Self Portraits - Hello Me!

Taking a self portrait is something that I would have considered utterly nutso before I started blogging.

Now that I blog and sell accessories online....I do it all.the.time.  And it has become the norm in my world.

Last week I read this super cute post on a sorta fairytale about the importance of having a self-portrait on your blog.

It inspired me to write my own post about self-portraits and then, as an extra incentive, Chelsey from The Paper Mama is holding a giveaway for a $100 credit to her shop....and all you have to do is link up your self portrait post.

The first time I took photos of myself, they totally sucked.   Sometimes they're still really crappy and other times I love every picture.  It depends on my mood, the lighting, how I am feeling about my looks, and so on.

I look how I look and seeing myself in a photo instead of just a mirror has really opened my mind up to how I really look.

I have flaws {don't we all?} and things I wish I could change, but in general I like the way I look.  I like how some days I can see my dad in my nose or my mom in my cheeks.  In other days I see my grandfather in my eyes and my sister in my smile.  

My mouth is a bit small {said every dentist I have ever visited} and my eyes are a bit sunken in my head, which tends to make me look tired {"are you ok, you look tired?" says half the strangers I see on a weekly basis...} and my nose is a bit big {says I} but it's ok.  I look like a combination of about 10 different people and I wouldn't change it.

{Now, I might work out to change my arms, but that's a different story....}

I prefer a side profile shot:

Or one where I am looking down:

To a straight-on shot:

But despite the angle they are all me and were all taken by me.  I have several photos taken by professional photographers that I really, really love. But there is something special about a self portrait, don't you think?

Currently I am....
Obsessing Over: Not biting my nails.  I am quitting.  For real this time.
Working On: My spring line
Thinking about: How I need to organize my three laptops into my new MacBook.  Stuff is everywhere and I hate it.
Anticipating: The new camera I am planning to buy next month!
Listening To: Bruno Mars  {he's amazing and adorable}
Wishing: That I can complete all my goals this year.

What are you currently up to? 

Do you take self-portraits? If so, you should blog about it and link up for Chelsey's giveaway!

Winner - Hana Titanium Hair Straightener

Hey!  I meant to post this yesterday....but forgot.

Congrats to #14 - Liz from The Blue Eyed Owl...emailing you now!

p.s. Thank you all so much for your hair product recommendations....I have a list of new items to buy ♥.

Aging and Accepting

I consistently meet people that are 5-ish years younger than me and I immediately think they are my age or older {I am 31, btw}.  I always figured I was simply bad at determining someone's age but maybe I am in denial about my own age.

I have always been the youngest; the baby of my family.  I think as I get older and am an actual adult, I still don't feel older.  I look in the mirror and see a line between my eyes that doesn't go away.  My eyelids have tiny wrinkles on them and up close they look...old.

I tell myself:  "You take care of yourself.  You will be ok.  Aging is just a fact of life."  Then last week, after taking photos of my new heart♥bands, I see this:

When did this happen?!  When did my arms become the arms of an elderly woman?!

I mean...if my arms are going to look like they have lived, shouldn't I have my life together?

Shouldn't I have a child by now?  

Shouldn't I have a healthy retirement fun?  Or at least a rainy day fund?

Shouldn't I own my own house?

Shouldn't I know how to clean my oven?

Or open a bottle of champagne?

Or shower regularly?

Aging is so strange. For years I just looked a certain way and now I can see signs of being older.  It kind of freaks me out.  I know I cannot stop it, so I am going to accept it.  I am also going to do Tracy Anderson's arm workout every day until I no longer have the above problem.

What about you? Does aging freak you out or have you accepted it?  Or just given up completely :)?

Finn's Story

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  It was extra warm and sunny here in San Diego, which made me extra motivated and productive. I got so much done.

Thanks so much to each of you that completed my reader survey.  I am just going to leave the document active, so if you still want to fill it out, you can do so here.

My favorite thing about the survey {besides all your fave tv show...I have a tv addiction} was the question: 

"Is there anything you would like to see more of on my blog?"  

So many of you asked for more personal stories and/or behind the scenes in my studio.    When my studio is clean, I will give you a behind the scenes tour but for now, here's a little personal story about my dog Finn.....

My puppy is the prettiest boy I know.  He turns 3 in February, which technically means he is not a puppy anymore....but he will always be my little guy.

Yesterday, my husband and I took him to a special Valentine's Day mini-photo shoot {with these people}.  

If you have been reading this blog for a while, then you might know that Finn has extreme anxiety.  Like trembling when my husband watches soccer or if either of us raises our voice {in anger OR happiness}. He also tends to flip out when anyone new comes to the house.  He has a hard time with new people and dogs.

Finn's anxiety is a little heart breaking.  I often wonder if he is meant for this life, if he is happy, if he would rather be living on a farm where he can run free all day.....   

I even called an animal psychic about him.  Yes, I am one of those people. And it was fascinating.

