Saturday, April 29, 2017

April Rewind



Read 
The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas; Born Standing Up, by Steve Martin; Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum and The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Ledger.  The Hate U Give I'm officially attributing to helping my crawl out of my book funk. It's probably the best book I've read in the last year or at least this whole year. It was so good and so painful to read. Tears slipped out a couple of times.  My next favorite was probably the biography by Steve Martin. I've always had a bit of a old man crush on him and it has grown substantially more after reading his book. He is such a gentle hilarious creature and I just want to cuddle with him.  The other two books were pretty ok too. I felt like my teenage heart really connect with Penelope from The Museum of Heartbreak. First loves are tough and sometimes you sacrifice a piece of yourself to fit in and then realize how silly it is to do so. I'd basically recommend them all.

Watched 

Girls! The husband and I binged the first 5 1/2 seasons and then watched the last few episodes live. It was definitely one of those shows that I didn't absolutely love but I didn't hate it either but I can not put my finger on the reasons why. I really did enjoy watching it from start to finish even if I was let down by the finale. But I'm starting to think that might just be an cable tv thing? Weeds & Dexter immediately come to mind on horrible finales but I'm pretty sure they were Showtime shows and not a HBO show.  I watched 1 episode of This Is Us and I can't decide if I want to watch another. Sometimes when things get mega popular I want to resist them on principle and this is one of those things.  I did start rewatching Dawson's Creek and I think I'll only continue this rewatch as I'm making new garments. Its such a great background show.


Listening

I've been listening to The Court of Thrones & Roses and The Court of Mist and Fury in anticipation for the release of the 3rd book on May 2nd. They are over 20 hour audio books and I'm about 40% of the way through Mist & Fury and I'm really hoping I can listen/read to the remainder over the weekend so I'm ready to go on release Tuesday. 

Also this month:

Paint Night
I did one of those paint and sip nights with my mom and sister. It was a lot of fun and there were complimentary wine slushies which were great.  The painting part brought on some crazy anxiety at times but I loved walking away with a half decent piece of artwork to display, that I made myself.

I MADE A DRESS!
Yea, I'm probably going to become a little obnoxious about all my handmade additions to my wardrobe but I'm still so pumped that I can actually turn a piece of fabric into a wearable garment. It's literally the most proud I've ever been of myself.

6 years married/11 years happy
So we celebrated our 6 year anniversary this month. 11 years total. We are both such cynical and non-romantic people, it borderlines on ridiculous. We made zero plans but did decide to go out to dinner at our favorite restaurant. It's crazy how different our relationship is now compared to the beginning.  I can't believe I've spent an entire decade being so indescribably close to another person. You start out feeling like you have the rest of your life to figure out where things are going and where they fit and then you wake up and it's 10 years later. Were there any discoveries or any major plans forged? Nothing​ profound but it's been an indescribably happy time in my life.



Read 
April was kind of a reading slump month for me. I had basically zero motivation to read, despite having so many unread books on my shelves and like 15 library holds that all came in at once. I love reading but sometimes having too many choices can be paralyzing! I did manage to fit in a few things. I really enjoyed the book club selection of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and will definitely be talking more about that in a discussion post. I also loved Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia. It was so so good, and had alternating points of view. Lastly I read Kids of Appetite by David Arnold. If you like John Green, I think you'll like this book as well. It was kind of pretentious at time, but ultimately it was something I enjoyed. 

Watched 
I think I've mentioned in other posts that I've taken a leave of absence from work recently. The reasons are pretty personal, and I'm still unsure if I will talk more about that on the blog or not. The upside to the time off is that I have been able to binge so much tv. I kicked off the month with Big Little Lies. I didn't read the book but the show was addictive and amazing. I highly recommend it. Next I finished up How to Get Away with Murder and I'm so sad season 4 is so far away. Finally I binged all 6 seasons of Girls. I am always on the fence about Lena Dunham as a person but this show was almost perfect for me. I loved the uncertainty of your 20s and how your friendships and relationships grow and change as you discover who you are. I know it's not for everyone, and has problematic parts at times, but watching it all in one go was the way to do it friends. 

Listening
I've not listened to really anything this month. I listened to the audiobooks of A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas since the next book in the series comes out next week and I wanted to be all caught up on where we are in the series. I do have a goal for May to catch up on podcasts because seeing all the unplayed alerts on my phone is stressing me out. 

