The Do Good Gift Guide

 

2bc2b2fb051a4edd69e289d29ec83fe3

Image Credit

Instead of buying unnecessary crap like this, consider doing some good this holiday season. I thought about putting together another round of traditional gift guides, but with the state of our country and the world right now, it seemed fitting to do something a little more meaningful. And the older I get, I find my list isn’t as long as it used to be and the idea of giving and receiving a ton of material things seems silly when so many people truly need help. So I’ve put together a list of my favorite (and highly rated/accredited) charities that could use some love this holiday season.

Veterans:
Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust
About: The DAV Charitable Service Trust supports physical and psychological rehabilitation programs that provide direct service to ill, injured, or wounded veterans.
Donate

Puppies Behind Bars
About: Puppies Behind Bars (PBB) trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and explosive detection canines for law enforcement.
Donate
*This helps so many people and animals from all walks of life. How can you go wrong?

Families and Children:
National Pediatric Cancer Foundation
About: The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research to eliminate childhood cancer. Our focus is to fund research to fast track less toxic, more targeted treatments by partnering with 20 leading hospitals nationwide.
Donate

Ronald McDonald House
About: Our network of local Chapters has been making children happier and healthier by keeping families close – giving them a place to rest and refresh. A place that feels like home. These programs, tailored to meet the urgent needs of each community, can now be found in more than 63 countries and regions across the globe.
Donate
*This was our sorority’s charity during college and seeing the smiles on the families faces when we’d show up to clean, cook (or just listen) at the RM Houses was priceless.

International:
American Refugee Committee  
About: Providing humanitarian assistance to millions of beneficiaries for over 35 years. We help people rebuild lives of dignity, health, and self-sufficiency.
Donate

Amigos International 
About: The Vision of AMIGOS is “A world where each young person becomes a life-long catalyst for social change.” AMIGOS works towards this vision by inspiring and building young leaders through collaborative community development and immersion in cross-cultural experiences.
Donate
*My sister did this program and my mom has volunteered for them for years.

Pencils of Promise:
About: We believe every child should have access to quality education. We create schools, programs and global communities around the common goal of education for all. 100% of online donations go to PoP programs.
Donate

Animal Welfare:
ASPCA
About: Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization.
Donate

Susie’s Senior Dogs:
About: Susie’s Senior Dogs is 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to bring awareness to and increase senior dog adoptions. Homeless senior dogs have one of the hardest times getting adopted simply because of their age. People fear adopting an older for a variety of reasons, but we’re here to tell a different story. Senior dogs have so much love to give!  And although it’s true that you might have less time together than you would when adopting a puppy, a senior dog makes up for it with their appreciation of being given a second chance. There’s nothing like earning the love an older animal.
Donate

City Dogs and City Kitties:
About: City Dogs Rescue rescues adoptable dogs and cats in overcrowded and high-kill shelters, where resources are severely limited. We offer a lifeline to as many of these wonderful animals as possible. Sadly, many of the dogs and cats that City Dogs Rescue takes are just days — and sometimes hours — away from being euthanized for no reason other than lack of space. By finding these animals permanent and loving homes in the DC metropolitan area, we can enrich lives of humans and their pets.
Donate
*This is a local rescue organization in DC and it’s where I adopted my dog, Plum!

CARE: 
About: The Center for Animal Research and Education is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to education, research, rescue, and long-term care for exotic animals. Located on 20 acres in Bridgeport, TX, CARE currently provides a permanent home to over 40 animals including mountain lions, African lions, tigers, black and spotted leopards, bobcats, ring-tail lemurs, llamas, and a coati.
Donate

Where to find more worthy causes:
Charity Navigator

Charity Watch

If you still want to get a physical gift but donate to a cause while you’re at it, consider companies that do so as part of their business operation:

Live Fashionable
Toms
Warby Parker
The Company Store
Pura Vida
Feed
Global Goods Partners
House of Light
Ten Thousand Villages

OR shopping through Amazon Smile. 

