Category Archives: Style and Design

The Ins and Outs of the Osaka Owl Multifunctional Charging Backpack

If you’ve been around these parts long enough you’ll know I’m hopelessly devoted to my Tom Bihn backpack. But when the folks at Osaka Owl asked if I’d like to try out one of their backpacks, I couldn’t resist. Even if it meant stepping out on my Synapse 19! *gasp*

I chose to check out their Multifunctional Charging Backpack. I mean CHARGING? Hello! Plus, it has a sleek design and looked like it would be fun to pack.

Here’s their pitch on the ‘pack…

“The team at OSAKA OWL has designed a backpack that gives you peace of mind and a home for everything you need to take along with you. You no longer have to worry about someone stealing your belongings, your phone running out of juice, or forgetting where you put certain must-have items within your bag.”

Color me interested. I ordered one up and couldn’t wait to test it out. Here’s what I found…

Options for organizing but not very spacious. The thing I love most about my Tom Bihn are all the little nooks and crannies that allow for a super organized bag. The Osaka Owl backpack doesn’t disappoint in this department. There is a great laptop sleeve and other little pockets to help keep everything in it’s proper place. However, you definitely couldn’t attempt any 1-bag travel with this guy. With a laptop and a few notebooks you’re pretty much at capacity. At first glance (or first unzip), I quickly realized this wouldn’t suit my travel needs but would be absolutely perfect as a work bag.

Staying charged on the go. I’m not the MOST diligent when it comes to keeping my devices charged. So I love the option of getting a quick top-up while out and about. Inside the backpack is a cord that can plug into a power bank and there’s a tiny port on the outside for conveniently charging my phone. Too cool!

A rain jacket to keep electronics safe. Tucked in a pocket in the back of the bag is a waterproof rain cover that slips over the whole bag (kind of like a shower cap!). If I’m toting my laptop, cameras, or other tech gear – aka the most expensive stuff I own – an afternoon thunderstorm can be a scary thing. And huddled under an umbrella, you have to clutch your backpack to your front to keep it from getting soaked…which kind of defeats the purpose of a BACK pack. This small addition solves that!

All packed and ready to go! Here’s how I packed the bag for a recent work-from-coffee shop outing. There are a few spots I found especially helpful in application: 1) The loops for pens and pencils mean you’re not digging to the bottom of a bag for a writing implement. 2) The dual pockets at the bottom of the bag are perfectly sized for slipping in a water bottle and keeping it upright. 3) The larger AND smaller sleeve means there’s a place to keep my laptop AND tablet nestled in (and strapped down, too!).

No unwanted guests. Other than using anti-cut material, I was wondering how the bag would ward off someone stealing my belongings–as it promises. Once I strapped on the backpack it made a bit more sense. When wearing the bag, the zipper to the main compartment isn’t accessible. It’s near the back of the bag instead of at the front like most backpacks are. While this can be a little fiddly when it comes to packing and unpacking and quickly accessing your own stuff, if you’re commuting in an area where theft is a concern I think it’s well worth the fiddlies…if you feel me.

Comfy to carry. Finally the straps, handle, padding, and overall design of the bag make it a pleasure to wear! I’m so happy and lucky to add this bag to my collection and will definitely use it to carry all my working-on-the-go essentials!!

What do you think? Would you get one? Are you a student, commuter, or coffee shop hustler on the hunt for a new bag? I would HIGHLY recommend checking out the Osaka Owl website and having a browse! (Here’s the exact one I chose, if you’re interested.) 

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Gift Guide 2017: Fathers, grandfathers, father-in-laws, uncles and any other jolly gents!

Christmas is just around the corner! Today, I’d like to conclude my 2017 Holiday Gift Guide with the final installment. I tried to find items that would suit lots of different folk at various price points. Each gift is something I love or would love giving! I hope you find some inspiration. Happy Holidays!

