6 fashion rules to BREAK!

Personal style is more than following "fashion rules"!

We have all heard of “fashion rules”. For example: “don’t wear white after labor day”- yeah…that’s a lie. Have you seen someone in all white during winter…gorgeous! There are tons of articles and blog posts about finding “personal style”. You are not going to achieve your personal style goals by following old school “fashion rules.”

1. DON’T mix silver and gold jewelry. This is a terrible lie that has been passed down from generation to generation. Silver and gold jewelry actually look really cool together.

silver and gold

photo via VivaLuxury

2. DON’T mix black and brown. To me, black, brown, grey, and navy blue are all neutrals! Mix away ladies, mix away!

black and brown

photo via Glam Radar

3. DON’T mix prints. Print mixing can add so much depth and texture to a look. If you are new to this, I suggest starting with baby steps: try a fun floral skirt with a thinly-striped top. Having one of the patterns on a much smaller scale than the other will help you feel one print is not competing with the other. Try this a few times and maybe you start feeling comfortable enough to try one of these looks below.

pattern mixing

photo via Alisa Burke

4. DO match your colors. This outfit below is the perfect example of being matchy-matchy. I’m all for looking cohesive, but there is a point where you just need to STOP! Good for you, you can pick out the same shade of blue and repeat it 6 times in one outfit. This look is cookie cutter and just plain boring.

matchy matchy

photo via Polyvore

5. DON’T over-accessorize. Um…excuse me? Accessories are amazing and if I want to pile them on, I’ll do it, and make it look good 🙂 Here I’m rocking a furry vest, gold chain necklace, pearl sunnies, faux leather pants, golden yellow booties, and purple clip-ins.


photo via Kaitlin Powell

6. DON’T be trendy. I call BS on this! I get it, trends come and go, but if people are loving it right now, there must be something about it that’s cool! After all, fashion just gets recycled and someone puts a new twist on it. If you want to be rocker chic one day, preppy the other, and a glam-o-saurus next week—do it! If you like something and wear it with confidence, no one can ever say you don’t have personal style.

fashionphoto via Tumbler

♥ miss marlene

DIY Furniture Legs

Create custom legs to personalize any piece of furniture in your home! This project is so simple and takes no time at all!

Create custom legs to personalize any piece of furniture in your home! This project is so simple and takes no time at all!

I have been working on my dining room now for a while now (stay tuned for final reveal). In one corner I’m adding this cool golden yellow chair and thought I needed some sort of companion piece. Online at Target I found this cool, cheap ottoman. I really wanted the grey so I ordered it for store pick up. Apparently they only had the lid! So I asked them if I could at least have the grey lid and then I could pair it with a black base. Be jelly of my cool two-tone ottoman!

I found my furniture legs at Menards; they were about $2.50 each. I also got my table leg plates there for about $1.65 each. First, I spray painted the base of the leg gold to cover up the silver look. Once it was dry, then I painted the wooden part a fabulous jade color that I’m obsessed with right now!


To put together, all it takes is screwing on the plates, then twisting in the legs! BAM! You are all done!

custom furniture legs

♥ miss marlene

DIY Lap Desk

Just in time for back to school! This super cute, no sew lap desk will have your roommates crushing!

Just in time for back to school! This super simple, no sew lap desk will bring personality to your work space!

This no sew lap desk will bring flair to your work space!

Step 1:

Measure and cut out the craft foam. I used 2″ foam and cut it approxamitly18″ x 10″, but you can cut it to whatever size you’d like.

FYI- The wood lap desk can be found online at Home Depot.

Step 1

Step 2:

Paint your wood lap desk however you’d like; I went for Rust-oleum’s Safety Yellow. I thought an enamel paint would be more durable. Enamel paints can ruin your paint brushes if not cleaned properly with Mineral Spirits. If you don’t want to get into that, just opt for a cheap chip board brush that you can toss afterwards. If you decide to go with a craft paint, I would clear coat it for protection. Let the paint dry.

FYI: I didn’t paint the both sides fully. On the bottom, I only painted that parts that would show. I thought the glue would adhere better to the unfinished wood better than a painted surface.

Step 2

Step 3:

Cut your fabric, fold, and pin in place onto foam. Setting your fabric with pins before you begin gluing lets you play around with how you want to fold the corners. Use the E6000 glue to glue your fabric to the foam. Once that is dry, use the E6000 glue to adhere the fabric covered foam to the wooden lap desk.


Step 4:

Use the hot glue gun to attach the trim to complete the look.

Step 4

And there you have it! It’s that simple to make a custom lap desk! This would also make a great gift to someone off to college, a blogger friend, or your bestie who just landed that new job who’ll spend hours in front of their laptop. I’d LOVE to see your version! Drop me an email at missmarleneblogspot(at)gmail.com.

Bring personality  to your work space with this DIY lap desk!

This post was inspired by the fabulous team of A Beautiful Mess! 

