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  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    We're always looking to our favorite blogs for early morning pick-me-ups, creative ideas, and inspiring musings. While our blog reading list is quite extensive and we could spend ages listing our favorites, there are a handful of lifestyle, design, writing, and food blogs that we can't help but recommend to our readers time and time again. If you're looking for new sites to add to your reading list, here are five blogs that never fail to lift our spirits and introduce us to new ideas.

    1. Design Love Fest: Based in LA, Bri is a talented art director with an amazing eye for design. Her blog includes wonderful recipes in addition to cool DIYs, interior design tips, and the prettiest desktop backgrounds. Bri also hosts blogging and social media workshops, which look absolutely beautiful and informative; we'd love to join in on one someday! If you're unsure where to begin, some of our favorites of Bri's posts include The Art of Cheese, Dress Your Tech, and Florals in Your Space.

    2. Meg Fee: Whenever we're in the mood for thoughtful, text-based reflections, we'll end up re-reading our favorite posts from The Wild & Wily Ways of a Brunette "Bombshell." Written by Meg, a Texan turned New Yorker, this blog contains poetic gems, lovely photographs, and deep, moving musings on relationships, health, and growing up. Meg has the ability to capture in words the familiar, nuanced feelings we all experience but cannot verbalize, making her blog a source of introspection, therapy, and self-understanding. Some of our favorite posts of hers include say yes. and yes. and yes again., these are the ways to love yourself. (to forgive), and words and what needs to be said.

    3. Bleubird: A Jane-of-all-trades, James leads an inspiring and laidback lifestyle. She's filled with love for her kids, has an impeccable eye for product and interior design, and shares some truly delicious recipes with her readers. We can't get enough of her bartending and vanity series, and love that she provides helpful, first-hand how-tos on homeschooling children for those interested. Some of the many posts and series we've fallen in love with on Bleubird include Sunday's Cake, Knit 101, and A Maker Series.

    4. A Beautiful Mess: This pick should come as no surprise since we've worked with Elsie and Emma before (they're so sweet!) and check their blog on the daily. These girls can't be stopped; they have an amazing blog full of DIYs, recipes, beauty posts, and life hacks, in addition to a top-of-the-charts smartphone app, online workshops, and books. We're always surprised and inspired by these busy bees and love turning to their site for ideas before parties and events. Some of our favorite posts of theirs include Baked Brie, Make Your Own Braided Rug, Strawberry Angel Food Ice Cream, Tips for Pet Photography, How To Style A Side Braid and Homemade Oatmeal 9 Ways.

    5. How Sweet It Is: Jessica's food posts never fail to inspire us due to the unconventional flavor pairings and fun combinations she explores (Cranberry Ginger Margaritas!?). She's a quirky and honest writer, so even though the focus of her blog is the food, we can't help but read each post from top to bottom. We love that she includes Crumb posts on her site, which focus on cute tidbits of her everyday life both inside and beyond her kitchen. And we have to admit, we've made more than a few of her dishes! Some of our favorites include Blackberry Summer Pizza, Cinnamon Sugar Sourdough French Toast Bake, Fontina and White Cheddar Skillet Brussels Bacon Mac, Chipotle Beer Shrimp Quesadillas, Spicy Queso With Chorizo and Black Beans and her Thai Crunch Chicken Salad. Since Jessica doesn't post photos of herself, we're including a picture of one of her delicious recipes (and no, she's not a quesadilla)!

    Do you read any of these amazing blogs? We hope you'll add these lovely reads to your Bloglovin' feed!


  • Monday, April 14, 2014

    How would you describe your Ruchette style? Are you drawn toward rustic aesthetics, or do you favor retro-inspired silhouettes? Post an Instagram picture showcasing you in your favorite Ruche outfit, and let us know more about your style in the caption. Tag #Ruchette and @shopruche to make sure we find your look, and you just might win $50! The contest ends Wednesday, April 16 at 11:59 PM, PDT, so make sure to get your entry in ASAP. We can't wait to learn more about our Ruchettes!


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  • Monday, April 14, 2014

    One of our favorite indie brands, Dear Creatures, has released an adorable Spring/Summer 2014 collection that infuses their signature retro look with a sporty twist that's aptly fit for warm weather. Rendered in the clothing line's classic 60s color scheme, these polka dots, stripes, and vintage silhouettes will be our go-to for greeting the sunshine in the coming months. Here are a couple of our favorite photos from their latest campaign (and we're carrying both dresses on our site)!

    Photos via Zooey Magazine

    If you can't get enough of this stunning vintage aesthetic, shop our Dear Creatures selection to find your dream dress of the season and support this indie brand!


