What I bought in: April

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New York napkin; similar. Aka a new throw pillow case… That’s right, this here napkin will turn into a pillow, as I can not profess my love for NYC enough!

Floral Birkenstock style shoes; similar. Man, are these cute or what?! And they’re super comfortable too! Bought them in Canton TX!

{If you ever come to Texas, be sure to stop by Canton on the Trade Days weekend to snag some amazing finds, new or antique.}

• Bumble bee post earrings. Again, bought these by a vendor at Canton Trade Days! I loooove these bumblebee earrings.

Kendra Scott necklace. Guys, if you’re not aware that Kendra Scott boutiques have a birthday deal which is, one item 50% off, then you should, I’ll link a whole list of things that help celebrate your birthday too! I totally used my mom’s birthday to get this pretty little rose gold/turquoise number. Ain’t it pretty?

Bite Beauty ‘Gingersnap’ lipstick. Even though this lipstick is a very pretty coral, I still consider it to be a nude for me… I know it’s not a nude, but it’s just the prettiest everyday shade!

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Perfect formula manicure set. I’ve been wanting to try the pink gel coat for a loooong time, and I saw this whole set, and I thought I should purchase it all. And you know what?! I love the pink gel coat!

And there you have it, a run down on everything I purchased or had purchased for me! You’re welcome. 😉

What was your favorite thing you bought in the month of April?!

-Ryn

Style Fyle: Men’s fashion

I woke up wanting 3 things today…
1. An apple Fritter from Paul’s Donuts.
If I haven’t told you before, I love Paul’s donuts! His apple fritters are just divine! Fortunately and unfortunately I’ve been on 28 day metabolism booster eating plan. Yesterday and today is the hardest days of the week, because I can only eat meat & veggies. No fruit, no carbs, no nothing! So, all that to say, an apple fritter will not be in my future!

2. Wanting to be in New York.
I know I have expressed to you how much I love New York! If I could move there for a short period of time, I would hop on the next flight. I just want to soak it all in. I do have a standing invitation with my friend to stay with her, so we’ll see! : )

3. A flat white with coconut milk & mocha syrup from Starbucks.
I have a love/hate relationship with Starbucks. I hate that the “fancy” coffee is so stinkin much in price! But I love that they now serve coconut milk. And flat whites are amazing if you haven’t tried them yet. Like I said, a love hate relationship. But I am currently sipping on one, so that’s a happy thing : )

Now onto other business, Men’s fashion. I don’t usually divulge in the world of men’s fashion, yet I see the good & the very bad all the time.

A few things I hate seeing:
Too tight of clothing.
• Shirts: I don’t want to see how tight you can wear your shirts & sweaters.
You want to have your tees fit, but not tight to excess. It needs to skim your physique. Not show your every little nook & cranny of your muscles or flab.
• Pants: I’m pretty sure you’re not nor with you ever be Tim McGraw or Kenny Chesney. So why have your pants groping places…
This is a common mistake, you see pictures of celebs and models wearing too tight of pants and you think if they can wear it so can you, but in reality, its just too tight. Question, how can that be comfortable? A perpetual wedgie in the front… Ew. If you do find a style you like in pants at say Nordstrom or Nordstrom rack, they have a tailor on the premises to tailor fit it to you, so if you want the pants nipped and tucked slightly, have at it! So, no more of the tight pants, right? (Nod yes)

• Also, when pants are obviously too short. If the pants are supposed to be rolled up, that’s one thing. But when it’s just too short, buy your appropriate length.

• When wearing suits, your pants/jacket are as if they’re going to rip in two! Again, buy the appropriate size. If you do not know your size then go to i.e. Nordstrom and get measured.

• Wearing white shoes. Granted, I have seen some awesome white shoes, but its how you execute how you wear them. But that’s not always the case.
– I saw a guy at church who paired a casual coral + white stripe oxford shirt, brown dress pants and then white dress shoes. It would have looked better, if he had paired it with a dressier oxford shirt, say in a blue color, with his dress pants and then the white shoes. The juxtaposition was just off. Also, if you have a man or you are a man, invest in some nice brown leather brogues or loafers. Chestnut color is a great color to mix with your wardrobe.

• Wearing dress shirts in athletic fit, when you do not have an athletic body and having it pull below or across your belly.
There is a simple way to avoid this from happening, buy in a classic fit. And make sure it fits properly. It works wonders.

