February 2016 | Ariel and Alder
Im in that stage of winter where I am 100% over it. Done, finished, 50 shades of no thank you.

Lucky for me, I have just enough neutrals to carry me over till the bright spring/summer hues arrive. If you are a color junkie like I am, this is a rare feat! I am so attracted to anything thats bright colorful or patterned that I often forget to snag neutrals and basics when shopping. 

This scarf that I am wearing is one of my all time favorite neutral pieces. When Cameron gave it to me for Christmas I said "this scarf makes me want to throw out all my other ones and just have this one!!" Its seriously the softest, coziest, and goes with everything so why would I need any others!?

Cam cautioned me not to throw all my scarves out on impulse, a suggestion that I later appreciated but seriously if you have to commit to just one this one is the one to commit to.

Two recent obsessions: This tunic that I picked up for a grand total of ten dollars, and these tried and true sunnies that are so well loved its starting to show. I wear them year long and would recommend 'em in a heartbeat to anyone investing in their first designer pair!

See them with other outfits here and here

Jack Frost, go away. After the holidays I am d-o-n-e with you.

Outfit Details: Striped Tunic (on sale!)/ Oversized Scarf/ Green Pants/ Booties (similar linked)/ Watch (c/o)/ Burnt Red Cardigan/ Sunglasses

Shop outfit details in the widget below


Perler beads were what started my addiction to create and craft. In kindergarten I used to make dozens of patterns with these little plastic beads and turn them into coasters for my dads office. The craft itself is simple and easy, but the possibilities are endless. When my nephews picked up interest in Perler beads this summer, I took advantage of this newfound interest and made some cute little Disney and Pixar magnets. They are easy, cheap, and totally adorable.

We keep ours on the office whiteboard and they are great for holding receipts! 

All you need is: 
-Hot Glue Gun
-Perler Beads (just buy the assorted pack!)
-Rectangular perler bead board. 

So that you can try your hand without worrying about pattern creation (which gets easier with practice, trust me!) I have included two templates in the bottom of the post. 

Once you master the layout it becomes pretty easy too look at a pattern and replicate or alter. 

Here are some other pattern/shape ideas to try:

Zazu and Toy Story Alien templates are listed below!

If you decide to try them I would love to see your creations! Tweet me (@arielandalder) or tag me on Instagram (@natalievmurphy) if you decide to show off the final product! :)

Headed to the park soon? Be sure to check this out!

I am obsessed with florals, so valentines day is definitely one of my favorites. I pick up usual weekday flowers from the local farmers market and the grocery store (Trader Joes, where else!), but v-day steps it up a notch and the blends are always gorgeous.  

Since my "Wonderland" board is my favorite and the my popular on Pinterest, I thought I would share this years bundle. The reds mixed with purples isn't something I would have ever put together, but I love how it looks with the green and white mixed in! Not too spring-y with some holiday red mixed in.

I love them, they are the center of the kitchen right now! Thanks Cam!

I get so caught up in the fall and then the holidays that I forget just how much I love February, it always sneaks up on me every year. The extra pink and red always remind me of days spent in a classroom slaving away over detailed valentines for all my classmates. Valentines Day has always been one of my favorites, and I try my best to celebrate the love of everyone involved in my life. 

It always cracks me up when someone resents this holiday because they are currently romantically single, because usually they have tons of people around who love them. Parents, siblings, friends, and even perfect strangers all often merit a thoughtful Valentine. Just my way of thinking.

What to wear in February always depends on the occasion, but for me its always filled with chilly days spent in casual wear. By the time Valentines Day rolls around I'm usually so over dresses because of one too many christmas parties. This year (and last year!) I went for something casual and comfortable. 

Anthropologie is always my go to for unique scarves and this light fluffy pink one did not disappoint. I spotted it during the holidays but was preoccupied with gathering gifts for other people that I passed on picking it up. Now its on sale and I am so glad that I snagged it! Perfect for this time of year!

Outfit Details: Scarf (on sale!)/ Striped ShirtWatch (c/o)/ DenimCardiganMini Acorn Necklace/ Ring (vintage, similar options here)/ "Roshe Run" Sneakers

In Oregon and looking for a good restaurant recommendation for V-day? I try to update my Oregon guide regularly, check it out here


If you spend more than ten minutes with my boyfriend and I, you will quickly learn that we are huge Trader Joe fans and we try to convert everybody who doesn't already know about it. For the most part, it is the only grocery store we go to! We love the witty creative packaging, organic selection, but most of all the moderate pricing. 

So it always surprises me in conversation when someone says:

"I don't really care for/like/love/need Trader Joes! I can never find what I need and I can't tell where everything is!!"

Woah, What!? You mean not everyone drinks the TJ kool-aid?

Grab a seat and a cup of coffee because I am about to lay out exactly why I shop at Trader Joes and how to make it work for you. 

