December 31, 2014

2014 in review

As 2014 comes to an end, I can’t help but get sentimental over everything that has happened in the last year. 2014 was the year that Phil and I bought our first home together, celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary, and made some major life decisions together. I turned 28 this year, which felt oddly significant in a way no other birthday has before. Perhaps because it happened right at the beginning of my first solo trip abroad, a life-changing experience that I will not soon forget. It has not been the easiest year, by any means, but it has been a year full of love, learning, and friendship. I hope you’ve had a wonderful 2014 and are ringing in 2015 with bubbles and laughter! Thank you for reading this blog and for being a part of my life. In case you’re interested, here is a look back at some of my favorite posts from the last year:

One of my first posts in 2014 was this trendspotting post, highlighting the short-strap crossybody mini bag trend. Stylish and functional, a theme we saw over and over again in fashion this year.

I have a secret obsession with book recommendations, so our Reading List series is one of my favorites. This post from July included two of my absolute must-reads from 2014, Beautiful Ruins and The Light Between Oceans (soon to be made into a movie!).

I don’t consider myself much of a fashionista, but I had so much fun shooting this outfit post back in the summer.

Back in October, I shared about my experience traveling alone for the first time in my life in this post. That trip was all sorts of challenging and wonderful. Here’s to more solo travel in 2015!

Oh yes, the food. Once again, there were plenty of recipe posts to choose from, but I think the winner for me in 2014 was this coffee cake. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Also, did you notice? – Our blog got a makeover! Hope you like the new design and functionality, including the updated archives, categories, and about section.



December 31, 2014


I’m a little stunned that today is the last day of 2014. While lying in bed awake last night, I started thinking about how fast time goes by. It feels like only yesterday we were drinking beers on our patio in the hot summer heat, and tonight we will celebrate the New Year. Nevertheless, it was a great year, and looking forward to seeing what’s in store for us in 2015.

Here’s my top five posts from 2014:


The Valentine’s Day inspired food post I did in February was a fun one for me. I really got in the spirit with heart-shaped sprinkles and cake pancakes, they were delicious too!

Alexander Wang Booties l TWELFTH AVENUE

You know, as much as this post is to highlight my top five, I gotta be honest here and tell you that I wasn’t always on my outfit game in 2014. BUT, I do really love this outfit from January. The floral print is total perfection.


Back in August, I shared about our trip to England and Scotland. Travel has taught me a lot over the years, and I feel so fortunate to be able to do so. Looking forward to future trips in 2015.

Christmas Tree Hill

I’ll always love our Love Notes series because it allows us to share more personal stories and details. Here’s my younger sister and I at the top of Christmas Tree Hill in Marin County, one of my favorite places.

In closing, another favorite outfit from 2014. Here are my true colors, good pair of denim, classic basic with a nice pair of flats, never felt better.


Hope you all had a very merry holiday season, here’s to a fabulous new year ahead!

xo, Kelsey

December 21, 2014

gift guide: under $25

This year, my family is breaking with our normal tradition by going out for dinner on Christmas Eve. We’ll still do the traditional home-cooked Christmas feast with my extended family on Christmas Day, but the night before, our little five-man Watt/Howes tribe will be getting festive and cheery in downtown Portland.

Before we head out for the night, we’ll get together for cocktails and a $25 gift exchange at my parents’ house. Naturally, being the procrastinator that I am, I’m still looking for goodies in the $25-and-under range. Thought I’d share my finds in case you’re on the hunt as well!


Clockwise from top left:

Buffalo check Herschel card case that no hipster could resist. $20.

Sisters Coffee (my personal favorite roast) and a Bridgetown coffee mug to sip from. $12.95 and $9.95 respectively.

Taylor Swift’s incredible new album, 1989. $12.99. (P.S. Am I the only one who didn’t know you can gift an album on iTunes?)

Salami. Because meat. $9.95 each.

Havaianas flip flops that will have him dreaming of warmer climates. $24.

A high-quality and beautifully packaged candle with an irresistible scent. $16.


December 18, 2014

5 holiday sales

Winter Chic
Still have some shopping to do before the holiday hits  next week? Here are a few awesome sales to check out.

Get 30% off full-priced styles, and 40% off winter sale styles with code JINGLE at J.Crew.

Get 30% off entire purchase in stores and online with code WRAPITUP at Madewell.

Get an extra 20% off with code MERRY at Macy’s.

30% off on clothing, shoes and accessories with code JOY30 at Target.

Free shipping on orders $100+ with code ONEDAY, and 20% select gifts at Anthropologie, today only!

Happy shopping!


December 17, 2014


Winter White
Casual White
White l TA
Photos via Pinterest

If I’m boring you with this winter white trend, I apologize, I personally can’t get enough. For some, white is an intimidating color choice, but I think the color is a refreshing twist to the classic black ensembles you see so  many sporting during winter months. What I love about these all white looks is that you can really dress it up or down depending on the occasion. Mix your distressed white denim with a chic t-shirt or collared blouse, and Converse or classic black pumps and you have a look that is appropriate for day or night. I haven’t braved the pleated midi-skirt, but paired with a cream or ecru sweater, and you have the perfect style for shopping or lunch with friends.

I think I found my inspiration for my holiday parties and brunches this weekend, look forward to sharing more next week.