Stylin’

If you were to just knock on my door, you would usually find me in my “wife grunge.” I dubbed my at home wardrobe this after being a nanny for a year and pretty much living in running shorts or yoga pants with big comfy sweatshirts. My poor hubby only saw me in “nice” clothes on Sundays for the few hours we were at church. My new jobs at the library and office require a different “uniform” and my hubby teasingly commented on how he liked my new job for the new look.

I like it too. It’s fun to put together outfits with the clothes I have been neglecting and buying some new work staples (like new shoes and slacks).My most recent purchase was this fantastic yellow cardigan from Target. I’ve been searching for just the right one for a long time! Yay! (Here’s the exact cardi on Target.com) Also, I love that my new jobs are business casual. I can wear jeans and blouses most days! I have yet to find a perfectly comfortable pair of slacks, maybe they don’t exist, so I’m glad I can wear my dressy jeans when I’m not wearing a skirt.

Here are a couple more of my work outfits. Ignore the messy rooms and imperfect pictures, I usually snap a picture before running out the door. I save these pics in a “outfit” folder in my phone (for those days when I have  I feel like I have nothing to wear) so I have a quick reference of outfits I’ve liked in the past.

Most of my clothes come from secondhand shops, like Platos Closet and the Goodwill. For example, the black polka dot Ann Taylor blouse I got for $6 at Platos Closet and the Old Navy Pointy toe flats (in green shirt pic) I found for $5 at the Goodwill.  I really try to find an item I want (like the yellow cardi) at a second hand store or on clearance before I spend retail price on it. The yellow cardigan was the last clothing item I’ve bought at full price, but I even waited for my new running shoes to go on clearance on the Nike website (I didn’t get my first choice in color, but I LOVE turquoise so saving money won all around!)

So, if I’m not shopping secondhand, where do I shop for clothes? Old Navy is my go-to for basic staples, like jeans and tanks (and I’ve got my eye out for their black pointy toe flats), But I still (usually) wait for one of their major sales.

Maurices is a family favorite. Christmas always means an outfit  and maybe a gift card there. Sometimes their style is too bohemian for me but I can usually find cute work clothes that fit well.

And of course I shop at Target. I can always find something I want, clothes and otherwise. :)

As I mentioned before, I like to use Polyvore to create outfit idea boards. I find something I have, a gray maxi skirt for example, and try to make outfits for it  using their phone app.

Creating outfits on Polyvore with what I already own, and somethings I want, helps me make better use of my closet and find the “holes” in my wardrobe I’d like to eventually fill. I also use Pinterest to store fashion ideas.

 

Baylor Bears, Game Day Casual Work Wear

 

Texas is all about their football teams, and since I work every Saturday at the Baylor Library I have to get into the spirit!

Here is my Wardrobe Wishlist:

 

Ruby Red Fall

 

If you’d like seeing what I’m wearing I occasionally post wardrobe pics on my Instagram and you can follow me on Polyvore and Pinterest too!

Decorating Style

I’ve written about books a lot this month, and I think I have one more book post in me, but before you get the wrong idea- I DO have OTHER hobbies. I love to craft and crochet (especially while watching my favorite TV show. Right now it’s NCIS), I love hiking and being outside, photography, and I love to decorate.

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Last year I themed my 31 Days Challenge Decorating Dilemmas where I addressed some of the problems that come with renting and living in a small space. Today I’m going share my decorating style with you again because it has slowly evolved and looks a little different now.