♥ miss marlene

Mary Poppins Party

I moonlight as blogger and entrepreneur, but my day job is working in a marketing department with 7 lovely, smart women at Springfield Clinic. We basically run like an in-house ad agency to our organization. This year we sponsored Mary Poppins at The Legacy Theatre and as part of our sponsorship we received a private showing the eve before opening night! I was put in charge of the event details and décor, a task I welcomed with excitement. The night was fun, colorful, and full of magic!

Mary Poppins Party

Above is the basement of The Legacy Theatre with assorted round and cocktail tables.

This Mary Poppins Party was fun, colorful, and full of magic!

I designed these floral arrangements in square vases that were slipped into cardboard boxes that I had Miles wrap in a brick pattern to mimic a chimney. The metallic, spikey floral pick I found at Hobby Lobby was the perfect “chimney sweep” with a touch of black spray paint.

This Mary Poppins Party was fun, colorful, and full of magic!

The photo backdrop was inspired by this tutorial by A Practical Wedding. I put our fluffy clouds in front of some blue curtains I found at Target.

This Mary Poppins Party was fun, colorful, and full of magic!

This is my hilarious cubemate and me…you should follow us. She was a big help that day! Thanks girl!

supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Banner

With the paper banner spelling out “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and the strips of fabric hanging below, these two banners added the perfect touch of whimsy to the space.

The courtyard had a mix of chimney floral centerpieces and spoon centerpieces.

The courtyard had a mix of chimney floral centerpieces and spoon centerpieces.

These “Spoonful of Sugar” centerpieces were adorable. It was a vase filled with sugar and glitter confetti, with a few spoons tucked in. The pained the spoon handles with enamel paint, like I’ve done before.

These “Spoonful of Sugar” centerpieces were adorable. It was a vase filled with sugar and glitter confetti, with a few spoons tucked in. The pained the spoon handles with enamel paint, like I’ve done before.

I really loved putting this event together and I’m so blessed to have a job where I can put my creativity to use!

♥ miss marlene

Want more party inspiration? Check out the Party Time archives!




Give a Unique Wedding Gift

Wedding season is here. My Facebook newsfeed is flooded with wedding photos and well wishes to brides and grooms! So what does that mean for us, the guests? Scouring through pages of wedding registry to find the perfect gift for the lucky couple (in your budget, of course). Don’t get stuck in a giving rut, give them a unique wedding gift they really want!


Get inspired by the couple’s registry list! I like to pick a few items in the same category to make it feel cohesive and tell a story. My cousin registered for some outdoor items such as this big red cooler. She also had camping chairs on her list, but they were out of stock. Camping chairs and a cooler…that tells me they like to spend time outside, so I decided to go with the outdoor recreation theme.


Give a unique wedding gift that the bride and groom really want!

I put together a custom picnic set that included dinner plates, appetizer plates, cups, plastic silverware sets, a bright picnic blanket all packaged in a red rolling cooler off their registry list. If you decide to go with items not originally on the list, try and keep them at the same place that the registry is hosted. That way, if they don’t need it, they don’t have to drive all over the place to exchange or return. Happy shopping!


How to give a unique wedding gift!

♥ miss marlene

Miss Marlene Boutique TEASER

Ahhh! It’s almost time you guys! I’m going to shoot my introductory pieces for Miss Marlene Boutique in the next few weeks!  Check out this teaser video I put together as a behind the scenes look and inspiration for my Storenvy opening soon!

♥ miss marlene

$500 Bathroom Makeover

My husband and I moved into our home over 5 years ago and still haven’t tackled our upstairs bathroom. We entered into a contest to win a $500 gift card courtesy of Hickory Point Bank and won! With this money, we can make our vision a reality- including refurbishing an old claw foot tub the previous home owners left in the basement! Of course, I’ll post the DIY process here on the blog!


Before Bathroom

♥ miss marlene

DIY Necklace: Get Your Crystal On

Last year while shopping in downtown Nashville, Tennessee,  I came across this fun, quirky shop called Earthbound Trading Company. I’ve always wanted a raw crystal necklace, but the one’s I’ve come across are super cheesy and plastic. So I bought a little box of mixed crystals and made my crystal necklace with some supplies from my local Hobby Lobby.

DIY crystal necklace

crystal necklace

♥ miss marlene

On the Hunt: Architectural Salvage (St. Louis)

My hubby and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary with a little day trip to St. Louis. We’ve been watching a lot of Rehab Addict and she frequents these really awesome architectural salvage shops. I’ve been itching go to one and we found a place in St. Louis, Fellenz Architectural Artifacts. You could only find Fellenz Architectural Artifacts if you were purposely looking for it. There’s not good signage on the storefront, no website, or email address. However, when you do find it, you won’t want to leave.

Bill Fellenz

There are so many nooks and crannies in this place!! It’s packed floor to ceiling with doors, windows, tin, door knobs, fireplace mantles, woodwork, register covers. stair spindles, post, molding, and so much more! Everywhere you turn is something amazing; people just don’t make homes like they used to.

Fellenz Fellenz2

We found a few pieces that we want to incorporate into a DIY faux fireplace mantle, but that project won’t be until later this year. Right now we are in the middle of renovating the dining room which I can’t wait to show you when it’s all completed! Stay tuned…


♥ miss marlene