Chemex coffee maker which was selected by the Illinois Institute of Technology as one of the 100 best designed products of modern times. (Amazon, $41)

Clipboard calendar, plus 12 carefully selected photos of his favorite little folks. (Artifact Uprising, $30)

This Daniel Wellington watch in a classic style that will complement any outfit for any of his outings. (Daniel Wellington, $229)

A piece of art featuring his favorite cocktail. (Etsy, $9 +price of a frame)

A pizza cookbook to fan the flame of his latest passion. (Amazon, $15)

A cool place to stow all his essentials when he gets home after a long day. (Etsy, $32)

This snack subscription box for new goodies at his doorstep every month. (Love With Food, $7.99/month and up)

A tiny multi-tool that packs a mighty punch. (9 tools in 1!) (Amazon, $30)

L.L. Bean’s toiletry bag which he’ll think is fitting for his seasoned traveler status. (L.L. Bean, $30)

This kitchen counter air fryer for the crispiest most delicious french fries (without the guilt!). (Amazon, $85) 

A sturdy pair of winter adventure shoes for all those walks in the woods. (The North Face, $110)

A New York Times bestseller which is described as, “an excellent, hyperliterate, genre-pantsing detective novel that deserves every inch of its…blockbuster superfame.” (Amazon, $11)

P.S. Gifts for the gals in your life! Gifts for the guys in your life! Gifts for your Mama! 

Gift Guide 2017: Mothers, grandmothers, mother-in-laws, aunts and any other sophisticated gals!

Christmas is just around the corner! Today, I’d like to continue my 2017 Holiday Gift Guide with the third of four installments. I tried to find items that would suit lots of different folk at a variety of price points. Each gift is something I love or would love giving! I hope you find some inspiration. Happy Holidays!

Dearfoams slippers to keep her feet toasty warm  while padding around on the hardwood floors. (Amazon, $25)

A roses and rosé chocolate bar because who wouldn’t love something so girly and decadent? (Compartes, $10)

A pair of wooden earrings that are totally unique — just like her! (Etsy, $28)

A holiday platter for entertaining at Christmastime. (Wouldn’t it be so cute to serve homemade cookies on?) (Anthropologie, $41)

Rosemary eucalyptus body creme to wrap her skin in all-natural luxury. Bonus: It smells divine and helps improve circulation, too! (Beauty Box 5, $15)

A felt letterboard so she can display all her favorite quotes and quips. (Etsy, $50)

A candle with notes of juicy citrus, fresh spring water, and sweet mango. (Bath & Body Works, $13)

Stunning bottle stopper so even her wine can have a piece of beautiful bling. (Belle & June, $80)

Beyond Belief, a memoir about Jenna Miscavige Hill’s escape from Scientology, because you know she’ll find it fascinating. (Amazon, $10)

A winter white coat to bundle up in during chilly outings and errands. (Moorea Seal, $200)

A cookbook full of down-home classics for vegetarians (and the meat eaters who love them)! (Amazon, $17)

P.S. Last year’s gift ideas for the moms in your life!

Gift Guide 2017: Brothers, boyfriends, best dudes, husbands and any other groovy guys!

Christmas is just around the corner! Today, I’d like to continue my 2017 Holiday Gift Guide with the second of four installments. I hope you find some inspiration. Happy Holidays!

A stack of gentlemanly stationery so he can fire off a quick note via the USPS instead of group-chat text messages. (Minted, $50)

Backgammon for those cozy evenings in when all you want to do is curl up by the fire and roll a set of dice. (Amazon, $33)

A cocktail grow kit so he can harvest happy hour fixin’s right on his own windowsill. (Uncommon Goods, $12)

A game to store in the trunk of his car for easy access during backyard parties and afternoons at the beach. (Dick’s, $50)

The complete series box-set of The West Wing so he can watch episodes whenever his heart desires. (Amazon, $130)

A Breakfast in Bed Gift Box to accommodate relaxing (and yummy) Sunday mornings. With a promise to prepare and serve on a platter, of course! (Taste Trunk, $49)

A classic pair of kicks to accommodate miles and miles of urban exploration. (Nike, $50)

Moisturizing skin cream invented by a Japanese pharmacist in 1957. (Yu-Be, $25)

A handmade wall clock to hang on his office wall and imagine sailing to distant lands. (Etsy, $37+)

Marble wine cooler to chill whites on the kitchen counter before dinner. (Crate & Barrel, $25)

These gray trousers, crafted from fast drying and breathable Japanese denim, would be the perfect pair of pants to bring on all his upcoming travels. (Banana Republic, $118)

P.S. Last year’s gift ideas for the guys in your life!

Gift Guide 2017: Sisters, girlfriends, best friends, wives and any other lady loves!

Christmas is just around the corner! Today, I’d like to kick-off my 2017 Holiday Gift Guide with the first of four installments. I tried to find items that would suit lots of different folk at varying price points. Each gift is something I love or would love giving! I hope you find some inspiration. Happy Holidays!