Fall Bedding Refresh

After a couple years of wear and tear, (plus a ridiculous amount of dog fur) I’ve been looking for a new duvet cover to give my bed a little refresh. I wanted something neutral and affordable.

When Vaulia Home Collection reached out about a collaboration, it sounded like the perfect fit and timing! After browsing around their site with a bunch of options to offer, I chose the reversible 300 count duvet cover in gray/white. I love the idea of the two different sides to change up the look and it’s a quick and easy process.

I’ve put together both looks below- hope you enjoy! I also brought in a couple pillows from storage and added a new blanket I purchased at Flying Tiger in NYC. I think I’ll stick with the white for now and can flip it over when I’m itching for a change! This is a great cover if you’re looking for something simple and affordable. 

2016-11-19-14-44-02 2016-11-19-14-43-49 2016-11-19-14-43-38 2016-11-19-14-43-07 2016-11-19-14-41-46 2016-11-19-14-50-29 2016-11-19-14-50-40 2016-11-19-14-50-52 2016-11-19-14-52-10 2016-11-19-14-52-21 2016-11-19-14-52-27 2016-11-19-14-52-35 2016-11-19-14-53-05 2016-11-19-14-53-22  2016-11-19-14-53-452016-11-19-14-55-03

Thanks to Vaulia Home Collection for sponsoring this post. I’m accepting sponsored posts again, so if you think your brand might be a good fit, email studiostyleblog@gmail.com
PS- I know the blog has been on a major  hiatus since January of this year.. I’ll dive into everything in a separate recap post but thanks for sticking around and I hope to get back into the swing of blogging again very soon! 🙂

The Perfect Gift: Framebridge

Obviously we’re post-holidays (and I desperately need to take down my dying tree) but I wanted to share a Christmas present that I gave my parents and this gift idea would work for any birthday, anniversary, special occasion or holiday.

My parents are die-hard Royals fans and Kansas City natives so I wanted to get a commemorative piece for them for Christmas. I found this gorgeous photograph on Etsy and knew I wanted it framed and matted. In the past, I’ve ordered frames from craft stores and Ikea has a pretty good selection, but the cheaper frames don’t always hold up well. I wanted something nicer that would look great for years to come.

il_570xN.863066583_3nyh

Enter: Framebridge. I’ve heard a lot about the service but hadn’t tried it yet. They reached out to me to use their service on a trial order, so I knew this would be the perfect fit. I’ll walk you through the process:

  • Upload your photo or art to the site
  • Choose the size of frame and matting you want
  • Choose the type and color of frame you want
  • Fill out your preferred method to send it in- they give you a free shipping label (and package if you need it).
  • You’re done!

Here’s a look at the process of choosing frames. I love that you can see exactly how it will look, the sizing and scale, mat, etc. These were among my top favorites: fb2 fb3 fb1I ended up selecting the Mercer frame with a white mat including a black core. The extra little core within the mat makes the photograph really pop and looks so elegant in person.

FB4The greatest part of the story was on Christmas morning as we were about to open our gifts, we were talking about the Royals and my dad said, completely unaware of my gift, “I wish we bought one of those photographs showing the crowd and the skyline for the Royals world series celebration parade…. that would be really nice” And I had a small freak out internally because… that’s exactly the gift I got for them! So needless to say when they opened it, my parents were both shocked and extremely happy. I always love giving gifts but this one in particular was so fun.

Here are a couple shots of the framed photo in person! It turned out beautifully and looks perfect over the piano in my parents’ living room.IMG_0681

IMG_0682 IMG_0684 IMG_0687 IMG_0685 IMG_0680

If you’re looking for the perfect gift, head over to Framebridge! The process was so quick and easy and I love the end product. And their prices are really affordable for quality, customized framing.

Framebridge provided me with a complimentary trial for one frame but all opinions, reviews and tips are my own. If you’re interested in sponsoring a post or advertising, please contact me here

Four Gorgeous Design Trends for 2016

2016 is going to be a good year for design, and a bad year for my budget 🙂 From metallic to marble, vintage rugs to Scandinavian-style design, here are some of my favorite design trends that will make a big splash in homes this year.

