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Local Loves

This week has been a fun feature of local loves.  We love shopping and working with local businesses to bring you fresh ideas but also inspire you to do the same wherever you live.  We collaborated with Flower Girl Design Studio, here in Appleton to come up with a floral arrangement of breathtaking blooms to celebrate the first day of spring! And since Easter is right around the corner we decided to set our table a little early for some Easter inspiration.  Flowers make such a statement on your tablescape and are also a thoughtful sentiment to bring to your Easter gathering (hint, hint!).

Owner and artist, Michelle Northey, has the most adorable studio filled with amazing blooms, fresh greens and more vases and vessels than you could imagine.  Not only is the vibe fun and artsy but it’s an open space studio where creativity flows freely, yet is warm and welcoming. She loves working with people to create the perfect way to set the scene and say something special.  She can cater to events large or small but also has that special knack for the everyday customer looking for a gift or something for their home.  She also does fun things like a monthly floral service, where a seasonal bouquet can be delivered to your house. Regardless of your budget, she will come up with something spectacular – sign me up!

The gorgeous centerpiece you see below is available to order starting at $50 and can be customized to your budget.  Just ask for the Drape + Dapper spring bouquet (*bonus, she can deliver to the Fox Valley, Green Bay, Oshkosh and surrounding area).  Or call 920.284.7292 or stop in, she has a new location at N282 Stoneybrook Rd, Appleton.  If you’re looking for something quick and easy, she always has fresh tulip bunches on hand this time of year for $15 (and not your standard store bought variety) check out the cream colored beauties below.


Drape + Dapper spring bouquet c/o Flower Girl Design Studio  – order yours today!!

rug 8×11 here similar here // table local similar here  // side chairs vintage // host chairs – old similar here here // sheepskin throw – home goods

white + gold tea lights // swan tea lights vintage // burlap table runners – easy DIY but similar here // napkins -target old similar here

tulips and greens Flower Girl Design Studio // preserved boxwood balls 6″ + 10″  //  tree candle stick // white bowl // gold candle stick // all other items vintage // DIY natural ombre Easter eggs post here


tulips, greens and moss  Flower Girl Design Studio // gold vase // DIY natural dye ombre easter eggs post here

Charger // blue plate // white dishes vintage – from this cute shop in Madison  // moss – flower girl design studio

cherry blossom branches make an easy spring arrangement

Get to know Michelle from Flower Girl Design Studio a bit more:

I’m not a florist. I’m an artist. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. I studied studio-art at Lawrence University, and discovered the artistry of flowers after graduation. Flower Girl Design Studio is my own personal gallery, where I pursue my passion for blending the spirit and sentiment of people, with the colors, shapes, and scents of nature’s most beautiful creations.

Being picky about my flowers means Flower Girl offers beauty and quality no-one else can. Because what other shops have to special-order, I order all the time. What other shops call exotic, I call everyday. And what other shops consider good-enough, I don’t even consider. On any given day, my studio is filled with rows and rows of beautiful blooms, all fresh, all premium, most you won’t find anywhere but Flower Girl.



Happy spring,




Our friend (and nail guru) Breann from Salon Aura gave us the low down on what’s happening in the world of nail color and nail art for spring.  She also gave us both a fab manicure and came up with some colorful creations for our digits (the gal has some serious talent!).  Fun colors and funky nail art aren’t all she’s here to tell us about.  There have been advancements in the staying power of polish with newer formulas like gel polish that actually cure under a light ( I can attest because I go at least 3 wk stretches with my polish).   She also gives us a few tips for at home practices to prolong that pretty mani.

nail collage 2

What colors are trending for spring right now?

Pastels are always on trend for spring. Pastels that have some sass, not your grandmothers twinset.

Colors I can’t get enough of right now include sky blue, lilac, salmon, aquamarine, taupe, magenta, rose, peach, blush, periwinkle, mint, toasted almond and sage.  Metallics pair well with all of these colors and can add a little edge to your manicure. Rose gold is having a major moment in jewelry right now so why not try it on your nails too?

Don’t be afraid of trying something new.  Remember, nail polish is not permanent.  You might surprise yourself and find a new favorite color.  Don’t limit yourself by thinking blues, purples, etc. don’t look good on me or that wearing fun bright colors isn’t age appropriate.  There a perfect  shade or tone of each color for everyone.  You just might have to experiment a little to find it and a nail tech  can certainly help you decide that as well.

metallics good

What is happening in nail art at the moment?

The sky is the limit with nail art.  You can be as creative or as conservative as you want.  This can be a super fun way to show another side of your personality and style.  Some of the most popular trends include  glitter, ombre, nail studs,nail tape and hand painted designs.  Negative space seems to be one of the biggest trends emerging right now.  Matte nails offer a satin finish and can transform colors you already have into something more sophisticated.  Hand painted geometric designs offer a modern take on nail art.  If you love a French manicure but want to freshen up your look try switching out the usual pink and white for an unexpected color combo. Instead of curving your line you can paint the tips at an angle.  However, if nail art just isn’t your thing you have nothing to worry about.  Painting all your fingers the same color is always in style and will be effortlessly classic!

Sky blue paired with silver glitter is edgy yet refined.  Doing one or two statement nails on each hand is a subtle way of playing with nail art trends.  The sky blue pastel color is having a major moment this spring and looks good on any skin tone.

Blush with rose gold ombre glitter.  This trend is feminine and flirty yet sophisticated enough because of the softness.  Blush and nude tones are everywhere this spring and the ombre glitter effect adds just a bit of freshness. 

Coral and gold is such a fab combo and we love the negative space of the natural nail color showing through.  This was a major trend on the runways and is a fun way to mix in with patterns (it also helps disguise out growth if applied at the base of nail).  Don’t be afraid to try different designs on all of the nails. 

