Tuesday, July 31, 2012

twenty seven by 27.

yes, it's true! today is my 26th birthday. this past year has been full of "new"---> a new state. a new home. a new job (somewhere). a new circle of friends. new grocery stores. a new routine. with a fresh start comes new dreams and goals. so without further adieu, here are my twenty seven goals i hope to accomplish before my birthday next year:  

1 // find a hairdresser i love.
2 // go thrifting in NYC.
3 // grow an herb garden.
4 // complete an art journal.
5 // find a favorite coffee shop.
6 // send at least a few handwritten letters.
7 //  visit the local farmer's market.
8 // find (and become a member at) a gym.
9 // host another free to be me self-esteem workshop.
10 // continue to do video blogging.
11 // keep a running list of meal ideas to prevent stressful mondays.
12 // make (or buy) an eye cream.
13 // order business cards.
14 // improve my pancake making skills.
15 // complete (at least one) DIY project from pinterest.
16 // surprise j with a candlelight dinner (with wine, of course).
17 // continue to practice yoga for flexibility and strength.
18 // eat more fruits and veggies and less carbs.
19 // create and utilize a money management plan (aka budget).
20 // make more smoothies.
21 // organize my favorite recipes.
22 // continue to customize my blog layout {possibly get a re-design}.
23 // delete unnecessary emails.
24 // continue to seek out guest blogging opportunities.
25 // start using more coupons.
26 // continue to treat myself by getting my nails done. (yeah, this one is so hard.) 
27 // take vitamins.

here's to another year of life! i think i'll go treat myself to a frappuccino. :)


Monday, July 30, 2012

{more} thrifting tips!

my top ten thrifting tips has been one of my most popular posts to date. i've come up with a few more tips to pass along to all you bargain hunters. enjoy!

// check for damage.
unfortunately, when thrifting, you need to have a different mentality than retail shopping. i never assume that a piece of clothing is in perfect condition. make sure you check for holes, stains, zippers and/or seams coming apart. there's nothing worse than scoring a great deal just to get it home to find damage that you overlook. {talk about a kill-joy}

// keep a running list.
it's so helpful to keep a list of items you desire to add to your wardrobe. then, when thrifting, you can stay focused on what you really need. i just started using the wunderlist ap for the iphone. i have a list on that ap called "want to add to my wardrobe." no matter what store i'm in, i always have my handy list with me. here are a few pieces i'm hoping to find {hopefully thrifting}:

running list

// ask for specials, find out the deals & return policy.
lots of thrift stores have weekly specials but may not advertise them blatantly. it always helps to ask an associate. you don't want to be missing out if a particular tag color is on sale. and if you were thrifting on a particularly emotional day, be sure you can return your impulse purchase a few days later.

//if you are buying shoes, wear them around the store. 
can i get an amen? anyone else bought shoes and thought oh yeah, these are super comfortable, but then you wear them for more than 30 seconds at home and your feet start screaming?! i share this tip from experience. just stepping into a shoe is NOT the same as walking in them.

here are some other helpful thrifting tips posts: one, two, three.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

links to love.


how cute is this print? totally going to display it in our new place.

she took the words right out of my mouth: on excuses, stress, facebook and living.

25 diy beauty recipes in one place. perfection.

a convicting post on getting stuck, especially in the ministry world.

really want some of these...

this lipstick looks like the perfect punch of pink. {and at the right price!}

what a great idea! you should really follow her blog. she has some of the best & most practical DIY projects.

the newest blog i'm following. 

thanks to all my readers & followers for supporting style of a songbird. love you guys!


Friday, July 27, 2012

high five for friday.

hey everyone! linking up with lauren for high five for friday to celebrate the bright parts of my week.

the best day of this week was spent with my mom.
i thought i would highlight five fabulous parts of that day.
here they are {in no particular order}: 

shellac manicures!

we stopped at starbucks for some pick me ups. my mom got the new refresher (the lime one). it has a really different taste {i think it's for more mature taste buds...}. i stuck with my iced soy chai. 

makeup shopping! there's nothing better than new mascara, lipstick or foundation, right?
i picked up some new tarte mascara (all natural) at ulta. 

lights, camera, lashes! natural mascara
{find it here}.

jewelery shopping at charming charlies. that place is amazing! 
one of my favorite items i picked up was this statement ring:

Photo: Lovin my new ring! Thanks, mom! <3

thrifting. i got a pair of skinny jeans that fit perfectly. score.
{my mom's sunglasses are thrifted too. aren't they awesome?!}

hope you enjoy your weekend! we have a big week ahead: my 26th birthday & our 4 year anniversary!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

brave soul, i see you.