Finn is such.a.good.boy.  But he is just so scared.

He was house broken within weeks, can learn new tricks in minutes, won all the awards at puppy school, and has never chewed on a thing in our house. Seriously, even when he was 8 weeks old, he knew to only chew on dog toys.

{The day we adopted Finn.  Gordita was not impressed...}

Finn's anxiety makes it hard to go out and do anything with him, so yesterday's outing was kind of a big deal for all of us.

We left Gordita {our older dog} at home because she tends to bully Finn and make him even more nervous when he is already stressed.   She is oozing with confidence and I think she is confused by Finn's behavior.

After the photo shoot, we walked to get coffee and sat outside.  A group of three teenage girls walked by and when they saw Finn they were full of high pitched "ooohs and ahhs" and "he is so cute!"

As they got closer and closer, my heart was in my throat and I was mentally begging them to not reach out and touch him.  Or to even stop.  

I wish I could put a sign around his neck that says "look, but please don't touch, it makes me nervous."

My biggest fear is that someone will attempt to pat his adorable big-eared self and he will freak out and bite them. 

So, if you ever happen to meet my sweet Finny, the best thing to do is ignore him.  Don't try to get him to warm up to you or come to you, he will do this when he is ready.  

He is a sensitive dog with a heart 10 times the size of mine, but it takes him a while.....

I saw this drawing on The Curious Pug last week and thought it was perfect.  

I meant to take a few "behind the scenes" photos yesterday, but I was too busy making cat noises in order to get Finn to perk his ears.  I saw a few of the shots the photographers took and they were priceless.  I cannot wait to share the proofs with you guys in a few weeks.

So, tell me.  Do you have a dog with anxiety/fear issues?  If so, what have you done to help him or her?  

Have a lovely weekend

Enjoy your weekend!

Don't forget to enter the Hana Titanium Hair Straightener giveaway - winner will be announced Monday.

Also, if you have a minute, I would love it if you could fill out my reader survey.


5 Things Friday

Happy Friday!!

Five things I am loving this week:

Downton Abbey - I might just have to do an entire post on this show.  SO good.  If you don't watch, rent season one from Netflix and then catch up on season two on PBS.  If you're a period drama junkie like me, you will love it.  Plus, now you have something to do this weekend.  

image via

image via

Honey Pot Pet Studio - I just discovered this super cute online pet store this week and I want to buy everything....but mostly these ID tags.  Finn would get the clover because he's Irish and Gordita would get the crown...because she's the princess {obvs}.  Love!

My First pair of Blowfish Shoes - It has been really warm here this week so I went crazy and wore shoes without socks.  These are the first pair of Blowfish Shoes I ever bought.  I got them about four years ago and still love them....even though they kind of smell =). 

Crate & Barrel and Anthropologie fruit containers - I spotted these blue ceramic fruit baskets on Anthro's website and fell in love.  Then, I saw these white ones via Crate and Barrel and so much cheaper...but they are no longer on the website....I guess I will have to take a trip to the store to pick up a few.  

These ceiling medallions painted yellow and hung on a wall are perfect.  I am doing this project.

Update: Heart Accessories

I have been busy at work creating and photographing several Valentine's Day inspired accessories.

A few styles were put in my shop last week...

Over-Sized Heart Studs {in hot pink, blue, yellow, pale pink, and glitter} and itty bitty shiny hearts {in red, pink, and white}:

And coming later today are the Just-Right Size Heart Studs {these are in between the itty and over-sized hearts}:
Vintage red glass just-right size heart studs

Teal just-right size heart studs

All colors currently in stock - mustard yellow, white, mint, pale yellow, teal, and plum. 
I love the retro look to these hearts and all the colors.  I think they would be cute year-round {not just around Valentine's Day} and I plan on stocking more colors in the coming weeks.

In addition to the new studs, I have several new HeartBands - simple stretchy headbands adorned with sequined hearts:
Red HeartBand

Pink + White HeartBand

Gold HeartBand

Blush HeartBand 

If you love any of these accessories, be sure to sign up for my {Acute} Deals newsletter.  I just happen to know that a special exclusive deal on all heart items is going out tomorrow....=)

Giveaway - The perfect hair straightener

If you stopped by this morning, you probably saw this post about my new Hana Titanium flat iron from Misikko.

It is by far the best flat iron I have ever used and I am excited that I have an extra one to give to one of you!

The winner will receive the flat iron + box of goodies from Misikko {you won't get the dog, sorry...he's too cute, I think I'll keep him forever =)}.

If you're dreaming of pin straight hair - enter below....

Entry Rules:

**You must be a follower of this blog via Blog Lovin or Google Friend Connect and leave me a comment telling me your favorite hair product {I am always on the hunt for amazing budget friendly finds}.