Also, when I was shopping in Neiman’s the other day I snapped a few pics of some displays that looked so good! All casual, but you get the gist of them all fitting well! None of the shirts are overly tight, revealing, stretching over the body. But just seem to skim the body. Perfection. Take note, this is what you want your fit to be like & look like. And there’s nothing like a good pair of jeans fitting well… I’m sure you’ll turn heads with a great pair of well fitting jeans on! 😉

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So I hope this helps with some style choices in men’s fashion.

What’s your favorite thing in men’s fashion right now?
-Ryn

Advent No. 5: All about the Ornaments

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I’m Dominique, the blogger behind Gusto & Grace. My husband and I live in Austin, Texas with our dog, Nola. Gusto & Grace is a creative outlet that mirrors my DIY approach to life and challenges me to live creatively, even when I don’t feel inspired. My hope for Gusto & Grace is that it becomes a supportive community for creatives and a source of inspiration for all who read it. I aim to live with a little gusto and a lot of grace. Join in!

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One of my favorite Christmas traditions from my childhood was getting a new Christmas ornament from my stocking each year. For years now I’ve been collecting European blown glass ornaments, and my mom continues the tradition of adding to my collection.

If you don’t know where to look, finding high quality, European glass ornaments can be a wild goose chase, but there are certain stores you can go to year after year, and certain brands that make stunning ornaments. I’m here to share my secrets!​

Brands to look for:
• Christopher Radko- Christopher Radko is really the brand that popularized intricate blown glass ornaments in America and can be found at department stores and boutiques alike. These ornaments tend to retain their value for years to come and are quite popular on secondary markets, like Ebay.
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• Eric Cortina- Eric Cortina makes some of my favorite quirky and whimsical ornaments such as my French bulldog wearing a top hat, bowtie and a spectacle, and my clip-on of Santa’s boots sticking out of the Chimney.
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• Inge Glas- Inge Glas is one of the oldest German-based glass blowers. These little treasures are usually more reasonably priced than other brands.
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• Landmark Creations- Landmark Creations is best known for their ornaments of, well, landmarks.
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• Michael Storings- Made by Landmark Creations, Michael Storings hand paints bulbs, typically of different scenes in New York City.

•De Carlini- If you prefer the Italian style blown glass ornaments, with a very distinctive look, De Carlini is a great go-to.
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• John Huras- Read this guys story; it is really neat. Accustomed to the gorgeous and traditional trees of Poland, he originally started making ornaments for orphanages whose trees wished could bring more cheer to the children..
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• Jay Strongwater- These last two brands are both on my wishlist, not on my tree. They are extremely pricey, but every ornament I have seen by these two artisans are stunning.
Patricia Breen- As mentioned above, the detail on Patricia Breen’s traditional designs are breathtaking.

Where to shop:
• Bergdorf Goodman- Bergdorf Goodman has many exclusive ornaments with at least five themed trees each year. They will ship internationally, but if you’re in New York City for the Christmas season, I highly advise a stop on their 7th floor where their Christmas room is set up.
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• Neiman Marcus- Like Bergdorf, its sister company, Neiman Marcus has many exclusive ornaments made just for them each year.Neimans boasts of the widest variety of readily available European ornaments year after year. Be sure to shop in store, as many of their exclusive ornaments are not available online.
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• Bloomingdales- Bloomingdales carries more Landmark Creations and Michael Storings ornaments than any other large department store

• The Christmas Store in Fredericksburg- If you’re in central Texas, this is a great little shop for any time you need Christmas fix as it is open year round. They are one of the few retailers in the United States that has an entire room dedicated to Radko ornaments. If you’re out-of-state, give them a call, and they’ll help you hunt down what you’re looking for.

• Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland- Flip through their catalog or shop online year-round. Bronner’s is a place of Christmas overload, but narrow your search to European-made ornaments and it is less overwhelming.
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• Macy’s (online only)- Macy’s doesn’t carry many European ornaments, but they do carry Christopher Radko online.
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• Dillards- Dillards is one of the few department stores that carries Radko in store. Go and check out the quality for yourself!
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• Marshalls, TJMaxx, Homegoods- A lot of smaller brand German and Polish ornaments can be found at these chains. I’ve gotten lucky and even found a few Radkos for under $10!
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• Tuesday Morning- At Tuesday Morning you can find a few different brands, including Radko’s from last season at up to 75% off!
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• World Market- World Market usually has a small selection of ornaments made in Poland. Their quality isn’t superb, but they’ve got some fun additions like hamburger, stand mixer, and digital camera ornaments.
Non-European ornaments aren’t always sub-par. I have a few treasured ornaments that were made in China. Sometimes you just find an original concept or design that makes up for lesser quality and sometimes the quality and detail are equally lovely. Old World Christmas ornaments are made in China and you can find them in endless shapes so they’re great if you are looking for a very specific ornament. Anthropologie occasionally has blown glass ornaments that are unique and worthwhile. I also have a few ornaments on my tree that are travel souvenirs made in China, such as a bearskin soldier I bought in London, and a bulb with a mural of Graceland from a trip to Memphis. Waterford’s blown glass ornaments are typically made in China, but the detail on my Waterford ballerina ornament rivals that on many of my German and Polish made ornaments.
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For more Christmas inspiration, visit my blog, Gusto & Grace!

Do you know of any stores or brands available stateside that I’m missing? Do you collect a specific type of ornaments?

Lifestyle Fyle: my NY classes

I know I know, I’ve shared way too much on the New York subject, but I just love it there. Even through the chaotic, speedy, unruly areas in NYC, I still find peace in everyday tasks or ventures. It’s a place for me to find inspiration. I wanted to take pictures of street wear, though I just couldn’t.
This’ll be the last post for awhile on NYC (tear) but I’ll try and manage to put New York in posts again. ; )

Onto the classes I taught on saturday & Sunday of ETANY(education for the textile arts; New York)

Saturday: it was the class “all in the chicest details” Where I taught about adding details to your garments. Not being afraid to make a statement in your wardrobe. To think outside the box. To go to anthropologie, Madewell, freepeople & high end designers and look at how they create and add details. It’s not a crime to copy a detail you see on a garment. Clothes can not be copywrited.
It was in a laid back setting, I was able to sit down and think before talking. I really liked the feel of it. It was relaxed and inviting. I only hope the ladies had a great time & was able to leave the class being able to add a new spin on their garments. I met some of the 10 sweetest ladies, that I think about constantly. Here’s Tomasa from sewmuchfashion.com! Love her!
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She even drafted, draped & made her top that she was wearing!!!! Go her!
I’m bummed I never got a group picture, I need to be better about it!

Sunday: And then on Sunday it was “transform what you have” tapping into DIYing your clothes. With many examples, and I could have brought more but my luggage was stuffed already! But they received all of the information I had well. The ladies loved the cardigan with the chain around the neck. And wanted to do it right away!

The thing is with teaching, I never in a million years thought I would ever teach, share my knowledge yes, but teach, no way Jose! But with teaching comes a responsibility to be well spoken, to get your point across, to actually know what you’re saying & to firmly believe in what you do. Are there things that you can always learn from, you bet. I took away some thing from the classes that I taught to improve. And that’s okay! The mistakes I made, will not knock me down. I’ll just change the formatting. (Plus it looks great on a résumé; that I teach…even if it’s sewing!)
And here are the lovely women & me at the end of my class!

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And here are a few pieces I’ve made so far:

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I could have just used the burgundy French terry for the whole jacket, but to add a whole new look to this jacket, I decided to add this gorgeous lace on top of the French terry. | Silhouette pattern #914

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For these two blouses I used my own pattern. I traced an already made blouse that I bought, then made my own blouses out of it.
Then I cut out my fabric, folding the pattern in half, for the bottom & the top. And the sewing it all together. This also works, if you only have a small amount of fabric to use.

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This blouse, I bought the fabric from New York. And I saw a shirt similar in Madewell one day, with the vertical stripes & horizontal stripes in sleeves, and knew exactly what I was going to make! | similar McCall’s m6992

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And last but not least, I made a waffle knit kimono in heathered grey. I added detail, by adding a zipper up the back. And studding around the sleeves and neck. | McCall’s M6468 out of print

I did make more, however, I’m not showing you right now! ; )

Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading! -Ryn

Style Find: haul from NYC

Do you ever either make up songs or give an old song new life when cooking? Last night I was chopping up beets to sauté them, and with out a doubt I started singing “and the beat goes on, and the goes on” very punny, right?!

Anyways, so I did buy a few things in NYC, (as I told you in this post)but not as much as I thought I would have… But I bought a TON of fabric! Like 10yds of linen jersey! I mean, I went hardcore on buying fabric, and I knew I couldn’t get this type of quality in The dfw area! And 10 yards wasn’t even half of what I purchased for fabric! 😳
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As you can see I only bought one colorful thing… But I did get a navy piece and an olive green piece! Although, those are still considered neutrals. But none the less, they’re mine now.