{that's mandy. stunning, right?} 

i consider her one of my mentors {like when she comments on one of your photos you get giddy kind of mentor}. she takes people under her wing and simultaneously whispers, "fly" daily. i've been reading her blog since 2005, and now through the wonderful connections of social media, i have the privilege of having her in my "circle." she left me this comment on instagram last week:

brave soul, i see you. 

brave isn't a word i would typically use to describe myself. 
i've always said "i'm not really adventurous or risky or tough." 
but those words were imprinted in my mind. they've been stuck on repeat. 

brave soul, i see you.

i began to consider all the huge life transitions that j & i have been through these past few {but feel like forever, in the best way} years. and thought...

i can do this.
we've been through the fire, and come out stronger, gaining wisdom, and strength. 

maybe i am brave, after all.

BRAVE SOUL SONG 9x6 original painting
{how perfect is this amazing painting? with a bird & all!}

i haven't written a post on my one word choice in a while. but mandy's declaration got me thinking... 

peace breeds bravery. {or possibly vice versa}

for example, have you ever been around people who are confident without needing the spotlight? who carry themselves with such grace and make people feel cozy and comfortable? {another mentor of mine netta is certainly one that comes to my mind.} people who earn respect and honor by who they are. who ooze peace. 

i have truly been fortunate to call women of this caliber my friends. they bring peace wherever they go. but not necessarily in a quiet or passive way.

sometimes peace gets a bad rap. see, peace is not wimpy. but strong. and brave. 
furthermore, peace does not equal inaction.

i've come to realize through the life transitions i've been thrust into this year that embracing my "one word" of peace brought more strength and {get going} courage than idle waiting or meditating. 

peace has certainly taken on a new meaning for me. so many times peace in our culture is viewed as two fingers in the air or the absence of turmoil or conflict. but peace is the strength that grounds us and holds us. peace surpasses finite human understanding or how a situation "appears."  

peace is active.

{this painting captures the active essence of peace to me.}

peace is just as much {{energy}} as it is the lack of some.

grateful for this realization that as i embrace peace, bravery is expanding.

so mandy, from my brave soul to yours, thank you for re-naming me.


Monday, July 23, 2012

i heart head scarves part II.

headscarf tips

did you miss part I of the head scarf series? check it out here. i shared a video of a folding technique and two ways to wear a scarf as a head wrap. below are a few more of my head scarf tips that i've learned throughout my years of thrifting vintage scarves and repurposing them as head wraps. 

// size matters
sometimes, i get drawn to a scarf because of it's pattern or color, but it's important to notice the size as well. some scarves are just too big and bulky to wear as a headwrap. and some are too short. when you fall in love with a scarf, fold it and/or try it on first. of course, if you are buying it to wear as an actual scarf, this doesn't matter so much.


// enlist reinforcement
i always used to wrap a scarf around once, tie it in the back and have the ends flowing down on my neck. i found that they would slip back and off my head and i would be constantly retying them {especially with silk}.wrapping the scarf around twice gives a much better hold. when i use the method from my video (part I), i never have to worry about them slipping back or off. another way i ensure that they stay put is by tying them closer to my forehead, usually over the tops of my ears. (more like the picture in the bottom right than the bottom left in the collage above).

// the terrific turban
i think this style looks the best on my long haired friends, so i don't sport the turban too often. but this video is super helpful in showing you the step by step method to tying your scarf into a super trendy turban.

happy head scarf-ing!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

if you really knew me...

if you really knew me, you'd know...

i just recently became a "coffee" person. {dunkin did not disappoint}.

i dream of spending afternoons creating/painting but when i sit down, many times all my inspiring ideas seem to escape.

i still stare at my wedding ring like i did the night he proposed.  

if you really knew me, you'd know...

growing up i wanted to be a news anchor.  {katie couric was/is my favorite}. 