Also this month:

Sister Day at the Zoo 
My sister Stephanie lives and works at the Grand Canyon (which is super cool) and she was able to come into town for a few days on short notice. I got to spend a few days with her and my nephew just hanging out. Plus we took a trip to the St. Louis Zoo with our other sister Ciara. It's the first time in a year we were all together with our kids. Plus all the animals were so active and fun to check out. It was a great day full of laughter and coffee and delicious vegan food once the zoo kicked our butts. 

Cleaning out my closet 
I am an emotional shopper and my emotions have been off the chart lately. So once again my closet is bursting. I was able to go through my clothes and separate things to donate and things to sell. Usually the sell pile sits around so long that I end up donating it, but this time I set up a nice little photo corner and listed a bunch of it on Poshmark. I've sold quite a few things already so I'd say listing things has been more than worth it. 

Dabbling in tarot 
I have recently purchased the Holly Simple tarot deck last month and I've been pulling tarot card in the morning a few times a week. I also purchased the tarot guide from her, which gives meanings to the cards in an interesting and straightforward way. It's been a way to connect to myself and so far I've been able to find meaning in each card I pull. Plus they look cool which is always helpful. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Currently Crafting v.1


Welcome to what we hope will become a regular feature here on our blog. Jen and I are both big crafters (Jen a little more than me tbh). We have similar loves of crafting but we work on a lot of different kinds of things too. Jen is a master cross stitch crafter and I'm more of a yarn crafts type of lady. Knitting is my current obsession, but I also share a love of sewing and quilting with Jen. We wanted to share what we are currently working on in our crafty lives. Crafting is so good for the soul and something that makes our lives feel fulfilling. There's something so special about creating something beautiful that makes us so happy. So, here's what we are working on and we'd love to hear what you're working on as well! 

Jen

My overall home goal is to make it my sanctuary and in my sanctuary I'm always cozy AF.  My house is pretty old and isn't the most aesthetically pleasing.  In the beginning we had big dreams of remodeling it ourselves HGTV style but were a little over ambitious about that commitment during regular life.  Anyway, I try to add the crafty, warming touch whenever I get a chance just to try to make the place seem more warm and inviting and sanctuary like.  I've played with so many different crafting styles over the last 10 years or so. I basically spent my 20's discovering which projects I enjoyed crafting the most.  I spent a good spell embroidering everything I could get my hands on but I didn't overly love the way it looked displayed on the wall--at least my pieces, because I certainly love others I would see on the interwebs.  So where embroidery was great for spicing up my pillowcases or hand towels I decided to try to transition into some cross stitch work because I really loved the way it looked displayed.  Since I made the transition in 2013 I really haven't looked back on embroidery much since, with the exception of a few holiday hand towels and whatnot.  For display, I tend to either frame my piece or turn it into a wall hanging or table runner.  I'm apparently obsessed with putting quilts on ALL THE THINGS.


I know I've talked about joining The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's clubs before.  I just love the overly cutesy designs that have a somewhat traditional feel at times. I love learning the history behind the craft. I'm super excited that they are releasing a 2nd year long sampler that is The Pie of the Month Club. Each month they send you a pie to stich along with a recipe to make said pie. I'm trying to get my husband involved in the baking said pie portion but he is more on board with eating it then making it so we'll see how many months I follow through on the actual baking part.
Other than my continuous cross stitch projects (It seems like I'm always working on one--always), lately I've veered away from the quilt making a bit and am trying my hand in creating more of my wardrobe since fashion is such a passion of mine. I've made a peplum top and a circle skirt dress and I feel so inspired to really Romy & Michelle the shit out of my wardrobe. I have so many plans brewing.


Heather 

As I mentioned above, knitting has been something I've been very into this year. I took a knitting class in November 2016. Having a history in crochet made it feel pretty easy to pick up this new hobby. I didn't feel the transition was too difficult, but I am glad I decided to take an in person class in this. I tried for a long time to learn by watching youtube tutorials, but it was a bust. Ultimately, it was easiest to learn in person with someone there to show me the ropes. 

