Outfit Of The Day: Shorts & Stripes

This post contains some affiliate links, which help support Brighter Sides! See footer for full disclosure.

This has been one of my favorite outfits this summer. It’s super comfy, easy to throw on, and always gets compliments when I’m out and about! It feels totally effortless but has a fun, nautical vibe that makes me feel like I should be sipping champagne on a yacht, or on a sailboat… hoisting the mizzenmast or whatever you do on sailboats (I’ve never actually been on any watercraft except for the ferry and a canoe when I was little). Can you tell?

OOTD: Shorts & Stripes

OOTD: Shorts & StripesBruno always gets worried when I put on shoes, and especially when I start standing around next to the door. He gets separation anxiety and really doesn’t like to be left alone. You can see him here next to the door, standing vigil to make sure I don’t leave. Or maybe he just really wants to be in the photo shoot.

OOTD: Shorts & StripesI have a pair of chambray TOMs that I wore almost every day the past two summers, and I’ve really been wanting to get a pair of black ones, because my TOMs are the most comfortable shoes I own, for sure. I bought this similar style of shoes for half the price, hoping they’d be as comfortable. They are roomy in the toes like TOMs are, which I like, but I’m not gonna lie, the soles aren’t nearly as comfy as the soles of TOMs are. These are okay to wear for a few hours, but I still have a pair of black TOMs on my wish list.

OOTD: Stripes & Shorts

Outfit details:
Top – French Connection – from Le Tote (similar)
Cardigan – Forever 21 (similar, and OMG how cute would this one be?)
Shorts – Forever 21 (exact, but not available in navy online, similar)
Leggings – Forever 21 (similar)
Shoes – Target (exact but only available in gray online, similar and better)
Sunglasses – Target (exact)
Necklace – Forever 21 (similar)

I probably own more stripey things than anything else, but this top was actually in my Le Tote subscription (which I wrote about here, along with a $25 off offer!) so I’ll be sending it back for some new goodies soon, and then I’ll have to figure out what else I can pair with these pieces! Do you have a favorite summer go-to outfit?

Concealer – MAC Select MoistureCover in Light
Powder Foundation – MAC ‘Mineralize’ Skinfinish in Natural
Eyeshadow – Urban Decay Naked Palette
Eyeliner – Maybelline Ultra Waterproof Liquid Liner
Mascara – Rimmel Glam’ Eyes Mascara in Extreme Black
Chapstick – Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil

P.S. You might also like these posts:
Things I Love Thursday – Birthday Wishlist Edition!
Le Tote Review + $25 off
How To Refresh Your Closet On The Cheap With Poshmark

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By Kelsi Eldredge

Refresh Your Closet On The Cheap With Poshmark – Poshmark Review

This post contains some affiliate links, which help support Brighter Sides! See footer for full disclosure.
Refresh your closet on the cheap with Poshmark - Poshmark review.I have to admit, I’ve been kind of obsessed with Poshmark lately. What is Poshmark? It’s an app where you can list things from your closet to sell, or shop other users’ closets at discounted prices.

If you like designer brands, you can find them on there for wayyy cheaper than you would pay retail, or if you’re like me, and you love shopping at thrift stores for unique pieces, but hate rummaging through rack after rack to find something that will fit you, this will be totally up your alley too! You can filter your shopping results by category, brand, size, color, price, condition, and you can also search for keywords.

I originally signed up because I’m trying to streamline my closet, and I had a bunch of things that I wanted to get rid of. Normally I donate stuff, but I had paid enough for these items to begin with, or had worn them so little (or not at all) that I was hoping to recoup some of my losses.

I have sold a couple of things on there, though I haven’t been as successful as other people that I know. To be honest, I’m kind of (really) lazy about things like this. I don’t have the time or gumption to be as active as I need to be in order to make lots of sales, and I don’t have THAT much stuff that I want to clear out. But I have been buying things! Here are my recent purchases:

Refresh Your Closet On The Cheap With Poshmark - Poshmark ReviewA pair of Clark’s oxfords heels for $10 (regular retail $84.00)

Refresh Your Closet On The Cheap With Poshmark - Poshmark ReviewA pair of black Minnetonka moccasins for $15 (regular retail $42.95)

Refresh Your Closet On The Cheap With Poshmark - Poshmark ReviewA pair of Seychelles Freesia flats for $15 (regular retail $89.99)

Am I happy with my purchases? ABSOLUTELY. The Clark’s and the Minnetonkas were unworn; the Seychelles I just bought today and haven’t received yet. They looked like they had a little bit of scuffing in the photo, but I think they’re so gorgeous that I don’t care. I’ll have them scuffed up in a week anyway. To be honest, I’ll probably resell the Clark’s, only because I forgot how terrible I am in heels. The heels aren’t very high, but I am so awkward when I walk in ANY kind of heel that I feel self conscious. Not to mention I’ve been having a lot of knee problems lately, and though Clark’s are always super comfy (I love my Clark’s boots!), I’m worried that any heel might exacerbate the knee issues. But the Minnetonka’s are adorable and so comfortable that I wore them all day at zoo on my birthday and had ZERO foot discomfort, which NEVER happens. I could live in those moccs.