  • Monday, April 14, 2014

    ...we would certainly look like this! We can’t resist a rustic tart filled with fresh ingredients and seasonal fruit, especially at this time of year. The finishing touch of honey or powdered sugar always perfects a delicious spring dessert. If you also have a weakness for homemade tarts, try making the fig tartlets with herbs and honey, peach tray tart, or onion and apple galette pictured above; they'd be ideal for a spring picnic or brunch. Enjoy!


  • Sunday, April 13, 2014

    Print via Jennet

    We’re making it a goal to stop saying “someday” and begin taking the small, necessary steps towards the dreams we want to accomplish. Whether we wish we’d work out regularly to keep our heart healthy, or dream of the day we’ll finally around to painting again, our goals need to be broken down into manageable steps that we can complete Monday through Sunday. What have you been putting off for someday? We hope you’ll feel inspired to start laying out tangible steps towards your desires!

    If you’re having difficulty narrowing down which goals you want to work towards, try creating a manifesto to help you center on your values. Our blog post will guide you through the process!


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  • Friday, April 11, 2014

    While there's a certain beauty found in pushing oneself through heady classic literature, there's also nothing like unwinding with a clever graphic novel. If you're on the hunt for a relaxing read that you can revisit time and time again, here are some of our current favorites in the graphic novel department.

    French Milk by Lucy Knisley: The perfect read for Francophiles, this illustrated journal documents Knisley's six-week trip to Paris with her mom. Filled with thoughts of her boyfriend back home, her relationship with her mother, and her milestone birthday, Knisley weaves in these deeper topics with commentary on delicious food and tourist spots.

    Ghost World by Daniel Clowes: This 90s graphic novel features the oddly dark and humorous adventures of two best friends who are worried about growing apart. Adapted to the screen in 2001, this curious graphic novel explores those daunting social changes that haunt the reality of adulthood.

    Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh: A collection of blog posts and new comics from Brosh's blog of the same name, this graphic novel explores everything from grammatical errors to heavier topics like depression and adulthood. Hyperbole and a Half is a hilarious read that you'll fly through whether or not you've kept up with Brosh's blog.

    Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: Now an animated film, this novel is a memoir of a young girl's daily life in Iran during the Iranian Revolution. A lesson on history and politics in addition to a coming-of-age tale, this graphic novel is a must-read for those exploring the genre.

    Obsessive Consumption by Kate Bingaman-Burt: Perfect for a gal on a budget, this book is the result of the author's personal project to pay off her debt after university by drawing each item she purchased, as well as her credit card bills, until the debt was paid off. While this book is more of a collection of cute doodles than a graphic novel, the pictures included tell a story in their own right, as they follow Bingaman-Burt through her wedding planning, as well as everyday experiences.

    Fun Home by Alison Bechdel: Capturing the combination of humor, depth, and sadness that laces our everyday experiences, this memoir focuses on Bechdel's relationship with her now-deceased father. The name of the book itself, which is derived from the family's nickname for the funeral home where the father once worked, illustrates the tragicomedy nature of this impactful read.

    Have you read any of these graphic novels? Which one is next on your list?


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  • Friday, April 11, 2014

    It's no secret that we've been fans of Mad Men from the start! With our adoration for 1950s and 1960s styles, we couldn't help but fall in love the show's costume design (in addition to the ever-surprising plot!), and six seasons later, we're still attempting to recreate the vintage looks on a regular basis.

    Our fashion attention is currently turned towards Kiernan Shipka, the actress who plays Sally Draper on the show. Sally recently reached adolescence, fittingly developing that angsty teenaged attitude to accompany it, but when it comes to her style, we're loving her grown-up fashion choices. Just last September, we saw Kiernan in a dreamy 60s-inspired outfit, and knew we'd soon see more lovely fashion choices from this young actress. And we were right -- this recent editorial from Vanity Fair shows Kiernan donning an array of elegant, vintage-inspired outfits that we'd love to add to our collections. Take a look at the gorgeous seaside photo shoot below!

    Photos via Vanity Fair

    Which of Kiernan's looks is your favorite? We can't wait to tune in to season 7 of Mad Men this Sunday!


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  • Thursday, April 10, 2014

    When Pantone announced “Radiant Orchid” as color of the year, we could wait to celebrate the trend with bright, plummy lip colors. Now that it’s finally warm enough for those of us in Southern California to cast aside the tights and thick sweaters, we’re on the lookout for pretty lipsticks, stains, and glosses that will add that pop of Radiant Orchid to our favorite ensembles. If you’d also like to brighten up your everyday look this spring (like the gorgeous Emma Stone below), give one of the following lip colors a try!