i have a hard time eating any meat that i prepare myself. i remember what it looked like raw and it completely grosses me out.

i get asked almost weekly if i have fake eyelashes on. {nope, they are seriously just that long}. 

if you really knew me, you'd know...

although we look a little different, my husband and i have so many similarities. i knew i wanted to marry him cuz he really "gets" me...i was completely comfortable around him. (we even have matching glasses. :) 

sometimes i wish i could have long hair...just for a day. 

i have 6,221 unread email messages, the vast majority from stores. i wish i could just get a fresh start with my gmail. {i'm horrible with responding to emails/voicemails}.

if you really knew me, you'd know...

i wear {bright} lipstick most days for {no} special occasion. one of the best decisions i've made.

i am a thrifter/bargain shopper in nearly every area of my life...except for hair products. pureology shampoo and conditioner is SO worth it.

dave barnes is one of my favorite artists. {next to my hubby, his voice melts me.}

...now you know me a little bit better! 

{this was inspired by a post by casey}. 


Friday, July 20, 2012

high five for friday.

happiest of fridays to you! here's a look back at the past seven days of my life...

i spent a morning at the beach...a mile away from our house!

since we have three bedrooms in our new place, one of those gets to be my "art" space. i've spent some time getting the room set up...now if i can only find my art journal hidden somewhere in a box! :( 

slowly but surely, i'm starting to work out again. i've been jogging through our neighborhood and have used this youtube video a few times. anyone else have any great free online fitness videos to share?

i'm enjoying the seventy degree days vs the ninety degree days. i love summer, but it's nice to have a break from the oppressive heat. 

if you ever come to Connecticut, you have to go enjoy a delicious meal at Chip's. i'm usually not a huge breakfast person, but this meal was incredible!
coconut + almond + chocolate chip pancakes and a california omelette! 

linking up with lauren for high five for friday. 
happy weekend everyone!


Thursday, July 19, 2012


birds and stars.

today, i am grateful.

i want to say thank you to my followers, readers, anyone who has left a comment, taken the time to encorage me, give me feedback and have joined me in this journey of style of a songbird.

thank you to my sweet husband for supporting me and putting up with late nights of brainstorming, writing & editing, in order to unlock the creativity in my mind and heart.

i apologize to any of my male friends who have to put up with me constantly talking about beauty, fashion and girlie content for the blog. ;) shout out to AJ, one of my loyal male readers (he even made the sour cream chocolate chip muffins! oh yeah).

this blog will continue to evolve based on the circumstances of my life. i started this online space to document my life, share inspiration and encourage others to embrace style on a budget. and i will continue to do so.

i have gained so much by being part of the blogging community. my life has truly been enriched by the many beautiful women who have crossed my path and become a part of my online network of friends.

style of a songbird is my platform to use my voice to add to the symphony of bloggers out there. if you are stopping by for the first time, or have been a follower since day one, today, i just want to say...



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

thrift store score!

if you are new to style of a songbird, you should know that i am a die hard thrifter. the majority of my wardrobe is from thrift stores (mostly goodwill). below is my favorite thrifted outfit from this summer. {i've worn the striped maxi skirt so much. even for our photoshoot}. 

this week, i stumbled upon a wonderful online resource for all of us thrifters! it's called The Thrift Shopper.com. it's filled with helpful thrifting tips, a discussion board and a search engine.

there is a page where you enter your zipcode and it lists all the thrift stores near you. not only that, but each store has a link to their website, and reviews with the categories of selection, pricing, organization, customer service and cleanliness, as well as written feedback from fellow thrifters. 

since my hubby and i just moved to a new state, this site was super helpful for me to start my thrifting adventures! hope you can find some great new places to shop through this site. enjoy!


Monday, July 16, 2012

i heart head scarves: part I

headscarf tips

i've been a headscarf / headwrap / headband fan for years. they are such a fun way to dress up my short hair and add a pop of pattern or color to a neutral outfit! i posted the above photo on instagram (eesimpson) and had someone ask how i get them to stay on without slipping. so, i thought i would share some of my headscarf tips with all of you. 

// slippery silk
a lot of the vintage scarves i've found thrifting are silk. when used as headscarves, they can slip and slide pretty easily. if you happen to find a scarf that's a little bit more of a "rough" texture, these are great to use as headwraps. i have one in particular that's paisley {the one in the photo above}, but it's not silk. it's one of my favorites and stays put all day. (silk still works of course, but be on the lookout for material that's less slippery).

