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// SHOP SMALL - 9 Small Businesses To Support This Season


'Tis the season to be shopping for your loved ones! There are so many amazing small businesses out there that deserve your patronage this season. I've made so many wonderful friends via social media over the years and a lot of them are making it their own way by being their own boss. I've chosen 8 of my favorite independent shops to highlight below (and I threw in my little sign side biz, too. Shameless plug!). If you're looking for something special to give this year, hopefully one of these shops will have you covered! You certainly don't have to only shop small this year, but it's kind of awesome to know that every purchase you make with an independent maker means that money is going to stay with them and their venture/family/whatever. I also own at least one thing from each and every shop below so I can vouch for the quality of their goods!

Be sure to keep these folks in mind for Small Business Saturday (November 29) and Cyber Monday (December 1), too! Here you go!

Shauna and Stephen make some of the most amazing bow ties, neckties, and handkerchiefs. Mike and both of our boys have their own Forage pieces and they look so dapper in them! The quality is above and beyond, and they're just really cool people. It's always nice to know the folks behind the brand are genuine and kind!

Kelley was recently featured in one of my Rad Gal, Rad Gig segments, talking about being a candle maker! We have a few Candelles around our house and they smell so good! The Pomegranate Cider is my absolute favorite! I love seeing what new scents she comes up with.


Carolyn dreams up some of the most adorable costumes and creations for the littles ones in your life! Linden has been a strawberry, a cupcake, and a blueberry, too. Toby and Linden also have matching letterman cardigans (left) and they're so soft and sweet!


Jenny and Aaron are so incredibly talented, I can't even! They released a book earlier this year (It's fantastic!) and their paintings are the perfect blend of novelty and realistic. The three shown above are ornaments (!!!) I love their pastel aesthetic!


Nicole is a caramel whiz! She has made an entire career out of creating delicious caramels, sauce, and caramel popcorn. The popcorn is what dreams are made of, I'm telling you! We just won't talk about how many late night bowls of ice cream and caramel sauce I've had, okay?


If you've got a baby, you've heard of Little Hip Squeaks. Amy blows me away with how she's built LHS over the years. It's so inspiring to see something take off the way her business has. The prints and patterns of her pieces are so fun and perfect for babies!


Beca and Doug are unstoppable. Just when you think they can't possibly create anything more amazing, they go and do just that. They're the creators of the original wood veneer sunglasses, and now they're whipping up these adorable "tiny knives" and camping utensils.

 
Elizabeth is the creator of yet another super fun kid (and adult friendly!) clothing line. Those pants in the center are by far my favorite pants of L's. I'm so sad he had a growth spurt and has almost outgrown them! She's the whiz behind the super popular "As Seen on IG" shirts, too!


And of course I had to throw in my custom painted signs. I mean, they are kind of perfect for the holidays... I'm down to just 3 remaining sizes though so if you're interested, check out a sampling of paintings on Instagram (#kbsigns) and give me a shout!

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If you're looking for special gifts for your loved ones, this is a great place to start! I promise you won't be disappointed by any of them! Do you have any small businesses or shops you'd like to suggest for awesome gifts?!

// OrbitBaby G3 Infant Car Seat + Base Giveaway


All other car seats just need to go home. We've only had our G3 from OrbitBaby for a few days, but I can tell you we are SOLD! We were totally in love within the first 15 seconds of it being out of the box. It's just so NEAT! I had seen OrbitBaby products floating around when I was pregnant, but really didn't pay much mind to just how exhausting (and hard!) it'd be to get a baby in and out of a rear-facing car seat. Had I known then what I know now, I absolutely would've sprung for the G3 from the start. I feel super fortunate to be working with OrbitBaby and having the chance to make up for lost time. 

Just in case you know about the G3's most incredible feature, it turns a full 360 degrees and locks into place (every 90 degrees). This allows you to turn the car seat to face the door opening when putting the baby in or taking him out. No more back breaking and bending to try and finagle them into the right position. (How's my elevator pitch?! Haha!) This also can be said for the G3 stroller base! (Another thing I highly recommend! It's super utilitarian and works like a dream!) Since we didn't have a travel system for our original car seat, we'd have to get Linden out every time we wanted to go into the store. While we could've carted the seat in and popped it in a buggy, I didn't feel like that was a safe option. All I could see was the buggy tipping over or something falling from the top part and hitting him. Not to mention the plastic handle on it was SO. UNCOMFORTABLE! Toting an infant seat is never fun or easy in my book, but at least the G3 comes with a padded arm strap that makes carrying it in the crook of your elbow far more comfortable. Even if it's just from the car to the house, those bruises can add up haha

Our OrbitBaby ride. This is the Drive + Stroll package, which allows you to use the car seat with the G3 stroller base until your baby graduates to the toddler seat. We really love the setup! -- * This giveaway does not include the stroller or toddler seat as shown on the left!

