Spring 2016

It's almost here! Our Spring collection is dropping tomorrow at 10 am CST (that's 11 EST, 9 MST, and 8 PST) on the Willow Crowns site. 

Just like with our last collection, I wanted to give you all a chance to see the full collection before it launches to help streamline the shopping process, and as a fun addition we've got a little video at the bottom to show you some of the behind the scenes of this collection!

You may notice the little star clips we previously teased on instagram in this video, but they actually didn't make the final cut for this collection! We love them but have decided they actually fit better with our upcoming Summer collection, so something to look forward to!

We won't be restocking our seasonal pieces as usual, since the ready to ship format keeps our turnaround nice and short and allows us to prep for the following season, but we WILL be restocking white floral crowns through the summer!

Hope you love this season's collection!

A Week of Wear

Olivia picked up a little bug at a birthday party a couple of weeks ago that ended up blowing through our house with a vengeance and almost two weeks later, I'm still not feeling awesome. So as you can imagine, what I've been wearing lately is mostly sweats and no bra which I've magnanimously decided not to share with you. I did manage to get it together a handful of times over the past couple of weeks though and have dutifully iPhone documented for you! 

For: I've been rocking "athleisure" a lot lately which is just another way to say I've been LAZY. I wore this high end little ensemble for MDO drop off, an appointment, the grocery store, and a walk to the duck pond.

Favorite Piece: Both the top and yoga pants are new from Old Navy and I LOVE them. The sweatshirt is lightweight and has a really flattering little crossover detail at the bottom.

Old Navy Sweatshirt (annoyingly not showing up online) and Pants | New Balance Sneakers

For: Same deal, another lazy outfit for a day running errands and running after O.

Favorite Piece: Steph talked me into these pants when she was here in October and I wear them constantly (and have them in black too!). The mesh detail makes them fun and dare I say, sexy? No, I don't. Scratch that. 

For: Date night with Hubby

Favorite Piece: The hunt for white jeans began early this year. Fortunately I had success at Old Navy pretty early on and snagged some of their Rockstar jeans in white. The best part(s)? 1. The high(ish) rise. I like a higher rise because I'm not fourteen. 2. They're stain repellent. Yep, you read it right. How smart is that??

For: A champagne brunch for Ailee! 

Favorite Piece: Gotta go with the white jeans again. Everything I'm wearing here is old, but it's amazing how a new pair of jeans can make it all fresh again!

Another day of errands in an old Anthropologie top with the amazing white jeans again! 

For: A day in the studio and a coffee date.

Favorite Piece: This Target sweater is new, affordable, and (be warned) crazy shrinkable. Don't dry this bad boy, hang it. Despite it's shrinking tendencies, I love the length and it comes in a bunch of colors!

So there you have it, another thrilling week of wear! My hopes for the weekend? To kick this cough to the curb, enjoy some wine with a friend, get Olivia to tell me about her "powers" again (best conversation we've ever had!), and get in a date with Ryan! Hope you all have a good one!

A Naked Cake

I feel like this title could be super easily misunderstood, whoops!

No, it's not some kind of bachelorette party cake, but an unfrosted (and therefore naked) cake! I've been wanting to learn to make these for a while and finally made the time to try it this weekend.

I followed this little tutorial here and it really wasn't so tough! The biggest thing was to make sure that everything was level including the frosting between layers. It took about 4 hours total since I made four cakes (two at a time) that each took 35 minutes to cook and then needed to cool for at least an hour. I just grabbed a small bouquet of flowers at the grocery store to garnish it and really love how it turned out!  

I used a boxed cake mix (two boxes) and frosting in a can (two cans) to save myself some more time, so nothing too fancy over here!

My husband and Liv (not so) patiently waited for me to take a few photos before we cut into this bad boy and demolished it!

Loving Lately : Budget Finds

I seriously love a bargain find...is there anything better? I'm absolutely one of those people who will say "Oh thanks, it was only $10!" if you compliment my lipstick color or something and I know it's probably annoying and definitely unnecessary, but I can't help it! 

I've had a few good ones lately that I just have to share and hopefully you'll find one or two that just have to make their way into your hands!

First up, the face mask I've been torturing you all with on my snapchat (@willowcrowns).