1. All products are the stores own brand, and its great!

There isn't a choice between coke or pepsi, because the only cola available is Trader Joes brand. While initially it might sound like taking competition out of the situation makes things more expensive, all the pricing is generic which saves you $ in the end. The packaging of all the products is  also adorable, which is a random bonus in my book. 

2. They don't take coupons but the prices are low to begin with

Clipping coupons is a waste of time at Trader Joes since all products are generic which frustrates some folks. If you need to find a deal they do release the "fearless flyer" seasonally but for the most part, the prices are super reasonable to begin with so this is rarely a problem. 

3. There are always samples to snack on while you shop

I love Costco as well for this very reason, samples are thebomb.com! They always have one or two things to try in the back along with a sampling of coffee. It is my favorite part once I reach the back of the store to try something new and get a quick jolt of caffeine while I finish shopping. 

4. The stores are usually small, and packed tightly

The benefit of this is that I have never lost someone in the aisles. Everything is densely packed, organized well, and it doesn't take much to browse the whole store. 

5. Produce often comes in a "pre-chopped" option

Some people prefer to do the chopping themselves and save the money, but I do like that when I am in a rush is grab the packaged "pre-chopped" veggies to throw in the crockpot. In the fall they have a butternut squash bag that is all chopped and ready to be made into soup, it is the best.

6. The appetizer, pre-made meal, and dessert options are unreal

Going down the freezer aisle is tricky because of how delicious everything is, which is not usually the case with frozen food. Cheesecake, cream puffs, pizza, pot stickers, smoothie in a bag, croissants, seasonal items, orange chicken, falafel, meatballs, and its all delicious without tasting like it came out of a freezer.

Other things to keep in mind: 

- Personally I love the Pumpkin selection available at Trader Joes, everything arrives in mid September and sticks around till just after the holiday season. The holiday selection is awesome too, but make sure to stock up because these items are seasonal.

- If you have kids and find the hidden resident stuffed animal in the store, your kiddos can get a fun sticker upon checkout. 

- One of the best deals is the greeting cards! They are always .99 cents and are oh so cute. Other great deals are the coffee, tea, and wine!

Looking for some recipes to fit your newfound Trader Joes knowledge? Here is an easy crockpot idea and a cookie recipe using their products!

PS. this post was not sponsored in any way by Trader Joes I just really really like the store :) In general I try to share products I truly love and all opinions are indeed my own!

Have a wonderful weekend! 

The happiest place on earth is oh-so wonderful but also oh-so costly. With ticket prices rising every year every last dollar gets a little stretched when visiting Disneyland. We are planning a trip with our friends for spring break and going over the plans as a group I realized just how many freebies I pick up each visit. Park maps, buttons, stickers are all little things make me feel like I'm picking up itty bitty souvenirs with no cost. 

They are so cute!! How can I resist?? 

1. Park Maps/ various park maps are a great item to take home with you! They can make for really cute wrapping paper and DIY project inspiration (see here, here, and here) but above all the park changes so much over the years that its so fun to look back and see whats different from when you last went.

2. Buena Vista Bugle/ This is a daily newspaper that you can pick up in the entrance of California Adventure aka the "Buena Vista Street" area. The headlines and stories are absolutely adorable and the paper is free of charge. 

3. Souvenir Tickets and Magic Bands/ I love the way disneyland tickets look and if you stay at a Disney resort property they usually have your name printed on them. Another thing to save if you are on property is your "key to the magic resort" card!

4. Jungle Cruise Map and Mark Twain Certificate/ You have to ask for these at the individual attraction and they are kind of a rumor, but none the less fun to take home!

5. Bread and Chocolate/ So you read this one and probably checked that you read that right. Yes! DCA has free bread and chocolate samples at Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Boudin Bakery in the Paradise Pier area of the park. Great to know if you need a quick snack between rides!


6. Celebration Buttons/ The most well known freebie of them all! These are given out for birthdays, on your first trip, for park events, and even just because. You can ask a cast member for one, the hotel, or go to city hall on Main Street and request one!

7. Art Lessons/ Head over to Animation Academy in California Adventure for an in house drawing lesson from a Disney artist, you can keep the work and learn how to draw a Disney character. Super fun for kiddos!

8. Cute Hotel Things/ Coasters, notes, shampoo bottles, pens! It is all fair game for me when I am staying in a resort hotel. One of the benefits of a Disney hotel is the constant yet subtle branding. Everything down to the tile has Mickey ears and integrated character branding. If you are thinking of staying in a Disneyland Resort hotel, I have a dedicated section in my travel guide!

9. Mickey Stickers/ Cast members keep these on hand to hand out throughout the day and it is really magical when you are lucky enough to get one, even if it is just a sticker. Looking to find one and not having luck? Just ask!

10. Fast Passes/ With these you have to keep the "extras" because you actually have to hand them over to cast members in the line queue to redeem them, but they are so so cute for scrapbooks or on a cork board at home.

Did I miss any good ones? I would love to know of more!

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