Friday, August 30, 2013

Update: Couch Makeover

DIY, couch, makeover, home, decor, interior design, textiles, style, pillows, pink, orange

DIY, couch, makeover, home, decor, interior design, textiles, style, pillows, pink, orange

DIY, couch, makeover, home, decor, interior design, textiles, style, pillows, pink, orange

DIY, couch, makeover, home, decor, interior design, textiles, style, pillows, pink, orange

DIY, couch, makeover, home, decor, interior design, textiles, style, pillows, pink, orange
This is what it looked like before...

Remember when I first started working on my couch makeover way back when in May? Well I finally finished up sewing all of the pillows this past weekend and couldn't be happier with the results! No, it didn't actually take me 3 months to sew 5 pillows-- I began at my parent's house and then was able to finish them when I got back there again (I don't have a sewing machine.) Has anyone sewn pillows with zippers before? It can be a little difficult to get the hang of at first since I am not a seamstress by any means. 

The easiest way to cover the couch without reupholstering the whole thing was a slip cover. I actually found mine at Wal-Mart for about $40 which is a very reasonable price when we're talking about a couch. It doesn't fit perfect and there are areas I have to tuck it into the cushions for a more fitted look, but it works. 

My apartment makeover is coming along nicely and I can't wait to completely finish and share it with you guys! In between classes, work, and blogging I make changes, come up with new ideas, and finish more DIY projects -- all of which I will be sharing! I have some shelf styling and a dresser makeover yet to complete and then hopefully I will give the big reveal in a few weeks! Stay tuned.

What do you think about the couch and pillow cushions? 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

How to Land Your Kick-Butt Dream Job: Episode 4

how to land your kick butt dream job, career, jobs, interviews, internships, blogging, tips, advice, Cait, Pretty & Fun

It's hard to believe this is the 4th and final episode of the blog series, How to Land Your Kick-Butt Dream Job with Cait Weingartner, the voice of Pretty & Fun. I designed the blog series to be an extensive interview, focusing on a different topic each week throughout the month of August. It's been great learning the inside tips on college involvementinternships, interviewing, and blogging from a pro like Cait. Let me know in the comments if this blog series was helpful and if you'd like to see more of them in the future! 

Make sure to drop Cait a line on her blog or Twitter and let her know if you found it helpful as well!

Name: Cait Weingartner
Age: 25
Job Title: Digital Strategist, 360i
Blog name/year started: Pretty & Fun, 2011

How has blogging helped build your career? Did you share Pretty and Fun with your current employer while interviewing? My blog is actually a really important piece of my resume and is featured immediately after my current position. For me blogging is a really interesting element of working as a strategist – I’m able to see things from both a brand and a blogger’s perspective to have a very holistic view of the influencer marketing space.

Tell us about your blogging schedule. How often do you post, do you write posts ahead of time, where do you find your inspiration? I’ve found that planning ahead and getting posts written & scheduled in advance works best with my schedule. I tend to brainstorm about 100 or so posts every few months and keep those organized in a Google Calendar. At the beginning of each month I’ll go through and plan the month out but still keep things flexible so at the end of the day, I’m able to blog about what I truly want to. I’ve found inspiration is everywhere – it ranges from the beautiful world of Pinterest to my fellow bloggers and just my every day life experiences.

You have been featured on some well-known websites such as The Everygirl. Tell us about the process. Did you contact them with the idea, how long was the process from contacting them until the day you were featured? It really has varied! With The Everygirl I was a long-time reader and noticed that many of the home tours that they featured were from submissions. I sent a quick email with a few photos of my studio and was shocked to get a very enthusiastic yes from Danielle & Aliana. With some other features I was approached by the brand / publication – I’d say overall it’s been a mix of getting people to say yes and saying yes ;)

What do you recommend to new bloggers that are looking to collaborate with others? How does one go about the process of starting out? Start a conversation and establish a relationship. Social media makes it so easy to connect with other bloggers – I always appreciate comments or conversation with readers and it really is remembered. Keep things simple and don’t be afraid to reach out to other bloggers but just realize that time is a limitation we all face.

Any last tips? Stay true to yourself! At the end of the day, your blog is yours. Set goals for yourself and work toward those without comparing yourself to other bloggers or stressing about page views and comment numbers. Stick with your voice and your vision, be authentic and take time to make connections.

Image via Refinery29

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday Wish List 8.2

With this week Iowa heatwave and all the buzz on New York Fashion Week, I think I am finally ready for fall. Despite the fact that fall leads into winter....and that means 4 months of miserable cold weather and snow, fall is one of my favorite times. Especially for fashion. There is just something about cozy sweaters, corduroy, and boots.

Last week I attended the J.Crew Style Sessions (Shout out to the fabulous and ever so stylish Katelyn, Sam, and Kiley whom I met at the event!) promoting their new fall collection and fell in love with every piece. Not that that is unusual or anything -- it's actually seems to be a recurring thing! Chambray shirts, corduroy pants in every shade (I got the dark red), and boots on boots on boots. How's a girl supposed to choose?