One of the first places I like to tell people to start when they decorate their homes is to write down what you want that room/home to be. Not just colors or themes, but purpose and feeling too. I organize my list in to yes and no guide words. Last year this is what my list looked like:

My “yes” words:

Comfortable, welcoming, bright (not necessarily colorfully bright), restful, organized, natural, safe, clean, purposeful, beautiful, put together, something sparkly in (almost) every room, a touch of industrial

My “no” words:

animal print, neon colors, sharp corners/pointy objects (i like more rounded shapes, they look more comfortable), black, formal, modern, cluttered

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I think I’d fit myself into the “cottage” style, (Better Homes and Gardens has a nifty little quiz you can take to narrow it down) but I do like to throw a little industrial and glam here and there. Here are my decorating guide words now:

“Yes” words:

blues, whites, some gold and black here and there, comfortable, welcoming, bright (light), restful, organized, safe clean, purposeful, put together, some sparkle (how I’d live a crystal chandelier!), touch of industrial, cozy, Cottage, baskets, neutral base colors, lots of handcrafted and vintage things to bring some more meaning, pictures

“No” Words:

animal print, neon, formal, cluttered, too many “sharp” objects, modern (sharp lines and bright colors)

One of the more recent pictures of our living room.

One of the more recent pictures of our living room. We really need an area rug to make this space feel finished.

This weekend I have some reorganizing to do and some decorating to finish up. I’m hoping to do some fall/Thanksgiving themed posts next month where I will finally give you a Fall Home Tour.

Last Year's Thanksgiving table Decor

Last Year’s Thanksgiving table Decor

Then and Now: I still love books

1999 and 2014

Can you tell I like to read? This is my third post in my 31 Day Challenge about books. (My new Job and What I’ve read this year)

One of my favorite summer activities when I was little was going to the library. Our tiny country school opened the library once a week for a few hours during the summers. I knew that little room and all its books by heart. I could almost find and shelve books faster than the teacher. I read as many horse books as possible, and even branched out in to the fiction side of the library to read about Seabiscuit and the California Gold Rush. Nowadays I work at the library and it’s perfect!

There are books in almost every room of our home: cookbooks on top of the fridge, shelves full in the living room and office, and stacks next to the bed. There is always something to entertain and learn in a room full of books.

Books even determine my favorite Disney Princess: Belle,of course, because the Beast gifted her that amazing library.

Also this makes me happy in so many ways…

I hope you all had a lovely start to your week!

Meet My Family!

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I may not always be with you

But when we’re far apart

Remember you will be with me

Right inside my heart”
Marc Wambolt, Poems from the Heart

It is hard living so far away from my family! . We aren’t perfect by any means, but we are close-knit. I know that I am loved, supported and missed.

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This is my husband, Jeff. Obviously we live together so I don’t miss him (except when our work schedules don’t line up). We decided to move from Oregon to Texas so he could pursue a law degree and so we could see a bit more of the world. When you first meet him he will come off as quiet and serious. (But he is really does have a goofy side, he has to because he married ME!)  We dated all through high school and tied the knot three years ago. (Read our love story HERE.) Jeff is currently attending Law School at Baylor University and works as a waiter at a nice hotel.

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This is my dad. He is amazing, what can I say? He taught me how to drive, not to eat yellow snow, and how to respect others. My daddy has always made me feel safe, loved and valued. He has always been there to cheer me on, from soccer games, to graduation, to moving out and living life. He works hard to provide for us but he always has time for his girls.

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 This is my mom. We don’t don’t look alike at all ;) She is an incredible artist in everything she does. She always taught us to make life more beautiful, a day more fun, each moment more happy. “Make someone smile today!” was her mantra each morning as we walked out the door. It was a blessing to have her be a stay-at-home mom.

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These are my younger sisters, Rachel and Cherry. Aren’t they cute? My little Boo

Rachel is currently finishing up her business degree and being awesome at her job and internship. I’ve known this crazy silly girl her whole life. She is bright, talented, and giving to a fault. She plays piano, loves making costumes, and is super active in our church college group. I can’t believe how old we are getting. She is only two years younger than me, but I still picture her as the bouncy, curly haired toddler chasing me around with her thumb in her mouth. I’m so proud to be her big sister!

Cherry came into our lives almost eight years ago.  She is a talented young lady taking dance lessons and rocking it on the guitar. She is currently a Sophomore in high school and not sure what she wants to do when she grows up. I probably miss Cherry a little more than anyone else because I haven’t lived in the same house as her for very long (because of college and getting married) and I want so badly to be a bigger part of her growing up years. I’m so blessed to have her as my youngest sister!