Extra Entries {please leave a separate comment for each one!}:
**Follow {Acute Designs} on Twitter
**Like the {Acute Designs} Facebook page
**Tweet this giveaway: 
I just entered to win a @misikko flat iron on @AcuteDesigns blog and you should too!
**Follow Misikko on Twitter

Winner will be announced next Monday {January 30th}.  Good luck!

p.s.. If you haven't yet completed my reader survey - you can do so here.  Please and thank you. ♥

The Straight Story

Years ago when I was in college I joined all other college aged girls of that era and started straightening my hair.  A roommate of mine had a cheap-o straightener that we would all take turns using in an attempt to make our hair super straight.

As I got a little older {and wiser made more money babysitting}, I bought a better quality straightener.  Finally, I got a pricy Chi Straightener.  I went on like this for maybe four years - straightening my thick, wavy hair to death every single day.

I remember feelings of envy towards my friends with thin, flat hair.  All they had to do was wash and dry their hair and boom it was straight.  

Life was so unfair.  I had to wash my hair, spend 30 minutes drying it, then another 30 straightening it.

When I entered Culinary School, I stopped all this nonsense.  I think it was a combination of my hair always being pulled up + the fact that it was about two years after Carrie Bradshaw stopped straightening her hair {she was always a few years ahead of me}.

I started wearing my hair wavy and looooved it.  

I realized that I was no longer envious of my straight haired friends. I loved the way my hair was thick and would fall into natural waves if I let it air dry and I have worn it that way ever since.  

I pull out the old Chi Straightener every now and then to accentuate my waves but more often, I use a thick barrelled curling iron.  Or just do nothing and top knot it.

Why am I telling you all this?  Well, a few weeks ago I was received a Hana Titanium Flat Iron from a company called Misikko.  My old straightener was collecting dust and my hair had been wavy for years, so I decided to give it a try.

The straightener arrived in a box full of goodies, including shine serum, nail files, a case for the straightener, and lots of other little swag.  It was a fun surprise.

 I think Finn wants me to straighten his husband would kill maybe I will try it when he is out of town.

I used to spend about 30 minutes straightening my hair {if wet, the entire process would take me an hour}.  

From the moment I plugged in my new Hana Straightener to the moment my hair was straight...about 6 minutes had passed.

Seriously, I was shocked by the quickness of this flat iron.  If you are a daily straightener//busy person, then this item would be perfect for you.  In addition to the quickness, my hair was super silky smooth and soft.  

My hair went from this {which I love, but it's nice to have options, you know?}.....

to this....{with a shameless plug of my newest headbands =)}

Despite the fact that my ends are in desperate need of a trim, I think the straightener did a fantastic job.  I might just switch it up around here and go straight hair-ed once in a while.

What about you?  Do you wear your straight, wavy, or curly?

p.s. I was able to score an extra Hana Straightener + box of goodies from Misikko and I will be giving it away later today - stop back for the giveaway in a few hours!

Too many cooks in the kitchen?

I think one of the hardest things about running a small business and blog is that sometimes I feel lost in the mix and that can be SO tough.  I so, so, so want to stand out but sometimes I feel like there are too many cooks in the kitchen.

I had one of these days last week.  A "what am I doing??" type of day and it was frustrating.  So, I did what I do when I am frustrated - drank.  Heavily.

Kidding....I took a break for the rest of the day and the next morning I felt better.   Don't you love how stepping away from something for a day can renew your perspective? 

In reality, there are a lot of cooks in the blogging/handmade biz "kitchen" but there aren't too many.  There is room for all of us at the table and if you feel like you are struggling to find your seat - you aren't alone.

I am not the first person to make a headband or a veil or a pair of rosebud studs.  And, I am not the first to blog about a handmade business or my life.   

I can't be the first or the only - but I can be myself and {luckily} there is only one of me.

When you feel lost in the mix - I know it is tempting to jump on any trendy bandwagon in order to get noticed.  As easy as that may be, in the long run it will just put you in line with everyone else, rather than set you apart.

Our world is full of constant media and information and everything going a million miles an hour and despite all of this, we still crave connection.  We as people crave something real.  Real connections, real communication, and real information.

My number one piece of advice for new or struggling bloggers is to be your true, authentic, genuine self.

There is room for everyone here in the blog world....and a variety of people, ideas, and perspectives, makes the experience so much sweeter.


Reader Feedback

Hey all you lovely readers - if you have a minute or two....I would love, love, love it if you would fill out my little survey below.

I hope you're having a good Monday.  


Weekend Wear: It's been a while....

I haven't done one of these in a minute so I figured it was about time I took a few outfit photos.

I got these boots in November and have been wearing them non-stop. They are from Blowfish and I actually won them over at Linz Loves You blog.  It was my first blog giveaway win and let me tell you, it was pretty damn exciting.  

Made my whole day.

New {Acute} Sparkling Bow Headband {will be for sale later this week}
Sweater, Gold Tank, & Dark Skinny Jeans: Gap
Hammered "R" necklace: Noon Designs

How was your weekend?  Mine was lazy - just what I needed because I have a busy, busy week ahead of me.

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