I did some deep thinking and managed to limit my fall wish list to a few pieces...for this week anyway.

Classic Stripe Lace Up Who doesn't love a cute pair of tennies? // Printed Point Flat A super versatile flat and I love the pointy toe. // Printed Skinny Jeans I will admit these look a bit scary. Had it not been for Sally's fabulous outfit I would have never considered these. I have yet to purchase a pair of printed jeans but with this price, they are too good to pass up. // Baseball Cap I have been loving the sporty, relaxed look these days. Dressing for class and dressing for work call for 2 totally different wardrobes. For class I like to be comfortable yet stylish. A baseball cap means I can sleep in and extend my blowout one more day... // Madewell Henley Again, it's all about the easy pieces that still look great.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Trip in Photos


The best ice cream ever.

Lincoln Memorial

On the field at Washington National's stadium

NYC view from New Jersey.

Ground Zero

He was posing perfectly just asking for a photo. 

The White House

My final year of college has officially begun! The first week of classes are syllabus overload but I don't mind. So many different feelings now that's it's my last year. 

Last week I was on vacation and took time off from blogging and my computer for the majority of the trip. Whenever I take a few days off I always get anxious to come back and get back to working and blogging, but I tried hard to take in everything while on vacation and be present. We toured most of the monuments and visited the Holocaust Museum. Had some $9 beers at a couple Nationals baseball games and got to the see Redskins win. 

My favorite part about the trip (besides the Redskins win) was walking around Georgetown. It's a quaint neighborhood in DC with great architecture and cute shops and restaurants. So many great outdoor spaces and menus I wish we could have spent a whole week just trying the different restaurants! I don't think my stomach would have been too happy with me though. It was so fun walking around the city, exploring new places, and people watching. Have you tried it before? You just find a comfy seat in the mall, on the sidewalk, anywhere and watch all of the people come and go. A lot of my outfit inspiration actually comes from people watching. It's really interesting to see how people interact especially in different cities. 

Since my new Canon T3i and lens arrived in the mail the day before I flew out, I used my vacation as practice learning to shoot my new camera. I must say it's a bit intimidating converting from my iPhone camera to a DSLR. No joke I read the camera's user's manual while on the airplane just so I had a little information on the different settings. It was actually very helpful in understanding when to use what setting and what each one did. All of the pictures above are taken by me during my trip. Some of the photos were taken using the auto and landscape setting, but I played around a lot with settings to create blurred backgrounds, which is actually my favorite technique. 

Here are a couple helpful resources I used when shooting and editing my photos. Do you have any great resources for photography tips? 

Friday, August 23, 2013

How to Land Your Kick-Butt Dream Job: Episode 3

How to land your kick-butt dream job, Cait, Pretty & Fun, jobs, interviews, feature, career

As promised, today is the 3rd episode of How to Land Your Kick-Butt Job with Cait Weingartner, voice behind Pretty & Fun! If you missed episode 1 and 2 or just want to reread them (kudos to you!) find them here and here

Today Cait is with us chatting all about interviews and what employees look for in an employee. We all know how difficult it is to stand out from competition these days so Cait shares her tips that helped land her a dream job. So read up :) If you have any other questions that weren't answered or if you have a question about my interview tips feel free to tweet me at @amandarisius and I will do my best answering them.

Name: Cait Weingartner

Age: 25

Job Title: Digital Strategist, 360i

Blog name/year started: Pretty & Fun, 2011

What qualities are employers really looking for as interns and employees? I think the most important quality, hands down, is just having a general hunger. Be curious. Want to learn more. Always say yes to opportunities. Speak up and ask questions. I’ve found that hunger and curiosity are two things that really set people apart in the work place (even well beyond internships).

How do you stand out from such tough competition and set yourself apart? Keep age and inexperience from being a factor by focusing on your problem solving ability and professionalism. Stay focused on the results you’ve delivered during interviews, ask questions and have a clear vision of why you think the job is a good fit and goals you’d have for yourself in that position. Stick with the classics for your interview outfit and always send a handwritten thank you note as a follow up, referencing personal connections and anecdotes from your interview.

What recommendations do you have for those on the internship or job hunt and not landing any interviews? Reevaluate your resume. Are you selling yourself short? Are you saying a lot without actually providing any meaningful information? Make sure your resume shows impact and action – focus on what you have done and the results of your work versus highlighting vague activites.

I have seen many job applications ask for a portfolio or link to a blog. Do you have an online portfolio? Who hosts it, perhaps share a link? and explain its significance to employers. I don’t have one!

Thank you Cait! 

Image via Refinery29

Thursday, August 22, 2013


My week in DC was perfect and just what I needed. So nice to explore the city and spend time with the boyfriend and his family. More pictures are coming soon. I flew in late last night and spent today trying to adjust to good ole' Iowa again. Do you ever have a hard time coming back from a vacation? Even though it was a new city, it felt so easy and familiar and I liked that. 