I have TONS more stuff that I’ve “liked” but haven’t committed to buying yet. The benefit of “liking” something is that you can refer back to your like list later when your money is burning a hole in your pocket, AND you’ll be notified if the seller drops the price. Price drops happen pretty often, and if they drop the price at least 10%, then your shipping is only $3.99 instead of $4.99 (it’s always shipped priority), or during “closet clear out” events, shipping is only $0.99 or $1.99. All of my purchases so far, I have gotten for $0.99-$1.99 shipping. And I bought one of the pairs of shoes right after I had sold a skirt, so I just applied my balance to that, and they were basically free.

Refresh Your Closet On The Cheap With Poshmark - Poshmark Review
You can also haggle on prices, which it seems like most people do. There is a “buy now” button and an “offer” button on each listing, so it’s really easy. I suspect you can’t get discounted shipping if you make an offer instead of buying it for the listed price, though I could be wrong. As long as your offer is fair, it seems like most sellers are happy to take it, though if you’re really lowballing them (which I don’t recommend) then they could refuse, or make a counter offer. Above is an example from Mia’s closet.

I’ve been really excited about Poshmark so far, and I’m planning to continue using it. If you want to try it out, I’d be happy if you used my invite code, BLFTI. When you use the invite code, we both get $5 credit to spend! This code is only available to the first 10 people who use it, so take advantage while you can! And if you’d like to shop my Poshmark closet, you can do that right here!

Have you ever bought or sold anything on Poshmark or any similar places? What have your experiences been like?

P.S. You might also like these posts:
Le Tote Review + $25 Off
Easy Braided Hair Tutorial
Outfit Of The Day: Still Sweater Weather

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By Kelsi Eldredge

TILT – Things I Love Thursday – Birthday Wishlist Edition! June 18th, 2015

This post contains some affiliate links, which help support Brighter Sides! See footer for full disclosure.

My birthday is tomorrow (hooray!) so for this edition of Things I Love Thursday, I thought I’d share some things off of my Birthday Wishlist with you. Of course I didn’t share this wishlist with anyone (it’s actually a private board on Pinterest), so I’m not expecting to get any of this, except maybe from myself! I have gone a little crazy buying myself shoes this month – these and these, plus a few super cheap pairs off of Poshmark (use my referral code BLFTI to get $5 purchase credit!) – so those should probably count as my birthday present to myself. But it’s still fun to look!

This whimsical “beetle identification chart” from SmallTalk Studios on Society6. I think it would fit into my little gallery wall perfectly, and it resembles some of the insects that I’ve illustrated, but more brightly colored!Beetle Idendification Chart by SmallTalk Studio

I love pretty much everything that Rifle Paper Co. makes. It’s getting harder and harder to find cases for my iPhone 5c now that the 6 is out, but they still have quite a few pretty ones, like this!Rifle Paper Co. Botanical Rose iphone 5c case

This adorable striped satchel from ModCloth is 30% off right now, so it might just make it into my shopping bag of self-birthday presents yet!
Striped Satchel from ModCloth

It feels so weird and grown-uppy to want kitchen appliances, but I showed you how tiny my kitchen is, and this itty-bitty food processor wouldn’t take up much room! Plus it’s totally one of my apartment decor colors! Double win.
Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus

And speaking of things that are my apartment colors, all of the office stuff on Poppin makes me really happy! So pretty, so poppy, so organized!

That’s definitely not everything on my wishlist (there’s a lot more kitchen stuff and a lot more clothing), but those are a few of my favorites!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week, and I’ll post about what I end up doing for my birthday later on. Did you spot anything in this week’s Things I Love Thursday that’s going on your wishlist now?

P.S. You might also like these posts:
Free “HUSTLE” Printable Art
Le Tote Review & $25 off
Easy Braided Hair Tutorial

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By Kelsi Eldredge

An Everyday Vacation In The Park

The weather has been so nice and warm lately in Seattle. And that combined with extra work piling up and day-to-day responsibilities is making me itch for a vacation. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to travel, and it looks like my next trip won’t be until September. So I’m reminding myself that with the right attitude, even an afternoon off can feel like a vacation.

