Create & Cultivate Conference Recap

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On Saturday, I attended Create & Cultivate, “a creative conference and online platform for female entrepreneurs in the digital space” founded by Jaclyn Johnson. It was the first time the conference has taken place in Chicago and I was lucky enough to purchase a ticket before the event sold out.

Dress, Booties, Tote Bag, Gorjana Necklace, Gold Aviators

To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what the conference was all about but saw that there was a rockstar lineup of lady bosses speaking throughout the day so I dove right in.

I signed up solo and therefore had major anxiety leading up to the event. I had been to similar large conferences (Alt Summit and Engage) and know that a 10-hour day of networking can be scary and downright exhausting. But, I did my research on #CreateCultivateCHI on Instagram and spotted a  familiar face in the lineup – Maureen from Kate & Company, whom I had worked with in the past. And even though I introduced myself to a ton of new people, it was nice to have a friend in the bunch to touch base with during breakouts. 

The action-packed day was split into panels, workshops, mentoring sessions, a keynote speaker and socializing with other female entrepreneurs. Plus, there was a shopping lounge by Whitney Eve (who was also a speaker), Topshop, Lulu & Georgia and Simon G. and a beauty lounge offering OPI manicures and hair and makeup touchups.  Why did I even get ready for the day?! 

What I Thought:

The standout panelists for me were ones that gave the most “real-world” advice – Erica Domesek from P.S. – I Made This, Jessica Sturdy from Bows & Sequins, Whitney Port from Whitney Eve and of course, Garance Doré. Garance was effortless and funny while being professional at the same time. With inspiring advice such as, “the heart first then the success follows” and “you cannot be everything to everyone,” I am really looking forward to reading her book coming out in the fall. 

Although there may be many people doing the same things, it is important to set yourself apart just by being YOU. We may buy the same bag or read the same blogs, but each person is unique. No one can be ME and I am pretty darn happy about that. So now it is time to hustle!

I was also happy to connect with the sister-duo behind White Elephant Designs, Kate from The Small Things, Rachel from Between Two Coasts, Kristin from Bridentity Crisis, Ashley from Ashley & Malone and Jay Goldmark from EmiJay during my mentor session. 

All in all, I am happy that I attended Create & Cultivate and look forward to more events here in Chicago. I would love to hear if you attended the event, what you thought or if you have any questions about that day. Let me know in my comments section!

What I Wore:

I stressed and stressed about what to wear and what to bring. After all, most of the women speaking and attending are quite fashionable. I chose this patterned, silk dress because it was stylish, comfortable and minimal on the wrinkle-factor (important when toggling between sitting and standing all day), black booties to last 10 hours on my feet and my trusty black tote filled with my camera, phone charger, lipstick and business cards. 

Dress, Booties, Tote Bag, Gorjana Necklace, Gold Aviators

Picnic Style

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The first moment the weather gets warm in Chicago, I am already mentally planning all of the places I would like to dine al fresco including the park. I love to pack a picnic, grab a blanket, and spend hours outdoors.

The first key to a successful outing: comfort! The pleats on this sleeveless top keep wrinkles at a minimum and the sheer details add just the right amount of flirtiness.

Pair it with your favorite pair of jeans (who wants to spend the whole afternoon messing with a skirt) and a crossbody bag and you’re all set!

Tomorrow I’ll share my perfect picnic essentials

Pleated Cotton Sleeveless Top, Jeans, Nude Wedges, Rebecca Minkoff Handbag, Gold Initial Necklace, Gold Watch, Tortoise Round Sunglasses, Picnic Blanket (in stores at Target), Picnic Basket (vintage but I love this one)

Tutti Frutti –

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With summer pool parties and barbecues on my mind, I can’t help but think of pineapples and watermelons and lemons, oh my!  And even though these may taste super delicious, they look even better on these fun, cheeky items below. 

For home, I am dying over the Pineapple Wallpaper that would look amazing in a powder room, but will probably invest in the Ceramic Pineapple or “Lemons” Print first. 

For the pool or beach, I would wear the Pineapple Coverup with my Pineapple Swim Suit all while drinking a cocktail filled with pineapple-shaped ice ????

Which is your favorite? 

Pineapple Wallpaper, Ceramic Pineapple, Pineapple Brass Door Knocker, Pineapple Coverup,  Pineapple Ice Tray, Pineapple Swim Suit, Gold Pineapple Stud Earrings, Watermelon Coin Purse, Watermelon Espadrilles, Lemon Pillow, Watermelon Cooler Bag, Watermelon Clutch, “Lemons” Print

Best Products for Fine Hair

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Unfortunately, I did not win in the hair gene pool and have been trying for years to find the best products for fine hair. I’ve spent more money on than I care to admit on lotions and potions promising to amp up my locks, but I am happy to report that I’ve finally found six products that I can’t live without.

Best Products for Fine Hair

  • Living proof full shampoo – A sulfate-free daily shampoo formulated specifically to care for flat, lifeless hair.
  • Living proof full conditioner – An oil-free, silicone-free conditioner formulated specifically to care for fine, thin or lifeless hair.
  • Bumble & bumble All-Style Blow Dry – Use a dime size amount to protect and prep your hair for blowing drying.
  • Kenra Volume Mousse – Apply a dollop at the roots for a non-sticky root-booster before blow drying your hair.
  • Moroccanoil Treatment Light – I always thought oil would weigh down my hair but the ‘Light‘ version of this treatment tames flyaways while keeping the volume. Plus, it smells a-mazing.
  • Kevin Murphy Dry Shampoo – For days that I don’t wash my hair (which is pretty infrequent), this dry shampoo gives my hair a much-needed lift.