Another great feature is the built in sunshade/privacy screen. There's a white cover built in to the seat hood that can unroll and shield the baby from curious eyes/hands, sun, wind, etc. We took advantage of it Saturday while walking into and around the mall since Linden was snoozing and it was a bit windy outside. Isn't the Mocha color stunning? If brown or any variation of brown is ever an option in something, you can almost bet that's what I'll be choosing. We love how decadent the color is on the car seat and the stroller cargo basket. 

Honestly, if you knew Linden at all I could just say that the car seat speaks for itself. He's never been fond of riding in one, much less sleeping in one. On Saturday he was all about the snoozes. In his original car seat, he'd scream and fuss the moment he woke up (on the off chance we actually got him to fall asleep while riding). While we were out and about this past weekend, he woke up from his multiple naps as happy as a clam. Totally okay with just chilling in the car seat. That alone is worth all the money in our bank account! 


With alllll that gushing being over and done with, now comes the fun part! The giveaway! OrbitBaby wants to give one of you lucky moms (or moms-to-be) a G3 infant car seat and base! Whoever wins this is going to be pinching themselves through the new year, I promise.Feel free to check out the entry options below! Feel free to enter for yourself or for a friend. Good luck! xo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** Note: This giveaway is for the G3 infant car seat and car seat base only. The stroller base and toddler seat (as shown in the group photo in Linden's nursery).

// BAGGAGE: v.2 - Lesley's Bag

Details (clockwise from top left): Target gold mini pouch to hold Photojojo iPhone lenses // Target wallet // Roots bag (limited edition color no longer available, similar here) // Apple earbuds // Target sunglasses // iPhone 5 with Speck iPhone case and gold heart sticker // Lots of lip balms and glosses (this isn't even close to all of them actually living in my purse) // Listerine PocketPack // Etsy pencil case and art supplies // Smith's Rosebud Salve (my favorite!) // And Sophie the Giraffe. (Because, babies - mine included - LOVE Sophie)


Hello there! I'm Lesley Myrick - collage artist, interior designer, and new mom. Between a full time job, owning a freelance business, and taking care of my little dude, I'm on the go a lot and need a great versatile bag for all my stuff and things. It's gotta be stylish enough for work, but casual enough that I can throw a burp cloth in there, you know?

I love this shoulder bag from Roots - it feels put-together but not too fancy. Plus, ALL THE POCKETS. I call that a win.

Lesley's Bag Essentials

Lip gloss - I'm completely addicted. At any given time there are usually about 5 balms, glosses, and salves living in the front pocket of my purse. A girl needs variety!

Apple headphones - I commute about 2 hours per day for work, so I like to use that time wisely by catching up with friends and family on the phone. I call my mom, who lives about 2500 miles away, almost every weekday morning.

iPhone - I can share photos on Instagram AND run my Etsy shop AND check my baby monitor with this thing. I think a smartphone is one of the most valuable tools for a business owner and mom.

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BAGGAGE is a new feature on The Clueless Girl's Guide where I invite folks to share the contents of their bags. We all like a little sneak peek at what others are carrying around, right? If you'd like to share what you tote around in your purse/backpack/makeup bag, feel free to get in touch! I'd love to have you!

// Dream Tree Decorating Tips


Mike and I had a lot of fun decorating our Dream Tree this year, and because it was such a unique and exciting opportunity we decided to go all out and just have fun with it. Since we didn't really want to just pick up off-the-rack ornaments, we had to get a little bit crafty. For part two of November's Michaels Makers challenge, I'm going to share a few of our tree decorating tips!

+ Choose a color palette and/or theme for your tree. Let the color palette set the tone for the look and feel of your tree. We wanted to do something super rustic and cabin-inspired, but still "pretty" and "stylish". This helped us narrow down our color palette to creams, browns, and shades of ivory, and then we added in gold glitter.

+ Always start with the ribbon! If your tree isn't pre-lit, obviously do the lights first. But lay the ribbon as a base so you're able to build on top of it and fill in the negative spaces. Try to match the thickness of your ribbon to the size of the other major ornaments on your tree. That way you don't have wide ribbon with tiny ornaments or vice versa.