With that in mind, Aaron and I packed up a yummy picnic lunch with vegan “turkey” sandwiches, fresh fruit, and a pack of Palm Breeze, whose slogan, “vacay every day” was apropos of our mission.

Vacay every day with Palm Breeze on Brighter Sides blog

We took our bounty to the park for a little R&R. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Seattle that I would feel like we had wasted the day if we hadn’t gone out to enjoy one. And I especially LOVE picnics. I don’t know why, but it’s one of my favorite things to do. There’s nothing better than eating fresh fruit outside in the summer. And our drink choice was delicious! This was my first time trying Palm Breeze, it was surprisingly light and refreshing. (It’s available in Ruby Red Citrus, which I might try next time, but I got the sparkling Pineapple Mandarin Orange!) A good option for people who don’t love the taste of alcohol, though I think it would be really yummy in a cocktail, too!

Vacay every day with Palm Breeze on Brighter Sides blog
Aaron J. Shay doing what he does.

I got to sit by the water with drink in hand and watch the boats while Aaron serenaded me on ukulele, as he is wont to do. There was also a train that went overhead while we were there, which was fun, if a little noisy. It seems like the weather has been staying pretty pleasant lately, and after the long dreary months, we could use a few sunny days! I’m hoping to get out and employ the “vacay every day” idea more often in the coming months!

Vacay every day with Palm Breeze on Brighter Sides blog

Are you going on vacation this year, or are you going to take some mini stay-cations, like me? Tell me about your plans for the summer!
Oh, and to see more pictures of my outfit, with shopping links, check out this post.

P.S. You might also like these posts:
Outfit Of The Day: Picnic In The Park
Day Trip From Seattle To Twin Peaks
Day Trip From Seattle To Snoqualmie River For A Snow Day!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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By Kelsi Eldredge

Welcome To My Tiny Kitchen

I’ve been toying around with the idea of posting some (vegetarian and vegan) recipes and food posts, and last week I asked y’all to vote in a poll, and let me know whether you’d like that or not. I did a few food posts years ago, when I first started this blog, but haven’t in a long time. I’ve been hesitant to start again for a couple of reasons. Right now, I mostly blog about personal style, hair and makeup, and general life stuff, and I didn’t know whether food was too big of a leap. Also, my kitchen is tiny! I’ve seen a lot of food blogs that claim that their kitchen is tiny, but my kitchen is seriously… tiny. Observe.

My tiny kitchen - Brighter Sides Blog

Welcome to my little kitchen(ette), in all its glory! This approximately 3.5′ x 3.8′ space is equipped with a sink, a mini fridge, a microwave, a single-burner hot plate, and a very seldom used toaster oven. In case you hadn’t heard me mention it before, I live in a micro-apartment, the urban apartment equivalent of a “tiny house”. And I love it, for the most part. Really the biggest challenge is the kitchen situation. I cook a lot of the same things over and over, because they’re easy and I know that I can cook them in the space I have with the things I have available to me. There IS a shared full kitchen downstairs, but I’ve used it… maybe 3 times in the year that I’ve lived here. Hauling bags of food, pots, pans, spoons, oven mitts, etc. down four flights of stairs isn’t fun or convenient, and it’s even less fun and convenient when all of those things are piping hot and you are carrying them back up 4 flights of stairs.

my tiny kitchen - brighter sides blog

Part of the reason why I’ve been thinking of doing food posts is not only to diversify Brighter Sides a little bit, but also because it will be motivation to diversify what I cook and eat, and get me out of this curry/chili/frozen microwave burrito rut. I LIKE to cook and I know HOW to make other things, I just don’t because it’s difficult. But I want to start branching out a little bit, learning and creating new recipes. I’m interested to see what else I can do to make cooking in this tiny space more enjoyable.

The results of the poll were mostly positive, with a couple “nah’s” and a couple “eh’s” but mostly “heck yeah’s”. So hopefully in the future, you’ll be seeing more of this little area of my life and my home. Although sadly, this little plate (which was the first in my Seattle/Washington decorative plate collection) has passed out of this realm of existence, as I recently bumped into it (I bump into things a lot), and knocked it off the wall. Rest in pieces, little World’s Fair collector’s plate.
Seattle World's Fair Collector's Plate

If you’d like to vote, I still have the poll running in the sidebar on the left. Also, feel free to leave me a comment!

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By Kelsi Eldredge