//bobby pins to the rescue
this may be a no brainer to some of you, but if you need a little more reinforcement for your scarf, use a few bobby pins along the edges to ensure that it stays in place. did you know that you are supposed to put the ridged side down, toward your scalp with the flat side up? try it. seriously. {thanks to kate for this tip}.

// secret of the fold
how you fold your scarf is key to the particular look you want to achieve. i thought instead of trying to take pictures, i would just show you. i am so excited to share my first video with you all! below is a step by step tutorial on how to fold and wear your scarf two different ways. enjoy!

i've got more helpful headscarf tips to come! stay tuned for part II coming soon...


links to love.


i hope you all enjoy these posts. these are probably the ones i personally go back to the most. i think "oh yeah, i linked back to that awesome DIY idea or recipe i was meaning to try." here's some more helpful hints & inspiration for you to enjoy:

don't know if i'll ever have a nose piercing again, but this makes me miss it. 

i've been really into vinaigrettes lately. this fresh and simple summer salad sounds wonderful.

i've been reading her blog forever. she describes her blogging process in this post. super interesting! 

coconut and chocolate...two of my favorite things

talk about a to-the-point, convicting, real-talk post.

gonna try some of her workouts soon.

a goal of mine.

i've been seeing totes like this all over. i think i'll try and DIY one if i can pick one up thrifting. 


Saturday, July 14, 2012

links to love.


throughout my time online, i "star" or bookmark so many links. here are a few i've been loving lately! enjoy!

i'm incorporating more exercise into my everyday life. this was super helpful.

i love anything greek.

helpful step by step guideline to ensure your lispstick lasts all day.

banana bread with a special twist.

planning on making this for dinner next week. {comfort food at it's best}

how cute is this?

these smoothies sound divine.

this really intrigued me. can't decide if i'm a fan or not. what do you think?

i read somewhere that this lip color in "purty persimmon"is amazing.
i'll let you know when i pick some up!

i've met some super sweet bloggers since staring my own. she is one of them.


Friday, July 13, 2012

high five for friday.

here i am, on thursday evening reflecting on the past week. it's been a week full of peace & settling in. i enjoyed lots of time getting things set up here and finally bought groceries! {one of the coolest things i discovered here is that they put RIPE stickers on their avocados. SO helpful! am i the only one who had the worst time picking the right avocado?!}

here are five wonderful things about the past seven days... 

i enjoyed the beautiful 80 degree weather on our deck.

we had dinner with our friends Rachel and Felix who just moved to Connecticut from Michigan too! such a great time of conversation and lots of hugs from their three adorable kids.

made this DIY beauty treatment. my skin feels amazing!!

scored some awesome thrifting finds. two new {to me} pairs of shoes! already worn them both. l o v e! 

my baby officiated a wedding. so proud. :)

{he looks SO good in a suit.}

linking up with lauren for high five for friday.

happy weekend!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

boyfriend jeans: part III

this is the final post of a three part series. 
you can read the first two posts here and here.


it was harder for me to find images of boyfriend jeans with a boho look. but these sorta show what i'm dreaming up: fun accessories, like hats or scarves, simple sandals or wedges, and relaxed tops.

the boyfriend jeans.Boyfriend Cut Jeans

here are my essentials for rockin the boho look with a great pair of boyfriend jeans:

boho boyfriend jeans

i had so much fun with this series! i plan on doing more in the future.
as always, thanks for reading! <3


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

celebrating our "usness."

just before our big move {from michigan to connecticut}, j & i had the privilege to do a photo shoot with christen
 christenBphotography blog bio picture

{isn't she beautiful?}

it was such a special morning together exploring downtown Grand Rapids one last time before we moved 800 miles away. she wrote the sweetest article and gave us a sneak peak at some of the photos. these photos capture, as christen says ---> our "usness."

{because jeremy's hands are so much bigger, i have always held his pinky.
i love that she captured that.}

{we were such rebels, laying in the street to get the bottom left shot.}

{i love the kiss on the cheek.}

{standing on my tip toes.}

if you are in the west michigan area, i highly recommend Christen for all your photography needs!