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while buying new clothing and accessories can be a fun way to mix up your wardrobe it’s not always financially possible to shop for new pieces every season. i’m personally currently trying to cut back on my spending and shopping is one of the first things that goes. i wanted to share a few styling tips for mixing up and revamping your current wardrobe just the way it is, no new purchases required!  – joanie

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– i think the first place to start is with a closet clean out. go through your closet and pull out items you know you don’t wear or that make you feel any sort of negative emotion. for me, that’s pieces i bought and regret, things that no longer fit, items that have stains that i hope will someday magically disappear or items i still love but that are too damaged to wear (i.e. your favorite jeans with six holes in them). if you’re like me you’ll probably discover overlooked pieces that you love and have forgotten about. if you’re on the fence with giving anything away my rule is to give it one last try, wear it for a day, and by the end of the day you’ll likely know if it stays or goes.


– don’t limit items to just day or evening – if you have a cocktail dress you love, wear it during the day with flats and a casual jacket, throw a t-shirt on under a dress to make it more day time appropriate, or pair with sneakers to make it more day appropriate. your favorite dress doesn’t need to be saved for special occasions only. i also like doing the reverse of that and if you feel like you have nothing to wear out, just elevate your day wear. your favorite jeans with sky high heels, a bold chocker or some big earrings, a fitted tee, blazer and a bold lip.

STYLED | designlovefest

– make small at home alterations – i like cropping my own jeans, i had a few pair of straight leg denim that just wasn’t cutting it full length but once cropped i started wearing all the time. don’t worry too much about making your hem perfectly straight. in fact, the uneven hem denim is a trend right now. i like the hem to be about 4″-5″ above the ankle bone. or, skip the cutting and give your jeans a nice big cuff.

STYLED | designlovefest


– play with different color combinations – i know we all have our rituals, wearing the same t-shirt with the same pants, or skirt. but try mixing it up, don’t be afraid to mix patterns, bold colors, textures. i recommend having an hour to yourself in front of the mirror after you clean out your closet and just trying on different pieces to see what might go together. you’ll probably find yourself thinking, “why have i never worn this outfit before?!”


– wear a dress as a skirt by adding a t-shirt or button down on top that can be tied at the waist – the trick to wearing a dress as a skirt is to make sure the waist is cinched. one option is to wear a button down and tie it high and tightly at your waist (actual waist, wear it goes in just below your rib cage, not below!). or, take a t-shirt and cut it about 4″ up from the front center and then you’ll have two sides to tie together. p.s. i thrift for a lot of my t-shirts so i don’t feel stressed cutting them up.


-mix up your proportions – pair a short skirt with an oversized sweater, wide leg pants with a tiny top, a slim knee length dress with a big trench or long open sweater


-and if you’re really wanting to shop, hit your local thrift store! if you feel overwhelmed by thrifting, here are a few simple tips to make it more manageable. go through racks quickly by feeling for fabrics, you can tell when you touch something quality (cotton, linen, silk, etc), look for prints – they’re easy to spot in a rack full of clothing, go for the sweaters – when people clean out their closets to make space they’ll often giveaway larger bulkier items like coats, jackets and sweaters. i’ve found so many great cashmere sweaters at thrift stores, especially in the men’s section.

most important tip is to have fun! fashion is meant for experimenting, try new styles, see what feels right!

image credit: , , , , , , , , , and .




gwyneth's candy bars | designlovefest

i have a pretty intense sweet tooth and i’m always open to new healthier ways of satisfying it. enter Gwyneth Paltrow’s healthy “candy bars”(i’m putting candy bar in quotation because although these are really good and satisfying they are not a snicker bar). i’ve seen people posting all over the internet about her recipes and i thought it was time we gave it a shot and let you know how it turned out. this recipe is exceptionally easy, apart from the fact that it has to set in the refrigerator for half a day, the active steps on this are under 15 minutes. the recipe didn’t ask for salt on top but in our opinion, the flavor was enhanced by a generous sprinkle of maldon salt.

gwyneth's candy bars | designlovefest
gwyneth's candy bars | designlovefest

i also wanted to ask for a bit of feedback on the recipe column, we work really hard to weekly bring you beautiful and practical meals and we’d love to know what you’re liking/not liking and what you’d like to see more of. we’ve had a few comments recently of people saying that they tried one of our recipes and that it was actually really good and not just pretty. i love those comments and i also wanted to say that we test and eat every single recipe. we aren’t making things just for the pretty photos, although those are fun too. we really want this to be a resource to you so let us know what you’d like us to focus on, we’re all ears! – joanie

gwyneth's candy bars | designlovefest
gwyneth's candy bars | designlovefest
gwyneth's candy bars | designlovefest