The products I recommended do cost more than drugstore brands but after years of working at a hair salon in college, I believe in the power of professional products.

If you want to get great results, I think it is worth it to spend a little bit more money. Just make sure your family members aren’t using them too!

 

Bumble & bumble All-Style Blow Dry, Living proof full shampoo, Living proof full conditioner, Kevin Murphy Dry Shampoo, Kenra Volume Mousse, Moroccanoil Treatment Light

Stay Tuned…Everyday Cuvée

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I have taken a little break from the blog for the past couple months for work-related reasons, but I will be back soon with new content!

In the meantime, please follow me on Instagram and Shop my favorite finds!

Gifts for Host + HostessEveryday Cuvée

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Gifts for Host + Hostess // Courtney Callahan

1. Matches // 2. Candle // 3. Guest Book // 4. Stag Bottle Opener // 5. Cocktail Napkins // 6. Tic Tac Toe //
7. Pitcher // 8. Champagne Ornament // 9. Copper Tray // 10. Camera // 11. Elements of Style //
12. Espresso Cups // 13. Monogrammed Towels // 14. Ceramic Coffee Dripper

Best Summer Beach ReadsEveryday Cuvée

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If you are anything like me, reaching for a book after a long work day just doesn’t happen very often anymore. It’s all about the couch and maybe some reality TV before drifting off to sleep and doing it all over again the next day. Reading has become a luxury. It represents the best parts of summer: laying by the pool or beach (if I’m on vacation), cold drink in hand, and drifting away for a few hours into a new world through a great story in summer beach reads.

Here are the best summer beach reads for this year —

I’ve read these already…

1. Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (author The Vactioneers)

2. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

3. Imagine Me Gone by Adam Hassett

4. Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

On my reading list…

5. First Comes Love by Emily Giffin (author of Something Borrowed and many more, releasing June 28)

6. The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberg (author of The Devil Wears Prada)

7. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (author of Prep)

8. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (author of Big Little Lies, available July 26)

9. Break in Case of Emergency by Jessica Winter

10. Invincible Summer by Alice Adams

Any other books I should add to my list?

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

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It’s February which means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. In addition to giving loved ones a thoughtful card or a sweet treat, a small gift may be in order. So, I’ve rounded up a Valentine’s Day gift guide for all of the lovely ladies in your life. The good news? Everything is under $75! 

I Love Us Print, You Are So Incredibly Awesome Print, Gold Lipstick Mug, Eberjey Lingerie Bra and Underwear, Card Case, Earrings, Posie Tint, Sunglasses, Arrow Earrings, Ring, Luggage Tag, Passport Case, Makeup Case

Kendra Scott St. Louis

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Kendra Scott St. Louis is now open at Plaza Frontenac and I was lucky to have hosted the opening night party to celebrate the occasion!

Guests were invited to join me, Kendra Scott community manager Anna Keenan and the super-stylish Kendra Scott team for a night of shopping, sipping and selecting their very own piece from the Color Bar – all beautifully captured by Amy Rau Photography.

If you are not familiar with the Color Bar, it is pretty much THE most amazing thing to happen to jewelry since, well since Kendra Scott!

Using an in-store touch screen, you select a earring, bracelet, necklace or ring style; select the metal (gold, rose gold or silver for most pieces); and then choose your stone color(s) from a wide range of hues.

The jewelry piece is made right then and there by a member of the talented and Kendra Scott team for you to take home! It is the perfect way to showcase your personal style or even coordinate an entire bridal party look.

Not located near a KS store? You can also design your piece using the Color Bar online.

Since I was in the market for a timeless style, I chose the Connely necklace with gold metal and white pearl stones. I also picked up a killer Naomi ring in Iridescent Drusy which I had been eying since my visit to the Kendra Scott store in Chicago.

The St. Louis store is not only bright and beautiful, it is stocked full of colorful jewels and a super-knowledgeable staff. Plus, if you stop by this Saturday you can customize a gold Corla necklace FREE with a $50 purchase!

Thank you to Anna and the whole Kendra Scott team for making the night so fun for each and every guest and welcome to St. Louis!

Keep scrolling for more photos of the party by the talented Amy Rau Photography!

All photos: Amy Rau Photography

Blue Kitchen Cabinets

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Every time I log into Pinterest or flip through a home decor magazine, I fall in love with images of blue kitchen cabinets. From light blue-gray hues to deep navy, every shade looks sophisticated when paired with white subway tiles, marble countertops and brass hardware.

The color palette can work in virtually any space. Whether you live in a modern farmhouse or bohemian abode, simply choose your accessories wisely – a farmhouse sink and copper mixer for the country girl at heart or a woven rug and open wood shelving for a more laid back look.

The best paint colors for blue kitchen cabinets:  

  • Blue-gray color (think Cape Cod): Benjamin Moore Van Courtland Blue
  • Medium blue (reminiscent of the ocean): Stiffkey Blue by Farrow & Blue
  • Dark blue: Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams color matched to Kelly Moore Dura Poxy

Read on to see more blue kitchen cabinet inspiration!

Image by Eric Lissen on Martha Stewart

Image by Chris Patey on My Domaine

Image via Ivory Lane

Image via My Domaine

Image via Homebunch.com

Image via Brittany Makes