Since November, I've made a few scarves and hats, but felt like I mastered those two basic patterns and was ready to move on. One of my birthday goals is to knit a sweater and knowing how slowly I craft, I knew I needed to start on that as soon as possible. I'm following this pattern from flcty, who I follow on Instagram. She's a knitting queen and her pattern is so easy to follow. I decided to go with a deeper, jewel toned vibe for my striped sweater instead of the bright colors she did in hers. Since the above photo, I've finished this piece, which is the back of the sweater. I haven't cast on the front yet, but I'm planning to do that soon. 

Besides my sweater, I've got some ideas for embroidery hoops in my head that I'd love to get stitched up soon. I also bought a kit to sew an overall dress that I'd also love to start working on. Tilly and the Buttons is one of my new sewing loves. I bought the kit for this dress there after seeing it on Skunkboy Creatures blog. I'm excited to get into sewing clothes (another birthday goal!) so I'll totally have to report back once that gets done! 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April Showers

Hey Friends! We are linking up with the ladies from Diversity Chic for the third month in a row. They picked the theme "April Showers".  Now friends, this was a super tricky theme! I seriously almost resorted to buying some galoshes and an umbrella but I had a sudden spark of inspiration as I was scouring my closet. 


The only thing "shower themed" in my entire closet is my umbrella Toms. I luckily found this dress in my closet that I think matches perfectly. Now that spring is upon us, I'm very into wearing my dresses again.  But one of my biggest personal issues is when my feet get wet in the rain. I just hate it. Therefore, if there is ANY rain in the forecast, I'll pretty much always gravitate towards my Toms or Converse. Then all I need is a light jacket to keep the rain off my arms. This jacket is probably my legit favorite thing at the moment. It's ridiculous and I love it.



New glasses alert!
My clear glasses, named the "Jennifer" by the designer, are legit my favorite pair right now. I'll let you know which pair wins supreme favorite after my other three have arrived.  Oh, and this new eyewear pose is here to stay.





Even though I found this outfit theme to be super picky to plan out, I'm absolutely in love with this outfit combination and I'm definitely going to give it a little more love in the future.



Outfit Details 
Bomber {Forever 21-sold out} / Dress {Rue 21-old} / Shoes {Toms-sold out}
And forever trying to make scrunchies fashion accessories.




Once again, linking up with the ladies of Diversity Chic is a real treat. This month's theme really made me think and it took me to the last minute to settle on my outfit, but I'm basically in love with what came out of that last minute desperation. 



I don't own any super cute rain boots or a cool umbrella or a raincoat, so I went pretty literally with this theme. What is something I would wear if it was actually raining? I have to park about two blocks from my job currently, so when the forecast calls for rain, I have a few things I have to have. Closed toed shoes, a jacket with a hood, jeans to protect my legs, and this amazing golf umbrella Jarrett gave me that he got for free somewhere. So with these things in mind, I pulled together an outfit that was both practical and cute. It ended up being something I would definitely wear on a rainy day. 




I was really glad that I took a chance on this theme, since I now found a new favorite outfit. Navy and mustard are my soul colors, so to see how they paired with my red hair was a real treat. I can't wait to wear this again, rain or shine. 


Outfit Details 
Jacket {Modcloth} / Top {Target} / Jeggings {AE} / Shoes {Modcloth-similar} / Earrings {Scarlett Garnet











Monday, April 17, 2017

The Dream of the 90s is Alive in Missouri

Friends!! 
So, are you surprised I picked a 90's theme for our latest fashion post? I'm guessing, no?  It's no surprise from past fashion ramblings that I'm completely immersed with the 90's style.  In fact, a few weeks ago my husband told me I looked like I walked off the set of The Goldberg's and I don't think he has ever given me a better compliment in our 11ish years together. 


In 2014, when the entire series of Friends first debuted on Netflix, I decided to do a casual rewatch just to see if I watched as many shows live as I remembered from my childhood.  I can remember spending so many Thursday nights in front of the television watching shows that were probably way too old for me.  There is no way possible I could have anticipated the huge impact this rewatch would have on my personal style and subsequent wardrobe.  They both did almost a 180 after I finished my rewatch and I can attest to seeing most of the episodes growing up.


When I suggested this "theme" I almost felt like I was cheating since my wardrobe is pretty heavy on the 90's style.  But I remember Heather and I tossing this outfit idea around months ago, probably not long after my personal style started evolving and it still sounding like a fun theme to play with, especially since Heather's look isn't nearly as inspired by the 90's as my own.  I think at the time I had more of a "Clueless" look in my head but I keep reminding myself I'm not a teenager and my style and age need to be somewhat cohesive.  But man, I could have spent hours coming up with various 90's themed outfits.





