Tried-and-True: Style-Architects Required Reads

Required reads

Here at Style-Architects, we all have different interests and hobbies; however, reading is a common thread among the whole team. There’s nothing quite like posting up with a cozy blanket and a good book {or magazine or blog}. Whether you're looking for something to get the creative juices flowing, something to spark your next big idea, or something to get lost in, we’ve got you covered. Now sit back, pour yourself a latte {or a glass of wine} and dive into one of these Style-Architects-approved reads:

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg // Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg discusses gender-biased obstacles in today's society when climbing the professional ladder. It's a well-written and enlightening read that challenges all to have a progressive perception on the new generation of women to lead.

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown // The TED speaker talks about the courage to be vulnerable and its ability to change the way we live.

Fast Company Magazine // A go-to for current inspiration, motivation, and industry news. It's the beautiful layout and wide array of content categories {innovation, business, tech, and design} that will have you reading cover-to-cover.

Manage Your Day-to-Day by Jocelyn K. Glei // The 99U series, written by the team at Behance, aims to provide the "missing curriculum" that every creative person and team needs to make ideas happen. Manage your Day-to-Day is a collection of insights from brilliant minds about how to make the most of your time and energy on the small things so that nothing can stand in the way of letting the big ideas flourish.

Frankie Magazine // This Australian mag provides the best inspiration for all things fashion, music, travel, and photography. The unique covers look great on your coffee table, too!

Who What Wear and Byrdie // Our favorite resource for trends and beauty delivered daily to our inbox each morning. 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah // A dramatic and captivating read about two sisters living in France during World War II. It’s hard to put down, so you may want to set some time for this one over holiday break!

Morning Rituals

Each morning, the Style-Architects crew shows up at the office ready to bring it; however, pre-arrival, we don’t all start off our days the same. On a good day, we may be sweating it out at the A10 class at Alchemy and whipping up a green smoothie, all before 8am. On other days, you may find us in bed hitting the snooze button until the absolute last minute (it’s amazing how quickly one can get ready in order to squeeze in as much sleep as possible). Here’s a glimpse at our teams' morning routines to get us ready for the day... 

Morning Rituals from the Style-Architects Team


One cup of spinach and an egg is my favorite morning combo. The entire family indulges in green scrambled eggs at the Sandok household.

Recipe :: 

  • 1 free-range egg
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 T shredded cheese (gruyere is our fav)
  • Dash of whole milk
  • Pinch of salt

Blend, scramble, enjoy!


After lingering in bed a little too long, a medium-roast coffee is a must {along with a Spotify playlist that matches the day's mood}. My recent jam has been Thomas Rhett's latest album, “Tangled Up”.

Morning Rituals from the Style-Architects Team


Each day starts out the same for me... Lashes + coffee with Bobbi (what would I do without them!). A full set of lashes makes me look WIDE awake regardless of how much sleep I had the night prior.

Morning Rituals from the Style-Architects Team


I usually start my day by grabbing a cup of coffee then heading back to bed to read about the latest and greatest industry trends, Skimm the daily headlines, and catch up on my social media feeds.

Morning Rituals from the Style-Architects Team


I'm a night owl so hitting the hay at 2am isn't out of the ordinary, which is why my snooze button is so precious. The dogs wake up to eat at 4:30 and then come back for cuddles.


Morning Rituals from the Style-Architects Team


I make this apple cider vinegar drink every morning to help achieve my alkaline pH balance. This is a drink Christina introduced me to years ago.  I notice the benefits in my skin + overall energy level. I've come to look forward to it more than coffee {gasp!}.

Recipe :: 

  • Hot water
  • 1 T organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Fresh grated ginger
  • 1 t of honey
  • A sprinkle or two of cayenne pepper
Morning Rituals from the Style-Architects Team


I like to brew myself a strong cup of PEACE coffee and rice milk with my Chemex then dive into my burrito of an inbox at my home office before heading into the office or a meeting.  

Top 5 Reasons We Love Working at Style-Architects

Top 5 reasons we love working at Style-Architects


1 // Co-workers are Key!

We work closely on pretty much every aspect of each project.  Having co-workers you love to spend your day with makes ALL the difference. Everyone strives to demonstrate openness everyday, seeking out ways to involve others to enhance outcomes.

2 // Flexibility Rules!

