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Happy Friday blogging buddies.  In honor of today, my birthday, I decided to spread the love.  Everyone loves getting gifts (between the wedding and today, the UPS guy knows me by name!) and today I wanted to bring to you our very first giveaway!  That’s right, thanks to the lovely Danni from Oh Hello Friend, I have some great goodies to offer to you!

(photo via flickr)

Bday cupcake

So, what am I giving away?

This lovely little Joy necklace

Joy Beautiful gold bird and tree necklace

Plus your choice of any of these adorable little buttons

Oh hello friend buttons

AND your choice of hair pin set!

Oh hello friend hair pins

So what do you have to do to win these bad boys?

1. Go to Oh Hello Friend‘s shop and come back here to leave a comment  on what you are currently crushing on

2. Post a lovely little blog entry and comment here to let me know about it!

3. Tweet it!  Be sure to include @Ourdesignedlife to make sure I see it and be sure to comment here to ensure you got a number!

Remember, unless its commented here, the number generator can’t find you!

The giveaway will be open until Thursday October 8th at midnight.  The winner will be announced Oct. 9th.  So get to entering and spread the love (its good karma!)  Winner will be picked at random using random.org and PLEASE be sure to include an email or a link to your blog so I can get my daily fix too!

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Are you totally into fashion, or just like looking at interesting color combinations?  If you answered yes, then please let me introduce you to James Andrew from What is James Wearing.  I just stumbled upon his site a few days ago, and boy, this guy goes all out for fashion.  I love that he takes chances, pushes the imagination with color and prints and has no problem doing it.  Not only does he give you great photos, but he lists what he is wearing, and from the looks of it, pairs high end and affordable clothing to create a vibrant look.  Some outfits are better then others, but all take guts to pull off.  So go check out his blog, this guy can pull off combos I only dream of!  And who said men should wear color!

photos via What is James Wearing?

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Aw, what a week of being sick will do to your blog, and boy did I miss you guys!  I have some serious catching up to do in the design world, and thought what better way to start off then by these fun and seemingly easy DIY placemats I found over at The Pink Couch.  With the inspiration from mats at Pier One, Tara took to her stack of colorful magazines and put together beautiful stripped mats in no time flat.  I have always wondered what to do with all those magazines that we accumulate (hoard) each month, and I am thinking I have got to give this one a try!  Be sure to seal the mats so all your handy work can be displayed for several parties.  Great work Tara!

All photos and project from Tara at The Pink Couch.

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I heart photography.  In fact I almost went to school for it, until I saw those material fees! Whew!  As a fan and amateur  snap shot taker, I love to browse through what everyone else has deemed worth of uploading, and you can really find some, well, I will just say interesting subject matter.  Anyway, I am loving that Julie from Each Penny Pretty has taken some time to pull together some of the greats from Flickr in her group, each pretty penny: creative commons to get us all inspired.  While browsing I couldn’t help but stare and get lost in some of these….

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Diy ideas

I am quite notorious for changing things up in my apartment, to the point that every time friends come over, they look for the sometimes very subtle details.  Talk about pressure.  That is why I love Crafty Nest, a blog dedicated to diy projects on the cheap.  Always on the lookout of ways I can change items I already own, CN’s newer project of converting a salvaged window frame into art is something so simple yet really packs a punch.  And for those who want to get all kinds of creative but don’t know how to start, each project has step by step instructions and photos making everything nice and easy! My next project is to put together my idea board for over my crafting table, and you can bet I got inspired for the look from these ideas!  

photos via crafty nest

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I find myself looking at more and more fashion blogs and magazines to get some kind of inspiration for my wardrobe.  I even started my own “look book” of items I find that I feel could somehow make it either into my actual wardrobe, or inspire another great find.  And that is why I love looking through The Sartorialist.  This week’s photos are lovely as usual, and I am loving the shoes!  I have been looking for a pair of wing tips and have yet to find a pair to fit my size 5 feet!  So get inspired by The Sartorialist already!

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I got so excited Friday evening when I got an email informing me I had won a 16×20″ wrapped canvas for any one of my photos thanks to New To This Whole Mommy Thing. Now the only hard part is trying to figure out what to have printed onto the canvas!  Then, after checking the mail on Saturday, after breezing past all those bills, I got to a hand addressed card that I had been looking forward to.  A few weeks ago I stumbled upon Lewidoo fancies and fell in love with her blog, where you can find everything from fun fashion to recipes and amazing photography, and saw that she was offering a hand made card  from London to anyone as long as they gave her the address… she even paid postage!  How thoughtful is that!  Its just nice to get something in the mail other then junk and bills.  Made me smile.

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Then, Saturday evening while searching Craigslist, my fiance found a record player in working condition… something we have been looking for for quite a while.  After a quick phone call, a day later and our new player is in our living room (it was even delivered!).  I am so excited to be able to play records!  We already broke out Michael Jackson’s Thriller on vinyl, thats right, Michel Jackson!  And of course, I had to add some color.

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