    1. Benefit Lollitint: A lip and cheek stain in one, this tint can be blended out for a soft glow or layered on for major statement. We’ll definitely pair this lip color with a maxi dress and floppy hat on breezy afternoons! Shop it here.

    2. NYX Butter Gloss in Strawberry Parfait: This lovely gloss smells delicious and adds a subtle touch of Radiant Orchid to your everyday makeup look. You’ll find us wearing this non-sticky gloss with a dainty floral print and rustic ankle boots at our next picnic. Shop it here.

    3. YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in Fuchsia in Rage: This vibrant, luxurious lipsticks also imparts moisture and shine. We can’t wait to wear this with a floral blazer and our favorite skinny jeans on a day out on the town! Shop it here.

    4. Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipcolor in Brazen Berry: An almost neon hue, this lipstick is not only gorgeous, but truly affordable! We’ll be pairing this lipstick with a printed top and pleated skirt for a fun twist on a retro look on a weekend shopping trip. Shop it here.

    5. MAC Flat Out Fabulous Retro Matte Lipstick: This glamorous lipstick is as matte as it get, so we’d recommend scrubbing your lips before parading around in this statement shade (it’s worth it though, trust us!). We’ll style this lipstick with a fit-and-flare dress and colorful necklace for a fun spring party. Shop it here.

    Which Radiant Orchid lip color have you been eyeing? Are you daring to wear this vivid hue?


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  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    To live a life that’s inspiring to others, it’s important to take time to reflect on your beliefs, motivations, and values. We believe that declaring what’s important to you and reminding yourself daily of those values will help you stay true to who you are, even in the face of busy schedules and the media’s mixed messages. How can you formulate your own manifesto? Here is a writing activity that will help you center on your core values and beliefs.

    Image via A Blog Named Scout

    1. Take A Seat: To begin, go somewhere that will help you clear your mind and enable you to hone in on the things that matter most. This may involve a coffee shop, park, beach, or your bedroom -- opt for whichever element suits you best.

    2. Gather Tools: Decide on the writing tools and format that will help you brainstorm. Some people write the most when they use a notebook, while others’ minds flow freely in the presence of a laptop. It might be easier for some to let their words wander in prose form, while you might find it easier to write in bullet points to keep your thought process clear.

    3. Brainstorm: Figure out which topics you want to write about. Perhaps you’ll want to first focus on a specific topic, like friendships or personal style, creating separate manifestos for different areas of your life. You can always combine these lists later, or jump straight ahead to one master list that combines the important aspects of each category.

    4. Write!: Keep your pen or the keys moving until you feel you’ve covered all of the important bases. Feel free to revisit the list over the next few days, adding as you see fit.

    5. Narrow It Down: Now that you have your list or collection of lists, sort through it until you’re down to the top 10 or 15 values and beliefs. Remember, you can always combine the similar points!

    After you complete your manifesto, rewrite it or reformat it and display it somewhere you’ll see it each day, whether that’s in your kitchen, at your desk, or on the bathroom mirror. Viewing the manifesto daily will allow the inspiration and reminders sink in so that you can live out your beliefs to the fullest each day. Consider incorporating aspects of your manifesto into your social media profiles as well, or sharing it with your friends to help lift their spirits.

    Some of our employees have also been creating their own manifestosl! Here are some snippets of our beliefs at Ruche:

    “I believe in random acts of kindness.”

    “I believe that travel, whether it’s a weekend road trip or a grand European adventure, gives me a fresh perspective on life.”

    “I believe in being boldly feminine, with equal parts grace and strength.”

    Your manifesto is your personal expression of who you are, so alter it and add to it whenever the mood strikes. The manifesto is for your own benefit, to help build you up and shine each day, so that you can be your best self and love beautifully. In turn, your manifesto will help others through the lovely life you create.

    Have you ever written your own manifesto? What will your manifesto include?

    Live beautifully,

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  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    Welcome to the second installment of Sam & Sarah's wedding series! If you haven't read the first segment, make sure you hop on over to meet the gals, read their proposal stories, and get a feel for their wedding visions. This week, these lovely ladies are discussing getting started with the wedding planning process, sharing how much they've progressed and what tips they've picked up along the way. As a reminder, Sam is getting married in October, while Sarah is tying the knot in March, so their progress correlates with how much time they have left to plan. Read on for their updates and firsthand advice!