Being able to come and go (with-in reason) is a huge perk.  Trust between boss + employee is rated among the most important characteristics of a healthy, fun environment.  Flexibility is only do-able when there is a strong element of trust in an office.

3 // Environment Love!

We are surrounded by great food, fun fashion and quite the view! It’s easy to feel inspired in the North Loop.

4 // Let it be!

One of the best perks of working at SA is that we each get to manage ourselves (more or less).  Employees are not just thinkers but doers. Starting work with minimal hesitation and rolling up the sleeves to produce impactful client solutions. We come up with ideas, bounce them off each other, collaborate and execute.  

5 // Christina, #girlboss

It’s easy to love what you do when you have a boss that is as creative, compassionate, and cool as Christina. With a background in editorial and marketing, she comes to the table with powerhouse ideas.

More about our fearless leader on Rue and Everygirl

Tried-and-True: The VSCO Presets Worth Downloading

Nailing the perfect filter for your photos can be intimidating. Too many options, so little time, right? Read on for some of our tried-and-true favorite VSCO filters that will have your feed looking flawless in no time. 


#1. Filter J1  


The J1 filter is your go-to for producing a clean-contrasting feel to your photos. Shadows become cooler, and focal points become dramatic and defining. J1 is a must-have if you want to transform a dull, quiet moment into an edgier contrasted photo.
J1: Part of the Minimalistic Collection ($2.99)


#2. Filter A6

A6 presents you with warmth and ultra-rich colors. The highlights have an exceptionally bright tone, which helps give a crisp finish. Pinks and reds shift to an orange and tangerine, while browns and wood tones transition to a dark, richer red. Best for a cleaner color curve. 
A6: Part of the Analog/Aesthetic Series (FREE)


#3. Filter 06

06 excels in creating a sunwashed environment without losing complete color vibrancy. For best results, the primary objects within your raw image should be colorful and naturally-lit. With it's application of a slight fade and soft contrast, it never fails to add a layer of freshness. Perfect for smoothing out rough surfaces {like our yellow photo paper}!
A6: Part of the Legacy Series ($1.99)


#4. Filter HB2

HB2 brings that brightening and high contrasting effect to your photos. Want to give your blue skies an extra punch? This is one of our favorite filters for your outdoor photos . It's a little heavier, and plays up on shadows, so there's no crime against cranking down the strength! Best when desiring bold color hues and a finished product that is left stunningly cool {in temperature}. 
HB2: Part of the Hypebeast Series (FREE for a limited time)

Tried-and-True: Top 5 Links We Love for Stock Photography


When looking for stock photos, it is easy to get frustrated with the unprofessional, "basic" images that are provided on popular stock photo sites. After all, nobody wants their audience knowing the difference between an original content photo and a stock photo. Plus, who wants to burn a hole in their wallet paying for stock photography {especially when that photo is blurry, watermarked, and bland}? Certainly not us. Here are some free stock photo websites that offer their own unique twist and supply you with the stock photos you've been dreaming of.

1. Death to the Stock Photo: In with the good, out with the bad. Let the name speak for itself. Death to Stock Photo works on providing beautiful and authentic photos. In addition to the free access to high quality images, a $15.00 a month subscription grants you access to the entire library!

2. Forget about having to search around the internet for good stock photo websites! Stock Up provides you links to 24 high-class, free of charge photo websites. 

3. Pexels gives you everything you are looking for in a stock photo, minus the hassle. Pexels has a Creative Commons Zero license; which means you can copy, modify, distribute, and even perform the photos without having to ask for permission or attach a link.

4. Unsplash: This stock website works on providing high-quality and unique views of life shown through photographs. You can use photos that you get from Unsplash for anything that you want, whether it be for your business, or even your own personal use. 

5. Jay Mantri: Your not-so-typical stock photo site. Jay is a professional photographer who uploads his photos onto his website for your {free} enjoyment and use. But wait, it gets even better. The site also includes something called "The Gram Society." Every Thursday, The Gram Society releases a list of seven selected Instagram photographers that they think are worth following. How's that for extra inspiration? 

Freebie: August Calendar + Wallpaper

We're nutty over these bright hues leading us into the warmest time of the year. Download our desktop calendar or wallpaper to freshen your tech and soak up the summer heat {with coconuts in hand}. 

Download Calendar Here:
Mobile 1 | Mobile 2 | 1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 2560 x 1400

Freebie: August Desktop Calendar by StyleArchitects

Download Wallpaper Here:
1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 2560 x 1400