+ Mix and match textures. One of my favorite things about our tree is the wide variety of textures that hang on it. Everything from burlap to cork, wood, kraft paper and silk. The varied textures add depth and warmth to the tree.
+ Don't be afraid to decorate with everyday objects. A good 90% of our ornaments weren't actually ornaments to start. We simply searched for objects that fit the color palette and theme of our tree, and then we fashioned them into oranments ourselves. We chose things like cork gift tags, tiny wooden spools, cinnamon sticks, silk flowers, and decorative potpourri pieces to adorn our tree. A little bit of hot glue and twine go a long way! You can also use the little green ornament hooks so they'll blend in with the tree and the ornaments will look like they're floating.

+ Use filler pieces to help round out the design. Since we wanted to make our tree as rustic as possible, we used small "boutonniere" style bouquets of pinecones (3 per group) and we twirled them around the ends of some tree branches. This helped give a more realistic look to our tree. Then we took similar bouquets of golden foliage and added them in as an accent.

+ Have an eye catching tree topper. I love how large and attention grabbing our burlap bow is. It not only fits in perfectly with the theme, color palette and texture of our tree, but it acts as the perfect "cherry on top" for us.

+ Make it personal. The most important part of a Christmas tree for us is making it personal and allowing it to represent our family. Every year each member of our family picks out a new ornament for themselves, and then we get a "family" ornament, too. Normally the family ornament has the year on it, and often includes a photo of us. It's such a fun way to look back on how much we've grown over the years. For our Dream Tree we opted to hang wooden initials for each of us, and then I made some Instagram ornaments with some small balsa wood pieces and mod podge. 
+ Keep the theme going below the tree, too. Don't stop at just the ornaments and tree topper. Keep the theme alive in the tree skirt and the gift wrappings! Since Linden isn't crawling yet and Toby is old enough to follow directions, we opted to do something pretty different for our tree skirt. We used three bags of dried Spanish moss and created a nature inspired tree skirt. Then we wrapped our gifts with kraft paper (to match the kraft paper ornaments on the tree) and used brown and ivory/glitter ribbon to round out the look. Since there were so many textures on our tree, we opted to use wooden baskets, crates, and weathered metal baskets to hold extra gifts. And how perfect are those cork wine containers?!? (They were only $2 each at Michaels!)

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These are just our tips and ideas for our Dream Tree. The awesome thing about dream trees is that everyone has a different vision of what theirs will look like. Whether you're envisioning rustic or modern or ultra shabby chic, don't worry about what is traditionally accepted and just go for it!

And don't be afraid to throw out every single one of these "tips" and just do your own thing. Some of the very best trees are those that are truly personal. Every "First Christmas" ornament, every Elmers-glue-covered popsicle stick snowflake your kid brought home in elementary school, and every silly, novelty ornament you could ever get your hands on. Your tree doesn't need to look like it waltzed out of a department store to be special and beautiful. 

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If you haven't seen the dream trees from the other Michaels Makers yet, be sure to drop by The Glue String. They're all so unique and beautiful! You can also check out the wide range of Make It Merry projects made available for you and your family to get crafty this holiday season! If you want to spread some holiday cheer, share a photo of your favorite dream tree on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (or share your own if you're part of the "decorate before Thanksgiving" crowd like me!) and be sure to tag it with #TagATree. 

And just for fun: if you're near a Michaels store, they're hosting a Pinterest Party tomorrow, Saturday November 15th from 1 to 4pm. Pop in and create a fun holiday project with the help of a Michaels associate!

Do you have any handy tips or tricks for decorating your tree that you'd like to share?!

PS; I responded to all of the comments on our Dream Tree reveal post! Sorry that took so long!

// Things I Love Thursday v.207

this back windshield wiper (+ decal) is the most amazing thing i've ever seen ha! ♥
♥ love the colors in this living room ♥
these paper origami foxes ♥
this ceramic planter ♥
this bedroom is DREAMY! ♥
♥ this is gorgeous ♥
these idioms of the world are fascinating (love the illos too!) ♥
these pinecone gnomes are so cute! ♥
these micro photos of individual snowflakes (!!!) ♥

♥ this little romper from kissy kissy
this romper is SO SOFT! like, unbelievably so. there are so many cute styles that i'd love to dress linden in. they'd also make for the perfect baby shower gift as the quality is amazing!


// Ben + Sadey wrote a review on the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas! If you're thinking about paying Sin City a visit, be sure to check it out!









// Shauna is totally one of my idols and I loved this little peek into her day to day on the Little Hip Squeaks blog.




What are you loving this week?