Old Photographs

I have two collections. Old photographs and vintage skeleton keys. My key collection isn’t very exciting. I only have one really awesome key, but have about a dozen old photographs.

I try to be careful when I go into antique stores because I could easily leave with 50+ old photos, but then each one wouldn’t be special. I had to give myself some guidelines for collecting photos: 1. It has to be black and white or sepia. 2. It can’t cost more than a dollar (unless it’s really awesome, but still) 3. It has to tell me a story/I have to really love it.

I love the mystery behind these photos. Who were these people? What was their life like? What was so special about that moment in time that they had to have it photographed? Who was taking the picture? Why were these photos “abandoned” in some dusty corner of a antiques store?

These photos are forgotten people, forgotten memories that I will never know.

I hang my collection over my desk where their mystery inspires me. Someday I’d like to write a book of short stories with these pictures, or at least a blog series, so that these forgotten people can have a new life.

 

 

Rainbow Pony: A Childhood Memory

As a child I loved books, horses, and visits to grandma’s house (which often included trips to the bookstore and visiting the horses across the street). One thing I did not love was the three hour car ride to get to grandma’s house. Of course you can imagine the kind of pain in the butt me and my younger sister were at age 8 and 6 in the car for that long.

Grandma usually met us halfway, we’d have lunch with mom and dad and then hop in her car for our “grandma camp” week. Now, my grandma use to be a librarian and she has always been full of stories. She doesn’t think she is very creative (and maybe she isn’t so good with a glue stick and scissors ;) )but she knows how to keep two little horse crazy rascals quiet in the car for an hour and a half.

Rainbow Pony and friends (completely different from My Little Ponys) lived in a secret and magical valley where they had many fun adventures that always ended with a good lesson. I can’t remember any of the specific stories anymore, except there was one with a river and Rainbow pony rescuing a friend… and Rainbow Pony was a white pony with a colorful mane and each of his friends were only one color.

Anyway, those car rides could have been the worst but they were the best! We were always super excited and begged for a story. I even dressed up as Rainbow Pony for Halloween one year (MOM, do you have that picture?)

I love you Grandma! Feel free to write down any stories you remember! :)

Bucket List

I missed writing for the 31 Day Challenge yesterday, so I will just have to make up for it today! This morning I’m sharing some of the things on my “bucket list” and later this afternoon look out for a post on a favorite childhood memory!

I think it is important to have goals. I always set goals/resolutions each year (whether or not I actually follow through on all of them is another thing…) and I have a running list of things I’d like to do in my life time. Here is a sample of the list, I have a whole Pinterest Board dedicated to this if you want to see more!

  • Be a Mom. I can’t wait to have kids! Also, I’d like to adopt at least one child. Adoption “runs” in my family. My uncle, dad, and youngest sister are all adopted. Every child needs a loving home and someday I want to provide that for a least one.
  • Read one biography on each American President. It’s important to know our  history! And it’s embarrassing how little I know of it. I have a friend who did this and she loved how much she learned and the new perspective she had on government. She also said that every new President should be required to read all the other president’s biographies so they didn’t repeat history.
  • Run a half marathon. I ran the 100m dash, 100m hurdles and the 4×4 relay in college, and begrudgingly ran 5K races to stay in shape. Running over three miles is scary but I want to try…someday.

  • Visit every continent. How cool would that be? Really, I just want to travel all over. First Europe, like Ireland and Scotland, and then Korea, Russia, and New Zealand. 
  • Learn to play the guitar. I’ve been practicing on and off for a few years whenever I could borrow a guitar from someone. Really, I just need my own so I can practice regularly. 
  • I was that horse crazy little girl. If I got into trouble, mom would take away my horse book as punishment (spankings and timeouts didn’t work half as well). I not nearly so crazy now, but I still want to ride free on the beach! 

Visit my Before I Die board for more! Many of them have to do with traveling :)

 

<—Read yesterday’s 31 Day’s Post:The Story of my Life.

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