An enamel pin of Frida Kahlo to add to her jean jacket’s growing collection of flair. (Etsy, $8)

Make a donation in her name to an organization or cause that is trying to make the world a better place. Think: Orca Conservancy, Border Angels, Center for Reproductive Rights, and She Should Run.

A mermaid face mask that’s like a super-food green smoothie for her skin, resulting in the ultimate glow. (Lealani Skincare, $32)

Beautiful crescent necklace to dress up any date-night outfit. (Mr. Kate, $75) (Or this gorgeous choker!)

A kit to help her concoct her very own body lotions. (Grow and Make, $30)

Vegan suede mules in a subtle dusty-blue to freshen up her go-to jeans and tee look. (Moorea Seal, $68)

A set of tapas plates to make her 3 pm snacking habit feel appropriately fancy. (Wayfair, $30)

The ultimate bag for toting farmer’s market finds and library loans. (Tom Bihn, $50)

Cotton pom pom duvet cover to give her bedroom a touch of whimsy. (Amazon, $60)

A memoir written by a pair of famous sisters. (Amazon, $12) (Or this book if she prefers pop-science reads. And this one if she’d like an inside look at an interesting life.)

A pair of wine glasses to make her giggle. (Macy’s, $10)

Cozy long-sleeve tee to remind her of the wise words of our man, Bob Ross, “Nothing in life is a mistake…just a happy accident!” (Cents of Style, $35)

P.S. Last year’s gift ideas for the ladies in your life!

A Planner Round-Up

I recently found my perfect planner. If you’re still on the hunt for yours, I have a few ideas…

Erin Condren Lifeplanner
$55

Classic never goes out of style. This bestseller is a coiled book and allows for a completely customizable look! Build your book just how you want it and find the style that fits your life. Choose between weekly planning layouts, embrace a color scheme, and customize your cover and the coil.

The Simple Elephant
$20

Use exclusive sections to craft positive affirmations, goals, and gratitude statements to renew your commitment, feel inspired, and live happier every calendar day, month, and year. Use the mindmap and vision board to drill in goals and fully engage with both sides of your mind.

Brit + Co Planner
$15

Use the Brit + Co Spiral Bound Planner to stay on schedule. It comes with monthly and weekly calendars, lined and grid paper, to-do lists, activity pages, and blank pages for doodling the day away.

Lemome Bullet Journal
$15

Timeless style and a simple versatile design make this a perfect choice for bullet journaling. The dotted grid pattern helps guide your writing, while staying out of the way of your drawings and doodles. The dots, spaced 5 mm apart, are light enough to blend in once the page is filled. 

$18
A hardcover notebook that’s small enough to go everywhere you go and big enough to work with all day long, whether at home, work, or in transit. The Confidant hardcover notebook comes in Light Gray & Charcoal. It’s available in 3 sizes: Pocket, Flagship, & Plus—AKA Small, Medium, & Large. But every version opens flat and features quality lasting paper.
 
$34
What’s on the agenda for 2018? This classic covered spiral planner, features gold foil and an elastic closure. The agenda holds 17-months of weekly and monthly calendar pages. There’s also a pocket folder with ruler, as well as sections for notes, celebrations, and contacts.
Which one suits your style best? Do you have a tried-and-true planner you love? Comment below and share! ❤ 

Formal Look: Polka Dots and Pants?!

I love the idea of wearing a flowy pair of pants to a black-tie affair. Wouldn’t they be so sophisticated, chic, and…unexpected?! And while we’re at it, let’s throw in a few polka dot patterns to boot!

To round out the palazzo pant extravaganza, I would pair with a sultry deep v-cut blouse, a pair of sky-blue kitten heels , and a little clutch. Then I’d go for a dramatic eye with this and this.

Note: I have absolutely nowhere fancy to go, just living my Thursday afternoon daydream-self truth!

What do you think? Would you rock this look? Or are pants (and double polka dots) a no-go for female formal-wear? 

P.S. 3 Weekend Uniforms.

My Autumn 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

Hi friends! I finally bit the bullet and put together a Project 333 capsule wardrobe this season. I’ve written about my All Season Capsule Wardrobe, as well as how to create a 10 Piece Starter Pack, but this capsule wardrobe is a little different. Following the Project 333 guidelines it is only for Autumn and consists of 33 items. I decided to include accessories and bags but not shoes.

