:: Dot Dot Dot ::

I am always looking for an excuse to dress up.

Which is most likely why I have always loved Halloween so much. Every year was an opportunity to create something one-of-a-kind through sartorial selections. My first taste of design.

If you couldnt tell from my lack of blogging, October has been INSANE. As if a new job, new city, and new home were not enough, October tested the limits of my sanity. It was an incredible, busy month and I am excited to start settling into somewhat of a routine….

As Halloween rolled around, I was too exhausted to make plans at all. As I stood in my closet at 10:00 PM on October 30th, I realized that I would kick myself if I didn’t at least give a nod to the holiday. Making do with what I already possessed, 300 miles from a closet full of old dance and date party costumes, I started sifting through what I owned.

When asked about their style, many people are able to point to a specific look – from boho chic to structured separates, most anyone can tell you what their go-to is. It was in this moment that I realized my style, from jewelry to pants and sweaters to shoes, is “costume-y.”

A leopard, a snake, a pirate (I know), a school girl (embarrassing),a flower patch, a biker, a flamingo, Minnie Mouse (see below), a hippie, a Spice Girl.. the options were endless. Upon further thought (cue 10:30 pm), I opted to pull of a Pantone color in full pink attire from head to toe (not to be confused with a Pepto Bismol bottle), and happily skipped into the office with a Pantone label pinned to my sweater.

Taylor and I celebrated Halloween at the Star’s game (excellent people watching on Halloween) and later watched people run from place to place in their 20-something costumes in the cold. Sure, it was without my usual decor and creatively themed BOO-ze (ha!) ideas, but it was a great one.

So, while I haven’t really commented on this outfit at all, you should know that this is just one of my many examples of a potential costume as Minnie someday…

 

Dress: Nordstrom

Bag: Kate Spade

Shoes: Shoe Mint

Jewelry: Kate Spade, C. Wonder

:: Rule Breaker ::

No peeking at Christmas presents. No white after Labor Day. No licking the batter. No reading in the dark

Some rules were made to be broken, right? Down here in Dallas, it’s hotter than the Fourth of July. Which is why anyone who tells me that I cannot wear white after Labor Day is probably not meant to be my friend. If that were true, who in tarnation would get married after Labor Day?

Half the people I associate with, which is one of the many reasons we are friends!

So today my dear friends, readers, people from Hong Kong who can’t understand my random slang via Google translate: I challenge you to eat cake for breakfast! Don multiple chains in the name of high fashion! WEAR WHITE AFTER LABOR DAY!

Because, we can.

And be happy – because today is the day that Napa meets its match! Looking forward to sharing this adventure with you! Also – send a prayer up for me on Saturday. Taylor thinks we will actually make it to SEVEN wineries.

I die. Insert boggled emoji face here.

 

 

Top // J. Crew

Jeans // Target (in stores only now)

Shoes // Nordstrom

Bag // Kate Spade (similar)

Necklace // Bauble Bar

Rings // H&M

 P.S. Special shout out to Libs for the awesome tip on locating the perfect pair of white jeans in the perfect budget range. Extra points for the not-so-basic-girl gold zipper at the bottom. #soultwin

:: Palm Trees + Eighty Degrees ::

More than a year ago, Taylor’s mom sent me a photo of a dress that she immediately knew was right up my alley.

The white sleeveless dress from Zara boasted the brightest, multi-colored palm trees scattered across it. Without a Zara in Oklahoma, and knowing their sizes can run a bit funky, I let my neon dream go.

Until I just so happened to stumble upon it on Sheinside, and ordered it for a whopping $28! At that price, I could order three and it wouldn’t be the same amount as the one from Zara. Needless to say, it came in and I loved it.

Moral of the story: If you don’t mind waiting 2-3 weeks, can measure yourself in centimeters, and understand fabrics well enough to know what will and will not look cheap/be see through, you can always order from a rando website in Hong Kong.