Now if you were to ask a sewer, designer, crafter, etc. what they’re going to make out of each fabric, they may or may not tell you, we’re mysterious that way! But I’ll give you a rundown of what I’m planning on making: olive and black leggings, black leggings with leather knee patches, a denim S/S top, cute tees… That’s all I know for now, but I’m gearing up to make all of that! : )

And now for the ready to wear pieces I bought, which is only 1 item, but I bought a chocolate bar, deodorant and a ring, does that count?

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-That sweatshirt! 😍 I love it! I wanted something New York themed, but not sure I loved the typical ‘I ❤️NY’ slogan. I think it’s too generic for my taste. But when I found this in the basement of Macy’s I fell hard for it! It reminds me so much of Madewell. That style that I knew it would a great piece to have in my wardrobe.
-Mast Brothers Chocolate bar, do I really have to go into detail with you on this? It’s mast bros. chocolate! They use the finest ingredients to each chocolate bar, never to have milk touch their bars. I just had to get one. I wish I had bought one from Dean & deluca, but oh well!
-Lavanila the healthy deodorant. I bought this on the day we hit up two sephoras, since it was a particularly hot day, I needed some smell good type items, if you know what I mean!
-Square rose gold ring I bought from the line Cynthia Y Bakoff in Chelsea Market. My friend whiten had two rings from them, and I just had to have one too! I’ve been wearing it so much lately!
And last but not least, I popped into Joe Fresh and bought four nailpolishes & a grey slub v-neck tee. Clearance was 50% off the lowest clearance price! Whoop whoop!

And there you have it! Hope you enjoyed! See you Friday! -Ryn
Ps. Make sure to follow me on
IG: @RynB

Etsy Find Friday: Corscandles

Happy Friday y’all! I hope you are all enjoying today! For me it started out as a great day, because I was packing up some earrings to ship out! I love being able to bless others! It’s so fun. Pay it forward, that’s a phrase I like to live by. That, and blessed to be a blessing. So I’d like to know how your blessed to blessing? Leave me a comment on how you pay it forward to others! I’d love to hear!

And in other news, I just found this incredible candle company! I just love candles it just sets a mood ya know!
These candles are made in New York and they are vegan. They are gorgeous when they are burning! See?

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It looks like a little mountain scape. Amazing!

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I encourage you to buy from Corscandles, show ‘Em some love!

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Buy these candles for your child’s teacher, a babysitter, your mom, grandmother, sister, friend, etc! These are amazing! And they come in different scents too. I’m thinking about buying one for my wonderful mom, since I have yet to buy her anything for Mother’s Day… Oops!

The candle pricing ranges from $9.00-$25.00 for 100% organic vegan wax candles that give off the best ambience I’ve seen lately! You can find them: HERE and HERE

But remember, it seems a bit pricey, but really, if you buy candles from bath & body works, which charge I believe, their candles are around $22, these candles aren’t really THAT Expensive! You would be missing the one on one connection with the candle maker, if you chose to buy candles from a big box store. So I’ll go small, and buy from a small business, thank you!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Etsy find Friday!
See you on Monday! Enjoy your weekend. -Ryn

Things In My Noggin: drugstore make up & fabric

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How do you like my new lip color?! It’s MAC Saigon Summer!

Two things that I REALLY want to do! (Ok, maybe 3!) I want to sit in a drugstore, pull up a chair and just relax! As funny as that may sound, that’s what I want to do. Act as if I’m at Barnes and noble and checking out a new book or magazine. But in the instance, cosmetics! I would also like to spend about $50 on things just to try and share with you! I’ve said this before, but why not say it again, I’m not one to buy make up from a drugstore. But I’m definitely dipping my toeseys into it!

Next, I want to buy fabric! A lot of it! This may seem weird to you, but a fabric store scratch that! A good fabric store! I found out quickly, when I was in NYC, that Mood fabrics is my happy place! Or almost any fabric store in the garment district! ; ) but I just want to feel the softness between my fingers, imagine the possibilities, feeling the textures! Ahhh, doesn’t that sound dreamy?!
To each, his own!

And thirdly, I want to in New York! I want to go, I want to be there, I want to explore! Ok now I’m done! My rant is over! Thanks!