First, I’ll share all the pieces I chose (10 of which I’d already selected for my personal starter pack), and then at the end of the post I’ll share how I’m choosing to keep clothes interesting (without spending a ton!) while still maintaining my capsule.

Let’s start with dresses!

Notes: I have dressier options on hand for special occasions. But since I would probably only wear those once (or not at all), they don’t have to be included. These are more go-to, everyday dresses.

Dresses

Little Black Dress
Target

Maxi Skirt (+Grey Tee)
Stitch Fix

Shirt Dress
Kohl’s

Outerwear

Outerwear. When you live in South Florida you can get away with a super small amount in this category. (And I won’t have to go any warmer than this in Winter either!)

Jean Jacket
Stitch Fix

Grey Cardigan
Target

Black Cardigan
T.J. Maxx

Vest
Stitch Fix

Striped Cardigan
Stitch Fix

Bottoms

Bottoms! I’ve never been someone who feels the need to own a bunch of pants. The unpictured pair of jeans is what I’m most often sporting. But I do love a good pair of dress pants. If you’re short, Kohl’s is where it’s at for slacks.

Black Shorts
Old Navy

Jeans
Old Navy
*Forgot to take a picture…because I was wearing them, lol*

Grey Jeans
Kohl’s

Grey Slacks
Kohl’s

Black Slacks
Kohl’s

Black Leggings
Target

Tops

This is probably the biggest category in any capsule. I tried to limit my picks to the items I most often gravitate to anyways…and then narrow down based on season, matching capability, and occasion versatility.

Graphic Tee
Studio Nico

Floral Blouse
Thrifted

Black Tee
Target

Striped Shirt
Stitch Fix

Navy Silk Blouse
Stitch Fix

Patterned Silk Blouse
Kohl’s

Plaid Shirt
Forever 21

Pink Ruffle Top
Target

Navy Polka Dot Top
Gordman’s

Bags

Honestly, I have about a gajillion other bags but I rarely crack them out. These are my bare bones bag options and I really think they’re all I need.

Black Cross-Body
Tom Bihn

Backpack
Tom Bihn

Accessories

My favorite pieces for dressing up a boring outfit! Of course, jewelry is tiny and easy to access so it’s not the end of the world if I branch outside the capsule every now and again.

Watch
Thrifted

Statement Earrings
Thrifted

Statement Necklace
Forever 21

Pearl Earrings
Gifted

Everyday Necklace
H&M

Ok, so if you’ve been keeping count you’ll know we’re at 30 pieces. Which leaves us with 3 more spaces to be filled! These 3 spaces are how I keep things interesting while still maintaining my capsule. Because they are filled with an ever rotating cast of closet characters thanks to Le Tote. I signed up for Le Tote a few months ago and I absolutely LOVE IT! They send you 3-5 items (depending on the subscription you sign up for), you wear them as much as you want, send them back…and they send you more!

So last week I had a beautiful 3/4 length sleeve dress, a t-shirt with embroidered birds on the front, and a mustard yellow cross-body bag. This week? A cardigan cut like a blazer, a black turtleneck, and a dainty necklace. Mixed and matched with my capsule the outfit possibilities are endless!!!

If you’d like to try Le Tote, you can get $25 off your first month by CLICKING HERE and using promo code SHOPLT.

P.S. 7 YouTube channels you should check out for inspiration!

3 Items Every Young Professional Needs In Their Desk Drawer

With online social networking opportunities just a mouse click away, it can be easy to forget about the power of putting pen to paper. We shoot off an email, find a new acquaintance on LinkedIn, or tweet that keynote speaker at our conference how spectacular their talk was.

While I do think the internet has opened up a whole new realm for staying connected, I also whole heartily believe in some other more face-to-face (or snail mail-y) methods. Which is why I encourage all young professionals to keep 3 very important items in their desk drawer: BUSINESS CARDS, PERSONALIZED STATIONERY, and THANK YOU NOTES. 

And what better way to encourage yourself to USE said items than to pick out versions you totally love!? My go-to? Basic Invite – the beautiful online stationery shop based out of St. George, UT whose passionate team has been creating the perfect card for every event (and stage of life) since 2006. The site offers a TON of templates and then allows you to customize EVERYTHING.

Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail.