Rose gold: A close friend of copper, but slightly different, this metallic trend is looking great in any form- side tables, lamps, seating, flatware and even shelving. 
cb2 c87f10e48b92fa7d4d33cc377922d2a3 dotandbotarget huffingtonpost

Images via:  1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 //

 

Marble: A classic for many years, but marble seems to be going mainstream now. Retailers like Target are producing affordable and chic pieces that include real marble. I can’t get enough.

79fe45dc7cdbf5619d9ed43bc8047a3c   DkStBs48x28MblTpF14_3D smart-marble-top-c-table 79f27eefa3545bca81d3f1036801b95b suspend-media-console  marble-wall-mounted-shelf 17319999box-frame-coffee-table-marble-antique-bronze-3-c
Images via: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 //

Vintage inspired decor: Vintage rugs from across the globe are making their way into every living room, bedroom, hallway and kitchen lately. The unique colors and patterns make each seem one of a kind and they can add great texture and interest to any space. Wall hangings are also coming back as statement pieces and it’s a great addition to hang over a bed, sofa or even incorporated into a gallery wall. 03cb39f3f18c4e3a90ddc830d7372794 424dfb7c57f2f988216dff7b341bee1d 1222958ac18d23173d24ce9bc6a3f69d 8aff585026a7f1608e17439903dd5f0b

Images via: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 //

Scandinavian Interiors: These images almost make me want to throw out everything I own, paint all the walls white and start with a clean slate. Of course, I won’t be doing that… but the look is so striking and beautiful.

1e577f7dd52a4403227699161d784f9b st2main.original.640x0c 1a9fb5baed8d944c9fbebf98824243d9

Images via: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 

Studio Apartment Tour: Chicago

I have a great studio apartment tour for you today! Introducing Sing’s Chicago Studio, or as she calls it, “Sing’s Suite.” She arranged it similarly to a hotel suite, thus the nickname, and it really does look like a perfect little hotel suite. Now on to the tour…
The living room is bright, airy and adorable. I love the neutral bases with pops of color and pattern. Everything is so organized and clean- I definitely need to do a cleaning out/organizing session with the goals of it looking like this 🙂
IMG_0022IMG_0050IMG_0021Love a good bar cart 🙂 IMG_0039 The little dining area is perfect for eating as well as extra seating and surface space. IMG_0028 IMG_0029 Moving over to the bedroom area: This zone is also so wonderfully styled and everything has it’s own place. IMG_0054IMG_0035 The color  palette ties in with the rest of the space well but is distinct enough to separate into the ‘bedroom zone’IMG_0042IMG_0067Can’t go wrong with all of the lovely gold and brass accents on the desk!   IMG_0041 And the kitchen has a cute little pass through to the main living area and keeps the space full of natural light, while also providing a nice spot for a meal with this stool tucked in. IMG_0043 Moving over to the closet area: such effective use of space and crazy-amazing organizing skills!          IMG_0047 IMG_0061 I love this little jewelry and accessories corner- and the patterned shelf liners make it look so fun and luxurious.IMG_0065 Lastly, this little hallway spot is a perfect area for shoe storage and it looks so organized and pulled together so it’s perfectly fine to leave items like this in the open. Sing says she has quite a large shoe collection, so she uses this spot to keep the current in-season ones stored, and has the rest tucked away in the closet.
IMG_9395
Thanks so much to Sing for letting me feature your gorgeous studio! All photos by Sing, check out her blog here.
Do you have an apartment you want featured on Studio Style Blog? I’m now opening submissions for both studio apartments and one bedroom apartments. Please email studiostyleblog@gmail.com with 5-7 photos (both wide shots and close ups) of your space with the subject line “Apartment Tour” for consideration.

2016 New Collections: CB2

Apologies for the brief blog hiatus! I intended to post every day this week but real life and my full time job got crazy busy this week. Today I’m back with my favorites from CB2!  (I shared a few of my other favorites on Monday here: 2016 West Elm collection) Along with a new logo, CB2 has a great new collection out this year. Gorgeous metallics, unique colors and materials and fun shapes.