What it is: Bentonite Clay
The Damage: $9

A friend told me about this amazing Bentonite Clay when I was complaining about stubborn pores and it sounded too good to be true. Under ten dollars and a pore purging miracle? Psh.

Sure enough, it is.

 I mix equal parts of this powder with apple cider vinegar into a mask and keep it in a tupperware on my bathroom counter. When my skin starts to rebel (so almost all the time) I mask every other night for 20 minutes and the next day my skin is considerably better. Not to get too gross, but this stuff will take a stubborn blemish and bring it to the surface so it can be extracted more easily.

What it is: Hyaluronic Acid
The Damage: $15

I'd used hyaluronic acid before but somehow it drifted out of my routine and off my radar when Olivia was born and it took a snapchat from Meg to remind me how much I love it. 

I use this under my moisturizer as an additional moisturizer/skin plumper both morning and night and while it doesn't have a big impact immediately, I can definitely notice when I stop using it. It's super moisturizing, lightweight, and help keep fine lines and wrinkles from forming.

The Damage: $7

I read about the benefits of micellar cleansing water and what a champ it is for removing makeup and impurities and decided to give it a go after spotting it on an end cap during an Ulta run. Apparently the micelles in the water pull dirt and other gross gunk to the surface so it's a more effective makeup remover than a makeup remover wipe or water on its own.

I put some on a cotton circle and use it to remove my makeup prior to face wash/toner/hyaluronic acid/moisturizer. I'm super duper high maintenance in the skin department lately but this addition to my routine is totally worth it. It gets so much makeup off that I don't have any left on my washcloth after using my face wash! 

The Damage: $30

Finally, the one I'm most excited about! I seldom switch out purses and tend to use my Neverfull religiously, but I do like a cute cross body for date night or sometime when I'm solo and don't need a giant bag full of miscellaneous junk. This little blue bag from Target hopped right into my cart last week and I've definitely not regretted it!

The color is just perfect for Spring and it comfortably fits my wallet, keys, a tiny hairbrush, sunglasses, gum, and a couple lipsticks, so basically everything I really need. Not the iPad, snacks, and gardening gloves (??) I normally carry. 

I love that all of these things together cost a grand total of $62 and have all become fast favorites. Being able to mix affordable options in with nicer products/items is really fun for me and hopefully there's something here you'll find works for you!

Around the House

While I've seriously slacked on the blog front this week, it's been because the laundry had reached a level I simply couldn't ignore, WC has been super busy (yay!) prepping for our Spring launch, and my in-laws just arrived for a week so we've been getting ready for their visit! 

Olivia's also started to give up her nap which means the evening hours have been a little ugly around here while we adjust, so tonight I'm taking advantage of the best free childcare there is (three cheers for grandparents, am I right?) and having a little blog/bubble bath/face mask night. So here's a look at what's been going on around here!

favorite white wine: Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc

Liv is obsessed with either painting or baking which means our house is getting wiped down and mopped constantly. Constantly.

The weather has been amazing here and I'm loving that we can eat on the patio, usually homemade pizza on Friday nights. I've also been making honey butter lately and loading that and strawberry jam onto toasted sourdough english muffins. Whoa mama.

Speaking of great weather, it's almost sandal weather in Texas! I'm planning on wearing these for date night this weekend.

I've been living in these Anthropologie lounge pants lately, and they make my cozy morning alone time even better! I'm sure it's not sexy to say this, but you're looking at my Valentine's Day outfit. I just don't know that I have the desire to go all out on the 14th, but I'd happily settle for a quiet date night at home with my hubby and a meal I didn't have to make!

A Week of Wear

And just like that it's Friday! 

My go-to uniform of relaxed, comfy tops with my favorite denim has been completely consistent lately, but if it's not broke don't fix it, right? I may still struggle to melt chocolate without burning it every time, but I've got dressing for comfort/function as a stay at home/work at home mom down pat! Here's what I wore this week: 

For: Sunday crepes with Ryan and Liv, a day of cleaning, and meeting Veronika for coffee.

Favorite Piece: I've snagged a few tops from Anthropologie over the past couple of months (as you'll see!) and I've been wearing them constantly. They are just so well made, the styles are gorgeous, and they just really work with my style comfort zone. This boucle sweater was on crazy sale (still is, but not quite as much) and since it's my favorite turquoise color, I couldn't walk away. A little random, but I still wear my maternity tanks (Liz Lange from Target) long after my pregnancy underneath my cardigans because I just love the length and the stretch!