White is a fun pop with a mod twist. Add a some nail art for something a bit funky. Nail tape is a great accent to keep the look clean for a minimal modern approach. 


What is gel polish?

Shellac / gel polishes are a longer lasting option which will usually stay put anywhere from ten days to three weeks.  It is applied in layers and cured under a UV or LED lamp.  The polish is dry when you are finished curing under the light so there is zero chance of smudging when you leave the salon!  This does require a little bit of a commitment by coming in to the salon to have it removed or reapplied.  It is still your natural nail so it is a great alternative to doing an acrylic nail.


Any tips for prolonging your gel manicure?

  1. Keep nails hydrated.  This is always important, but is especially crucial with gel because it will keep the polish flexible and less likely to chip.  I cannot get enough of the Beautifying Oil from Aveda (bonus: this wonder oil can be used from head to toe!)
  2. Be sure to keep fingers covered with gloves when cleaning and if nails will be submerged in water and harsh cleaners.  After all, what is an investment in a $2 pair of gloves when you just spent $40 on your manicure?
  3. DO NOT PICK YOUR SHELLAC OFF! I repeat, DO NOT pick it off!  This is the cardinal sin in nail maintenance and will make your nail tech shudder.  I know it is very tempting, but can be incredibly damaging.  Peeling will take off layers of your nail with the polish and leave the nails weak and thin.  You also don’t want to go to a salon that is using a drill to remove the polish – ouch!  This can often get too close to the skin under the nail and leave nails burning and in much pain.  If you can’t make it into the salon to have it removed follow these simple steps and it will be off in no time. Moisturize each nail with some oil.  Soak a cotton pad in remover and wrap a strip of aluminum foil around the nail to hold in place.  Allow it to sick for about ten minutes.  One nail at a time, remove the wrap and gently push the polish off with an orangewood stick.  Gently buff the surface of the nail to smooth.  For an added benefit finish with a strengthener like NailTek.  I swear by this product and have been using it for 10+ years!  You can also find it at Sally’s Beauty Supply.


What if I don’t want the commitment of gel polish?

CND Vinylux and OPI Infinite Shine Polish are great alternatives for someone who doesn’t want the commitment of a gel polish.  They last anywhere from 5-10 days, dry quickly (within 30 minutes are bone dry!) and stay shiny for days.  It is very important with both of these lines to use the complete system of cleansers, primers, polishes and topcoats to get the best and guaranteed results.


Any other general nail tips and advice?


  1. You no longer have to match fingers and toes.  It can be difficult to settle on one color so why not go with two?!  Have fun with your mani and pedi and mix it up by trying a few colors.  Since we’re on the subject, you also don’t need to match your nails to your outfit.  Of course if it is a special event you want your entire look to be cohesive and your nails should never compete with your outfit.  You want the manicure to compliment your look.
  2. Treat your nails as jewels not tools.  Don’t pick at them, use them to pry open jars, scrape off stickers, etc.  Keep a nail file in a handy location to smooth out snags before they become a problem.
  3. Ever want to know a womans true age?  Take a peek at her hands.  We spend boatloads of money of hair products, face serums, lotions and potions all promising to turn back time.  But we often forget about our hands.  Take a couple extra seconds after your nighttime skin routine and slather some extra serum and moisturizers on your hands to smooth rough skin and work on softening age spots. Some beauty companies are even coming out with products made specifically for your hands.  My clients and I have been raving about Aveda’s Night Renewal Serum!  Apply a small amount to tops of your hands and layer with a thick, moisturizing and replenishing lotion to seal in moisture at night.

b&w nails

 Breann working her magic 

*** LOCAL PEEPS –Book a mani with Breann at Salon Aura East and ask for the Drape + Dapper special.  She will do a statement nail of your choice with a fun design at no extra charge.




Our first local love is the fabulous Amanda Norisada. Not only is she one of my favorite people but she is amazingly talented and the woman behind Nori – handcrafted teepees, shoes and other coolness.   Seriously get on over and order ASAP – all items available online and delivered directly to your door.  But first feast your eyes below……ahhhhhh…..i will take one of everything please!


// Teepees //

Seriously friends….they are a PERFECT addition to a playroom or bedroom.  think reading nook or secret club or just a place to relax for your children. how can you NOT want one in your house.


Hello prettiness!  Sheer embroidered doors, pom pom trim and lace ties.

Hand painted black stripes. My favorite teepee!!

Perfect for a young boy who loves to explore! Map door and braided rope trim.

Brown linen doors and colorful hemp trim.

// Shoes for your little ones //

Who doesn’t love shoes?!  Amazing custom made shoes below for your sweet ones feet.

Metallic slouch sweater boots…need I say more?

Fringe….wait….double fringe… faux leather boots.

From fur to lace ups…love them all!

nori // drape + dapper

// Simple bootie pattern//

Want to try your hand at sewing?  Amanda also offers this super fun and popular bootie pattern in her Etsy shop….HERE.

nori // drape + dapper14


Get to know Amanda from Nori  //

Amanda started making shoes in 2009 on a whim as a creative outlet from her daytime sales job. A love for fabrics and pattern making sparked her to start with a line of shoes that, beyond her wildest dreams, became an instant hit. After years of balancing a full time career and giving birth to her daughter last April, she decided to make her passion for photography and creative goods a full time affair.  She is a strong believer in American made goods and tries to incorporate as many materials possible that are made in America.  With the recent launch of her new teepee designs and a possible transition into a firm sole line,  2015 will be an exciting year ahead and we can’t wait to see what else this talented lady has in store!  

Follow her HERE for Facebook // Follow her HERE for instagram. // AND please go HERE to purchase some fabulous pieces.