Seating: The leather daybed is such a gorgeous statement piece and would be a classic for years to come. The quirky colors and curves of the loveseat and chair add a punch of personality to any space and rose gold chair is a new twist on a vintage look. I’m such a fan of anything and everything rose gold lately.
lawndale-leather-daybed SuitorIILoveseatTessPeacockSHS16_16x9 ParlourChairTessFuschiaF15 beta-rose-chair
Tables:
The dark wood and brass combo on this first table is amazing and I’m enthralled by the shape of these table legs. The marble and gold is another favorite combo and the curvy legs on this table would look great next to a sofa.
dial-dining-tabledorset-marble-side-table
Lighting: The clean, circular shapes and brass details make these lights a classic for any home. The simplicity of the pendant would look great in a triplet combo over a kitchen island and the sconce would work well in a living room, paired on either side of a sofa. The sconce has an unexpected, fun twist that I adore– the perfect little leather strap. globe-pendant-light hemisphere-wall-sconce
Decor and Accessories: This rose-gold bar cart might be my favorite item in the entire new line. It’s so elegant and stylish. I have this marble paper towel holder on my wish list to purchase soon. I have a problem with buying too many vases and these certainly won’t help my cause: sundial // hand painted // abstract. Last but not least, these neutral pillows have wonderful eye-catching details with the bold color-blocking and the beautiful texturedolce-vita-bar-cartmarble-paper-towel-holdersundial-vase marinha-vase tread-vase quilted-no.-101-18-pillow gravel-ivory-18-pillow

All photos: CB2

PS: This post is not sponsored, just sharing the love for CB2 and their awesome collection. 

2016 New Collections: West Elm

Happy 2016! With the new year comes new catalogs and lots of online browsing… so I’ve put together some of my favorites from the new arrivals at my favorite stores. Starting out with West Elm.

Seating: The curved lines are such a welcome contrast to a lot of boxy furniture you see these days. I’m a sucker for those mid-century modern legs, and the brass tulip bottom on the darker blue chair is perfection! Though the blush and brass combo in the last chair is making me want to throw my budget out the window and buy two immediately.

billie-sofa-cbond-upholstered-swivel-chair-c antwerp-chair-cimg19c
Storage and other furniture: These are great examples of pieces that are so simple, yet make a bold design statement. You can really tell the quality craftsmanship and the marble/wood combo is always one of my favorites.
penelope-3-drawer-dresser-2-c harper-4-drawer-dresser-c reeve-mid-century-oval-coffee-table-1-c
Beds: I love upholstered beds with both a head and foot board, but these take luxury to the next level. I can’t remember when (if ever) I’ve seen pleating on a bed like this… it’s so gorgeous. The second bed is a velvet fabric and looks quite comfortable, and completely stylish.
roar-rabbit-pleated-bed-4-c park-bed-c
Decor and Accessories: The unique shape of this mirror is eye-catching and I love the rose gold tone. I’ve seen similar adorable planters floating around Etsy for the past year but I’m glad they’re finally arriving at brick and mortar stores! Now, if only I had the skills to keep plants alive. You know I can’t go wrong with a good throw pillow and these three do not disappoint.
metal-framed-floor-mirror-rose-gold-1-c mid-century-turned-leg-planters-c metallic-ikat-dot-pillow-cover-platinum-c ikat-grid-pillow-cover-poppy-c margo-selby-woven-block-pillow-cover-slate-c

Lighting: All three of these lighting options are so elegant and I would LOVE to swap out my ugly rental lighting for these beauties ASAP.
arc-mid-century-sconce-single-antique-bronze-c acrylic-framework-chandelier-round-c half-half-table-lamp-1-c

All images: West Elm 

I’ll be back with more posts this week covering more new 2016 collections!
PS: This post is not sponsored, just love these pieces and thought I’d share a few of my favorites!