For: Honestly. I don't remember what we did this day. I legitimately started driving the wrong way, realized it, and didn't turn around for five more minutes. Distracted? Yes. So let's assume work and playing with the kiddo? That's a safe bet.

Favorite Piece: Bad hair days call for hats, always, so thankfully this Anthropologie hat is as versatile as it gets and goes with almost any outfit I throw together. I actually can't wait to wear it with my new cream sweater that's two images down!

Older Old Navy Sweater | AG Denim | Sam Edelman Flats

For: Grocery shopping, a coffee/play date, and an casual dinner out.

Favorite Piece: Get ready to see these flats again. And again. And again. They're Sam Edelman and they come in a bunch of different colors so I might have to give these a break and grab another pair next time they go on sale!

For: Morning in the studio, a lunch playdate, and a walk to the turtle pond

Favorite Piece: This Anthropologie sweater is new and ladies. Seriously. It's worth the splurge. As you know, I'll never turn down a poncho, but this feels more like a regular sweater and the embroidery details on the cuffs and hem are just delicate and pretty. It's a nice, lightweight sweater which makes it a wardrobe possibility for at least the next few months here!

For: Drop off, a day in the office, and a quick lunch with Ryan.

Favorite Piece: I think I've instagrammed this sweater before, and if there's a favorite top in this post, it's a tie between this and the Anthropologie Poncho. It's super comfy, and the top half isn't some cheap, flimsy material like some shirts of these style. I always struggle with ruffle hem shirts to find one where the material joining doesn't hit me square in the middle of my stomach (not at ALL flattering) so I sized up on this one to get a little extra length. 

For: Drop off, coffee with Meredith, an appointment, and an afternoon playing outside.

Favorite Piece: It was a little cool this day, so I grabbed my go-to flannel from J Crew! While it's not available in this print at the moment, here's the same style and I promise you'll love it!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Shops I Love : Allison Cole Jewelry

Hey, friends!

Thanks to the many (many, many, many) hours I've logged on Instagram over the past few years, I've managed to connect with lots of really amazing small business owners who are doing some pretty fantastic things. I'll stumble across an account on the explore page or see someone tag someone I'm not following yet and my not so subtle stalking process begins.

Which is exactly what I did with Nicole from Allison Cole Jewelry. Thankfully she wasn't horribly repulsed by my fan-girling and agreed to chat with me a little bit about her gorgeous, nautical-chic Etsy shop! 

First I should let you know that while I'm currently residing in Texas, I'm a New England girl at heart and anything nautical catches my eye. When you add in fantastic craftsmanship, versatility, and great style, I'm a goner. 

I asked Nicole to tell me about her shop, pieces, and to spill on what some of her fave small shops are (you know, so I can stalk some more people)!
The Allison Cole line was recently launched in May of 2015 by designer, Nicole Recomendes. Each piece is handmade by Nicole out of her home in Westchester, NY. She was raised on the South Shore in Massachusetts and spent a lot of time on her family's boat growing up, which is where her love of all things nautical was born. Using rope, a material found on most of her pieces, she puts a unique (and pretty!) spin on what is normally a not-so-glamorous tool. You can shop her pieces at allisoncolejewelry.etsy.com.
A few of my other favorite small shops are Rania Dabagh (www.raniadabagh.com), Ruby James by Lauren Wall (www.rubyjamesbylaurenwall.com), and Knot Unraveled (knotunraveled.bigcartel.com)

When Nicole and I started chatting she offered to send me a couple of pieces and I shamelessly agreed, because I've had my eye on these navy and ivory pieces forever. Navy and cream are two of my most frequently worn colors and the gold metallic accent? Heaven. 

The quality is top notch, I get loads of compliments on them, and they're perfect for stacking with my everyday pieces, which makes them even easier to love! Olivia has already tried to swipe them from my dresser top multiple times and if they can survive a minute in her possession, they'll last forever and that's a fact. 

So what's the best part? Nicole is offering my readers a 20% off coupon code so you can snag a gorgeous bracelet of your own! Just use the code MEGAN in her shop and be sure to let me know which one you grab!  Also be sure to stop by her Instagram @allisoncolejewelry for more gorgeous wrist action!

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