    1. How are you staying organized? Do you have a notebook? An Excel chart? A wedding planner?

    Sam: I have a 16-tab Google spreadsheet that includes date availability, guest list, predicted RSVPs, budget, deposit and payment dates, venues, photographers, and vendors, in addition to a separate Google calendar (shared with my fiance and mom) that includes all of our appointments, payment dates and other wedding plans. I have a special "wedding" label in my inbox so I can easily see all my wedding emails, and I've made sure that I've saved my vendors as contacts in my phone and grouped them into a wedding group. I also have my Pinterest boards and a secret dress board for inspiration.

    In addition to all of my online planning tools, I have my favorite Rifle Paper Co notepad and Post-Its with daily task lists. Crossing them off makes me feel great! Physical lists are a great way to keep track of what you've done, because as you progress with your plans, it gets more and more difficult to remember what you've done. Lastly, I have a coordinator - not a wedding planner. Her role is more logistical and comes in around the last month and on the day of. I felt I didn’t need a planner and am happy I chose to do it on my own.

    Sarah: My mom gifted me a wedding planning binder that helps me stay organized. It has tabs that include everything from the reception venue to photography, and everything in between! It is extremely helpful to have it all organized in one place. I keep everything from sample invitations, to copies of contracts and receipts in it. I also have a reception venue coordinator who has been a huge help! She will assist me up until the wedding, as well as the day of. I have a wedding Pinterest board, as well as a moodboard, where I display pictures of my potential dress, bridesmaid dresses, sample bouquets, and color palettes. I am a very visual person, so it helps to be able to see how everything will look together as I continue to come up with ideas.

    2. What have you planned so far?

    Sam: At this moment, I have the venue, photographer, dress, caterer, florist, videographer, pastor, maids and men, hair & makeup gal, and a 99% finalized guest list.

    Sarah: I have booked the church I will get married in, as well as the reception venue and photographer. I have a preliminary guest list compiled, and have asked my bridesmaids as well as my matron of honor!

    3. What's next on the list?

    Sam: Designing the invites, booking the DJ, working on the day before/day of timeline schedule, booking a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests, and planning the wedding shower & bachelorette with my best friend and maid of honor, Ariel.

    Sarah: Next on my list is purchasing my dress and the bridesmaid dresses, and deciding on a florist and videographer.

    4. How are you feeling? Any tips?

    Sam: I am feeling really great! Organization (read: OCD) is my middle name, so I am on top of everything. I am loosely going by The Knot’s timeline, but I am knocking out things as quickly as I can. I could really use a massage or facial though. That would be nice.

    Here are the tips I’ve given my plethora of recently engaged friends:
    -- Scour the Blogs: Begin with Style Me Pretty -- you can search the gallery by categories, tags, colors, style, or season. Next comes Green Wedding Shoes, Grey Likes, Once Wed, Ruffled, 100 Layer Cake, Rustic Wedding Chic, Snippet & Ink.
    ** I looked through a ton of posts and if you find a venue you like - search "(venue name) Style Me Pretty" and more likely than not, a couple of real weddings at that venue will come up through the blog, so you can see it without having to visit a bazillion places.

    -- Utilize Wedding Wire: It's not a wedding blog, but it's extremely useful when looking for venues. It compiles information that is presented in a consistent format, so it's easy to compare multiple venues.

    -- Pin Pin Pin: If you haven't yet, create a Pinterest board and pin as much as you can. A lot of vendors will ask for your board to see what you're liking, so if you already have what's in your mind on your boards, it's super helpful. Maybe even make a new account that you only use for wedding planning and make each board specific, with topics like dresses (keep that one secret!), flowers, and specific photo shots so you can send that exact board to each vendor. This is wedding planning of the 21st century - gone are the days of magazine tear-outs.

    --  Sign Up: Make an account on The Knot! It's so much help, as they are a wedding authority with tons of resources and a great timeline to follow with options to customize it.

    -- Buy This Book: It was lent to me by my friend's mom and it is the wedding planning Bible. It has advice for every situation! I am really not kidding - buy it.

    Sarah: I'm feeling really happy and excited! I have some major things checked off my list, so that is a great feeling. I would suggest either getting a binder or utilizing some other organizational tool to keep track of everything. For wedding inspiration, I love blogs such as Green Wedding Shoes, The Lane, Bash Please, and 100 Layer Cake to name a few. I would recommend making an account on The Knot as well. They have a lot of resources and great templates for your personal wedding website!

    Where are you in the wedding planning process? Make sure to check back in two weeks for the next installment of the series. And if you still haven't seen the girls' first post, wander on over to for some truly adorable proposal stories!


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