VMS Digest: Vol. IX

Hi friends! A mix of things fun, frivolous, and serious today as we head into Labor Day weekend (wow, can’t believe it’s actually here. Heyyyy, September). Any fun plans this weekend? We’re currently in the midst of a rather uncomfortable heat wave here in the Bay Area. Joe and I are planning to lay low this weekend and attempt to stay cool… Just as many of you are probably busting out sweaters, there are greater than 90% odds I may be wearing a bikini around the house this weekend! Wherever you are, hope you stay safe, have fun, and welcome September with good times and good people! On to links…

COOL CAROLE // Ok, two Real Housewives related items for you today. First, RHONY fans might remember that Carole desperately needed to get her tiger couch reupholstered this past season (and had fabric swatches everywhere for said project). Well, the results of her massive apartment redecoration were recently featured on Architectural Digest — and the results are stunning!

ALL HAIL THE QUEEN // Well, maybe. New York magazine did a long feature on Beverly Hills housewife Lisa Vanderpump. I can’t say I learned anything new or surprising, but the photos from the article are so glam. I can only HOPE I look that good in another 20+ years! If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll love the article!

STATE OF THE BLOGGING UNION // Three years ago, Grace Bonney wrote a post about how the blog industry was changing. This month, she wrote an updated version that’s worth the (long!) read if you write a blog or have been reading them regularly over the last decade.

TOTAL ECLIPSE, DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS // So we didn’t even get to talk about the eclipse last week! I was totally fogged in here in SF, but it sure got dark. I watched two of the total eclipses online and even seeing video of it felt emotional. I can’t even imagine how amazing it must be to see in person…which is why I’m STOKED that there will be a total eclipse over Austin in 2024. You can bet I’m already planning to head back and see it with friends! If you’re curious about future eclipses from now until, well, basically the end of time, NASA has mapped out at least the next 1000 year’s worth…

THINGS MILLENIALS DON’T LIKE // A list of products and industries that millenials are “killing,” purely due to our common lifestyle preferences. Are you surprised by any of these?

I DEFINITELY COULDN’T HACK IT // As a Bachelor in Paradise cast member. The amount of prep that is required to look good in such hot, humid temperatures would render it a non-starter for me.

GET ME TO GRASSE // I’ve long dreamed about visiting Grasse, France, to learn more about the perfume industry there and experience the flower fields. This beautifully done article lays out a dream trip; I basically read it, turned to Joe and said, “We’re going to France next year, and P.S., we’re making a trip to Grasse.” Perfume lovers, bookmark this!

HAIR HATE TO HAUTE // I loved this fun piece about women on the Man Repeller team having their hair styled professionally in a way they’d normally never do. And of course, everyone looked amazing afterwards! It got me thinking about my own hair, and how it always happens that when I feel most uncomfortable with how it looks is when I get complimented on it the most (read: usually big, voluminous, super thick looking). What style do you hate on yourself?

TED-ED // Do you ever watch those animated Ted-Ed videos? I have a few friends who started liking them on Facebook regularly, so they ended up getting served to me in my feed. I’m not mad at it! It’s random, but I really liked this one about the mythology behind Psyche and Cupid. There are SO many videos about all types of different topics, from design, to religion, to current events and even health. It’s a fun way to spend a few minutes if you have any down time!

LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO // Thoughts on Taylor Swift’s latest single? There are parts of the song I could get into…but I’m not feeling the whole narrative/story around its launch (and her general PR moves). Hitha shared this older article on her Instastories this week, about how T.Swift has made a career (literally) out of playing a victim, and I agreed with a lot of it. I also enjoyed this conversation about the release. 1989 was the first Taylor Swift album I ever purchased (let alone enjoyed). Maybe it was a fluke? How have you guys reacted to the “new” Taylor (since the old one is dead and all)?

FORGIVENESS // A wonderful story about bigotry, community, and above all, forgiveness. One of my fave reads this last week, especially in such divisive times.


Early last weekend, before the storm hit Houston, some friends asked if my family there and in Austin were going to be ok. “Oh yeah,” I told them nonchalantly, “Houston’s freeways flood with some regularity, so people there are used to this.” And it’s true; being right on the Gulf Coast means the city has seen its fair share of hurricanes and storms.

But by Sunday afternoon, it was obvious this was very, VERY different. I talked to my grandmother, who lives in Houston, early in the week and she confirmed it was easily the worst flooding she’s ever seen. It’s been heart wrenching to see streets and neighborhoods I know completely flooded. I can’t even imagine what so many families are going through, and how much the city will change because of this.

If you’re so inclined and want to help, here’s a great post featuring some worthy organizations to donate to. Joe and I donated to Austin Pets Alive earlier this week, as stories of cats and dogs being left behind (or, in some awful cases, tied up to trees…like, WTF) made the news. I chose this organization because as a smaller group who was headed into Houston to transport animals back to ATX, I felt they could have a lot of impact on the ground, immediately, but didn’t have the benefit of a big marketing budget or a ton of press. Wonderfully, they have gotten plenty of press since then, but they’re a great organization to help out regardless. FWIW, I agree with Hitha’s discussion about the Red Cross at the end of this post, but of course, every little bit can help. So if you want to give, do so where you feel comfortable.

If you are based along the Gulf Coast or have family and friends who are, Joe and I both are thinking of you, and them.

in the studio.

+ The launch of <em>press themes is just around the corner! If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter, as we’re kicking off our first round of emails to subscribers next week (and we’ll start chatting with everyone on social platforms too!). Our emails are going to feature blogging tips and tricks, sneak peeks of our themes, and some behind the scenes stuff too. Stay tuned!

+ ICYMI, my friend and client Sweet & Spark launched her first ever collection of clothing last week!

+ Oddly, I feel like I have been completely bogged down with work, but have a lot of projects in the middle of design or production at the moment. I can’t wait to share some of the big builds we’ve been working on, later this fall!

get in my cart

Labor Day Weekend sales & steals!

CLUB MONACO // Take 20-30% off your entire order with code FALL17, and get free shipping on orders of $150+! (It’s so rare that CM does these types of discounts AND free shipping on new stuff. I scooped up this black cocktail dress and this cute muscle tee.)

EVERLANE // Two words: MULE BOOTS. I’m kinda into it!

SOLID + STRIPED // Most of their suits are 30% off this weekend, and with free overnight shipping!

M.GEMI // They’ve added a bunch more summer styles to their sale section (yes, they have a sale section!). Just go here and select your size to see what’s still in stock!

LAST CALL // Discount hunters rejoice! Everything is an extra 30-75% off this weekend. Of note: these Stuart Weitzman OTK boots are over 55% off!

J.CREW // 30% off everything with code YESPLEASE! Surprising myself with how much I like this black lace top.

ANTHRO // Take an extra 40% off all sale items.



Happy Labor Day weekend, and welcome to September!

Image Credit:

Photo by Max Ostrozhinskiy, via Unsplash