I had to let out a little steam after a creeper man in a SUV slowed his roll, rolled down his window and tried to pick us up Joey Tribbiani style (at least that is what I heard in my head).  It was uncalled for and we hated it.


I always enjoy wearing this outfit. It always makes me feel super put together and confident like I can kick ass Phoebe Buffay style.  Sometimes it's tricky navigating fashion in your 20's (let's just pretend for a second I'm not officially in my 30's now); wanting to look cute but put together enough to be taken seriously.  I think Friends really helped me navigate that path in particular and now I only get questioning gazes when I'm sporting one of my various pairs of overalls which I'll never grow out of.




Outfit Details:
Dress (Forever 21) / Denim shirt (American Eagle) / Sandals (Go Jane)

I wish I would have remembered to grab one of my chokers before I ran out the door, but sadly that was a major fashion fail on my part.




Jen is not only my best friend, but she's a straight up fashion boss when it comes to 90s style. Every time she buys another 90s themed piece I get super pumped to see how she styles it. She suggested this theme for outfit photos and it could not be more on brand for her. I'm also into 90s style but I don't have the most options for looks so I knew basically right away when my outfit would consist of:  my velvet slip dress. 




This slip dress is so comfortable. I usually change into leggings as soon as we are done with outfit photos but I kept this look on for the rest of the day because it was so comfortable. I don't usually love things that don't give me a defined waist, because hello all my weight gets held in my middle, but this has the perfect amount of shape to it so I don't feel like I look frumpy or shapeless in it. If the 90s are on brand for Jen, I would say stripes are pretty on brand for me. I own so many stripe tees and dresses it's kind of insane. So my perfect spring 90s pairing obviously included this green stripe tee and sandals. 








I can't wait to rock this look all spring and summer guys. I am pretty low maintenance so I love outfits that are comfortable but also make me look vaguely put together. So this outfit is a win/win for me.  I also love when a blog theme leads me to discover some new outfit combinations I already own. I'm so bad about getting outfit envy when I read blogs of stylish ladies then wanting to buy ALL THE THINGS, and with my recent self imposed spending freeze, it's nice to shop my own closet and focus on all the different ways I can style things I already own. 



Outfit Details 
Stripe Tee {Target} / Velvet slip dress {AE} / Sandals {Forever 21} 




I was also able to talk Emily into taking these photos with me. She refused to get up off the ground so this is the best we got. Morgan wanted to stay home and play and I think Emily regretted wanting to come take blog photos almost immediately. I am glad that I got some solo pictures with Emily since it's kind of rare that I get photos like this with just one of the girls.






Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Links I Love (H.1)



Hey Hey Hey!! One of my favorite posts to read from other bloggers is a link love post. A collection of links they found interesting or cool is one of my favorite ways to find out about different things. I've found new clothing to love, articles that made me think, and bloggers to follow. I've been wanting to incorporate this into the Best Friend Book Club and I'm finally taking the leap. Jen and I will take turns, either biweekly or monthly, sharing links that we loved. Let's get started!



Sevi's birthday post for her dad hit me right in the feels. After losing my mom last summer, things like this resonate with me even more than they used to.


Another post that gave me a little perspective on the time we have left and possibly take for granted.


An ode to the next woman who dates her husband (be prepared for tears. The author passed away 10 days after this was published).


Maggie Stiefvater is one of my hands down favorite authors. Anything she comes up with is a must buy for me, so the cover reveal for her next book has me super excited!


Another Maggie link, this time perspective on author signings from the other side of the table. Jen and I got to meet Maggie at BookCon last year, so this was really cool to read.


I found some motivation in this at home interview with Mollie Chen, cofounder of Birchbox.


Because I obviously need more books to read, these 28 books are getting added to my never ending TBR.


I'm always a fan of Caroline's 10x10 wardrobe challenges. I might need to set one up for myself soon!


I wear my Everyday Unicorns shirt weekly, so I'm obviously loving this look at the other designs Valery has available. Get you some feminist friendly apparel!


I haven't been super on board with culotte trend, but Nicole is rocking it and making me want to snag a pair for myself!