also a great visual reminder of your wedding, rather than a closed book with signatures and messages. You can also use a picture frame instead of a silver tray. It’s also a nice touch to a wedding photo. And lastly, it’s quite uncommon and is elegant, yet casual, which can add some fun to your wedding.

courtesy of familycircle.com

Picture Frame Drink Tray

For more casual and whimsical weddings, this is a great idea. Use an old picture or just picture frame as a drink tray. I personally love the vintage frames and I think it adds a very vintage, stylish and casual feel to the wedding. Best of all, you have so many options of pictures and frames to choose from. If you and your groom have a favorite painting, show if off here. Or, if a work of art inspired your theme, let it show here.

courtesy of realsimple.com

Ornament Chandelier

This is especially great for Christmas weddings, but you can use other types of ornaments to make a chandelier throughout the year as well. Just tie ribbon to the ornaments and group them together. The great thing is, you can make this as colorful as you want or you can make it match your wedding theme’s colors. It’s a very sweet and simple touch and is also chic and down to earth. It’s very cool to see something so beautiful and interesting and know that it wasn’t something the bride and groom just ordered, but actually made themselves. This is one item where doing it yourself can really pay off.

courtesy of brasswire 1018 on flickr.com

Make Centerpieces Usable

This may seem a little odd and very informal, but it is to make the tables more fun for your guests. Just make the centerpieces usable in some way for your guests. This may mean making them edible, so they may pick at it with toothpicks, rather than having to get up for hors d’oeuvres (or in addition to hors d’oeuvres). Or, you could choose your favorite simple games such as Hungry, Hungry Hippos, Trivial Pursuit or anything else that doesn’t require too much of involvement or too many pieces. Or, a puzzle for each table could be a fun idea with a very cool reward for the table that finished theirs first. Just make sure it’s relatively simple like 100 pieces or so, because you don’t want this turning into a nerd convention or a church fair. You may also consider making a tree of cameras the centerpiece. It’s always fun to hand out disposable cameras at weddings to see what photos your guests can come up with. Making them the centerpiece will really encourage them from the very beginning of the reception to capture as many moments as possible. These may be informal ideas, but if done well, they can still be very beautiful as well.

courtesy of realsimple.com

Calendar Wrapping Paper

This is bit unorthodox but is a very good idea for a wedding for one reason. You can mark the special day on the calendar for the newlyweds and if they are sentimental at all, they will appreciate it very much and may possibly want to keep it. Calendar days may be plain material to wrap with, but it shows a lot of thought and it will definitely make your gift stand out.

courtesy of jasonandamy.wordpress.com

Polaroid Photo Guest Book

This is a neat combination of a cheap photo booth and a guest book. Have someone take a polaroid of each of your guests and in true Polaroid fashion, have a permanent marker available for them to write a message on the bottom white tab of the photo. It is a genuine throwback from the 80’s and early 90’s that will be great fun for everyone. Or, you can also just have them take a photo, then place in a book along with a message, creating a guest-made photo book with their lovely comments. Either way, this idea will go over big with your guests and you will get to laugh at all the different photos.


Hopefully this gives you some ideas or some inspiration. Do you have any unique wedding ideas or tips? Let us know below!

  • Bonnie - June 22, 2011 - 11:17 am

    I should have hired you as my wedding planner, Claire.ReplyCancel

  • claire - June 24, 2011 - 11:02 pm

    you couldn’t afford me. my face fee is $15,000ReplyCancel

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