Business Cards

If you’re going to exchange emails and phone numbers with a potential client anyways, why not streamline the transaction with a cute card. Hand them out at meetings and conferences, sure. But think outside the box too! (And think inside the box…as in those boxes where you throw in a card and hope for a free lunch. 😉 )

Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample so you can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before you ever have to place a final order. This is a great option to make sure the final product is totally brand aligned before ending up with a big bulk amount.

Personalized Stationery

If you want to take that extra step with a client, co-worker, or mentor; jot a few lines and stick a stamp on it! This can be especially helpful if you’re sending out physical product or need to convey information that you would like to stand out (and not get buried in an over-crowded inbox).

Basic Invite is just as colorful with their envelopes as they are with their stationery. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to envelopes so mail stands out even before it’s opened. While I chose to stick with classic white, going for a bold and branded color would be a fun way to stand out in a mail pile!

Thank You Cards

Nothing beats a hand-written thank you card. And honestly, as a young professional, no action or gift or leg-up is too small to fire off a quick paragraph of gratitude. Have a huge stack and send liberally!

If you have to send out a huge batch (think: after a large work event or wedding), you can use Basic Invite’s free address collection service to request addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing. Score!


Those are my three must-haves when it comes to professional stationery, but Basic Invite has a ton of other great uses for your work and personal life. If you’re an entrepreneurial hustler looking to get the word out about an upcoming event or special, they offer designs for promotional postcards. Throwing a party? Design your own custom party invitations or birthday invitations. The options are limitless!

Do you keep a collection of professional stationery in your desk drawer? What’s your favorite way to network? Let me know! And don’t forget to check out Basic Invite for perfectly customized stationery. 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Finding Delight!  

July Unboxed: Beauty Box 5

Hi friends! I recently received another box from Beauty Box 5 and would love to share the contents, if you’re game. In case you missed previous postsBeauty Box 5 is a subscription service that sends 5 new beauty products straight to your doorstep each month. And I know, I know. Today is the last day of August and this is my box from July but I actually didn’t receive it until this month (there were some shipping issues).

The boxes are $12/month ($10 if you order quarterly and $9 if you pay for the whole year!) and are guaranteed to include at least $35 of product. The brands are a mix of drugstore tried & trues, innovative indie, and deluxe…and so far the majority of products included are full size. Oh, and did I mention FREE SHIPPING on U.S. subscriptions? Ka-ching!

Here’s everything that was included in the July box! 3 out of 5 of the products were full size (+ they sent me a free makeup brush because of the shipment snafu!). Let’s take a look…

luseta beauty argan oil hair masqueArgan Oil Hair Masque from Luseta Beauty (Retail: $29 for full size)

This is the perfect product to restore hair after a summer full of sun, salt, and chlorine. It also protects against future heat damage and smells amazing!

 

Line & Seal Eyeliner in PLUM from Styli-Style (Retail: $6.50)

I’m not usually an eyeliner girl but something about this pretty plum color makes the whole thing feel a bit more approachable. It has a gel-like formula and glides on smooth.

 

manna kadar illuminatorGlo Illuminator from Manna Kadar Cosmetics (Retail: $29 for full size)

I don’t think I’ll be mixing this with my base (too much dewiness for me) but I love it dabbed on cheekbones for a subtle shimmer. Gotta hold on to that summery glow!

 

seraphine botanicals lip crayonQuince + Crimson Crayon from Seraphine Botanicals (Retail: $24)

This is a one stop shop product perfect for travel because it can be used as lip AND cheek color. They’re not lying about the long-lasting part either. This stuff is made to STAY.

 

Nail polish in COPACABANA CORAL from Nanacoco (Retail: $3.95)

I definitely have time for one last round of BRIGHT polish before I start pretending Miami actually has seasons and opt for more autumnal hues. My toes will be pool ready in no time!

 

BONUS: Cut the Crease brush from BB5

I was super excited to receive this extra treat as I’ve been wanting to get a new brush for eye makeup. SCORE!

 

 

For sneak peeks and monthly product info, follow Beauty Box 5 on Instagram.

Overall, I love that Beauty Box 5 includes self-care treats – like the hair mask and nail polish – alongside makeup I’d never think to try and end up loving (I’m looking at you purple eyeliner). Which product would you be most excited to try out? Do you have a favorite makeup subscription service? I would totally recommend Beauty Box 5 (even if you’re product clueless like me!). 

*Note – This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Finding Delight.