I'm hoping once I get my apartment all organized and settled it'll start to feel like my own. Internet isn't scheduled for setup until the 28th so I am slightly freaking out. Yet another waiting game with the Internet. Not fun. Not fun at all.  So I'll do my best writing posts when I have access to the Internet. Once school starts I can get back on schedule with things! Tomorrow I'll post the How to Land a Kick- Butt Job feature instead of posting it today. I apologize for the chaos lately, it will get better I promise! 

Image taken by me in Georgetown.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Until Next Time

Tomorrow I fly out for DC for my long awaited vacation. Words can't express how excited I am to get away and travel around, try new restaurants, and do some shopping! Traveling always bring a new kind of excitement. Many years ago I took a class trip to DC for school. I remembered how much I loved the pretty city and learning about all of the history it offers. Of course, we have to do the touristy things like the walking tour of all of the monuments, but we plan on hitting a Washington Redskins football game as well. My boyfriend is a huge Redskins fan so he wouldn't miss it for the world. 

Since I plan on spending my days touring the city, I will be stepping away from the computer and taking the week off from blogging. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for photo updates and to see what I'm up to. I plan on taking lots of photos with my new Canon T3i that I am sooo excited to use! Lots of learning with this guy so I'll take all the advice I can get. I thought it was time to take photos with something else other than my iPhone. 

Those of you familiar with the DC area -- any restaurants I should try? Places to see? 

Have a great week!

Images via

Friday, August 9, 2013

Worth Stealing: Pom Poms

How was your week? With only a few short weeks left before school starts I have a laundry list of things to get done before classes begin. Some exciting DIY projects and some not so exciting things like update my resume and unpack. 

Lately pom poms have been popping up everywhere on the web. From pillows to bags they are a cute and festive touch. Sort of a cool Southwestern feel. Can't help but want to pick up every piece. 
Furbish studio, pom poms, clutch, pouch

pom poms, top knot, hair, Babasuk

My hair isn't quite long enough for a top-knot just yet but for those of you that are blessed in the hair department, go grab yourself a top-knot pom pom! 

amber interiors, pillows, pom poms, decor, ikat

Want to make your own pom poms? DesignLoveFest has a great tutorial for pom pom ornaments! Not to bring up the holidays or anything (But really, they're only 4 months away. Yikes), but what a creative way to decorate your tree this year. They seriously take only 5 minutes to make. I'm thinking about making myself a pom pom garland to hang above my desk for kicks. What do you think?

diy, pom poms, garland, style me pretty

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

How to Land Your Kick-Butt Dream Job: Episode 2

How to land your kick butt dream job, Cait, Pretty & Fun, interviews, internships, job, careers

Last Thursday was the first episode of the new series on the blog How to Land Your Kick Butt Dream Job with Cait Weingartner, voice behind Pretty & Fun. The idea all started when I was reading interviews on the web of successful business women, but I had so many other questions besides the 5-6 questions they answered. I wanted to dig deeper and discover the steps they took that lead them to their successful careers. There's the saying that if you have a question there's probably others out there with the same one so I decided to make a blog series out of it! When I reached out to Cait and told her my blog series idea she thought it was great! 

Thank you again Cait for putting in the time to answer some questions with your busy schedule and new job! If you missed last week's episode about college and Cait's experiences check it out here

Name: Cait Weingartner

Age: 25

Job Title: Digital Strategist, 360i

Blog name/year started: Pretty & Fun, 2011

Tell us about your 2 internship experiences and who they were with.
During college I did two internships and then freelanced for one company until after graduation. My two internships were with Success Communications Group, working within their Public Relations team and All American Games, supporting PR and social media for the company’s training camps and events. While at All American Games I noticed a huge void in social media for the company (whose target was mostly teenage football players and parents) and launched social channels for all of their brands, then worked to manage and provide ongoing support as a freelancer.

What was the process of landing each internship? How did you find each?

My college’s career services department was very helpful as far as internships go – I had a general idea of what I wanted to focus on (Public Relations) and was able to set up interviews for both internships through my college. 

How do you think your internship experiences played a role in landing a job right out of college?

My internships gave me a lot of really valuable outside of the classroom experience that served as the focus of my resume at graduation. Being able to speak to real client work that I had done and having a feel for the agency world provided me with real-world examples that I could reference during interviews beyond courses I had taken.

What was the biggest lesson you learned during your internships?

Be a self-starter. I quickly realized during my first internship that “down time” was a complete waste of time. My managers were busy themselves and didn’t have time to be continuously monitoring my activities and progress on tasks – creating little side projects for myself and going beyond the initial task during any free time showed initiative and got me started with thinking strategically. Don’t be afraid to speak up and offer suggestions or weigh in on assignments and the work you’re doing. You’re there to add value, not just follow directions.

As always, come back next week for episode 3 discussing interviews and what employees are looking for. 

Image via Refinery29
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