Gwyneth Paltrow’s candy bars
what you’ll need:
• 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
• 1 1/2 cup dates, pitted and roughly chopped
• 1/2 cup almond butter
• 1/2 cup maple syrup (she asks for grade B, we used grade A)
• 1/2 cup coconut flour
• 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (we used vanilla, either works great)
• 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (60% or higher cocoa content)
• 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
optional: maldon salt

full recipe below!



update your deskspace | designlovefest

the walls in your office space end up being what you see all day, so it’s important to have an office space that inspires your work. i like the idea of having shelves above your desk to store pretty things on the wall, but also keep your desk space from being cluttered. shelving is fun because you can have a mix of personal pictures, pretty framed art, and lively plants on a shelf without taking up any extra desk space. i’ve also always had a major thing for inspiration boards in my work space (i used to pull out pages of magazines that inspired me and pin them on the wall) which you can do with tape or peg board. whether you’re into a gallery wall, shelving or inspiration board, here are a few fun office wall decor ideas for your desk space this weekend!

update your deskspace | designlovefest
update your deskspace | designlovefest
shop them

update your deskspace | designlovefest
update your workspace | designlovefest
office decor | designlovefest





movie night | designlovefest

i’ve been waiting for so long to share this with you! about two months ago, i hosted a movie night with and it turned out to be one of my favorite events that i’ve ever hosted. i was super inspired by our trip to kyoto and i wanted to take some of that inspiration for the event. we hosted the evening in back yard and decked the place out in items we selected items from . the nice thing about their site is that they have such a huge selection of different brands that you can really find almost any type of style you’re looking for when it comes to home goods. and, you can shop all of the pieces i used to create the movie night, !

movie night | designlovefest
movie night | designlovefest
movie night | designlovefest
movie night | designlovefest
movie night | designlovefest
movie night | designlovefest

one of my favorite parts of my trip to japan was the fact that when you went to some of the restaurant they would bring you a tray of sake cups and let you select your own style, color, etc. i wanted to carry that theme through and the most beautiful selection of ceramic sake cups that the guests were able to pick from and take home, it was such a great touch. my studio is located right next to little tokyo in los angeles so we shopped the local supermarket for all sorts of fun Japanese treats.

movie night | designlovefest
movie night | designlovefest
movie night | designlovefest
movie night | designlovefest





TOKYO! what a trip. so much to see. so much to explore. overwhelming, but amazing. exactly why i wanted to go and try to find a bunch of spots to share with you. because you gottttta go. let’s dive in..

tokyo travel guide 1 | designlovefest

we took a 4 hour flight from hong kong to tokyo and arrived into the narita airport. the airport is pretty far from everything (about 1.5 hours) so we decided to take the to the sheraton hotel and then a 10 minute cab to our hotel. it was about $26 a person as opposed to an expensive cab ride ($150-200) but it’s up to you, really. i actually liked the bus ride, it was nice, easy to book as you exit customs, and runs every 30 mins or something fast like that.

i’m going to try to break down what we did by neighborhood because there is a LOT to see in tokyo, and everything is pretty spread out. my suggestion is to use google maps on your phone and computer to plan the trip. type in a place you want to go and hit the little “saved” star so you get a bunch of stars on your map and you know how to plan your day. you don’t want to be going all over the city if you can stick in one neighborhood in the daytime and another in the evening.

tip: we rented little wifi devices from  that gave us a signal throughout the whole trip. verizon didn’t have a good data plan for the places we were visiting. we got two for four people so the signal would be strong. honestly worked perfectly in hong kong, and almost perfectly in tokyo. would also highly suggest a for keeping that phone charged because maps takes up a loooot of battery.

tokyo travel guide 1 | designlovefest
tokyo travel guide 1 | designlovefest
tokyo travel guide 1 | designlovefest


natalie and i got in late and went straight to sleep but then met up with jen and jesse in the morning. it’s always fun to meet up with someone you know, somewhere new. it’s so exciting. the hotel we stayed in was the through . it was definitely one of the most unique hotel experiences i’ve had. there is only 18 rooms, and we were able to move around and see a bunch of them. some are very modern and minimalist and some are very wacky and themed (stuffed animal theme or ship theme! ha) the place kinda felt like an ace hotel, but in japan. i liked having my morning coffee in the lobby and the store on the 2nd floor is absolutely stunning (a must.) as far as location, i felt it was sort of out of the way from things we wanted to see and more chill and residential, but a great hotel regardless. and we did find a lot of cool stuff in the meguro neighboorhood that were worth checking out. there’s also a lot of vintage shopping here!

tokyo travel guide 1 | designlovefest
tokyo travel guide 1 | designlovefest
tokyo travel guide 1 | designlovefest
tokyo travel guide 1 | designlovefest


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