 

Dress // Sheinside

Shoes // Sole Society

Necklace // Similar at J.Crew Factory

:: Amer-I-Can ::

If there is one specific thing I adored about growing up in a small town, it would have to be the Fourth of July. In our last neighborhood, there were dozens of kids and everyone would run around, waving sparklers, and occasionally accidentally burning their forehead with a punk. (It’s a miracle that there isn’t a scar…)

After we accumulated too many things for one home outgrew that house, we moved to what some refer to as “the country.” The house sits on five acres and when my family first moved in, was just outside of city limits. This means we got to have the biggest fireworks show in Pottawatomie County. My parent’s anniversary is July 4th, so they would  invite over a ton of friends and we would sit in chairs, gazing at the field, scoring each flare as though it were in a pageant.

And when it comes to pageants, nothing is more American than honoring our great country with the grandest of films, Drop Dead Gorgeous. Kirstie Alley has the best scene outside of the shopping mall in Minn-uh-soda, and she has quite the gift. Whether you are Proud to be an American or think the USA is A-Okay, you absolutely must celebrate with this clip (beginning at the 2:30 mark).

Here’s hoping your holiday is just as fantastic as living outside of city limits on the Fourth of July!

 

 

Top > J.Crew, Skirt > J.Crew Factory, Sandals > Sam Edelman, Necklace > Bauble Bar, Clutch > Anthropologie, Rings >

Top > J.Crew (similar), Skirt > J.Crew Factory, Sandals > Sam Edelman (very old, but obsessing over these), Necklace > Bauble Bar, Clutch > Anthropologie (this is beautiful), Bracelet > C. Wonder (close here), Rings > H&M, Monogram Ring – Gift (similar here)

 

 

:: Flitter Flutter ::

You know those things in your closet that just make you happy? This skirt is one of them.

Of course the fit, the flounce, the twirlability – everything is enough to release the happiest of endorphins. Because endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands! (Couldn’t resist.)

But beyond how fun this skirt is, it reminds me of twenty of my favorite little people (and an awesome co-teacher).

Gilbert had the genius idea to send off for a caterpillar cove. We received this disgusting jar with hairy caterpillars, who ate whatever dirt/jelly substance was inside (ew. totally ew). It was nearly impossible to keep twenty sets of preschool hands off the jar. After the caterpillars create their cocoon, they are hanging by a literal thread, and if they fall, they die.

Needless to say, when it was finally time to move them into their Butterfly Lair, few were left. It was like Survivor: Room 8 Edition.

Gilbert and I had all but given up hope, and were about to send in for our refund. One morning we came in, and noticed something was  moving in the Pop-Up Butterfly House.

IT LIVED!

After several weeks, dozens of grabby hands, and a near-death experience, we had one lone butterfly ranger. After naming him Nemo (shocker), we took the kids outside and had a release party. They were amazed that something which used to crawl so slowly around the jar was now this lovely, orange butterfly. It flittered and fluttered all around our group, Ms. B screaming kids screaming, and cheering Nemo on to take the flight of his life. While I have a lot of memories about the perils of preschool, that is one which I will never forget. Plus, it’s one of the few stories I have which doesn’t involve a four-letter-word that starts with “p.”

 

Top:: Forever 21, Skirt:: Chic Wish, Shoes:: DVF, Necklace:: Bauble Bar, Ring:: Lulu Frost, Bag:: Kate Spade

Top:: Forever 21, Skirt:: Chic Wish, Shoes:: DVF (similar), Necklace:: Bauble Bar, Ring:: Lulu Frost, Bag:: Kate Spade (love this)

 

:: More than 2 Chainz ::

It’s clear by now that you know I have a problem an affinity when it comes to jewelry. I’ve been layering for so many years, that it shouldn’t have surprised me when I was told I had scoliosis in the seventh grade.

Of course, at the ripe age of thirteen, I had no idea what it was and was certain I would die soon, but that little spine curvature hasn’t stopped me from much. I’m still kickin’ and still stackin’! When the Courtney Bib popped up on Bauble Bar I felt like I had found the holy grail of jewelry. Sure, it weighs the same amount as the prize watermelon at the county fair. However – every girl needs more than 2 Chainz in a statement piece!

 

Dress > Forever 21, Top > J. Crew, Necklace > Bauble Bar, Heels > Aldo, Clutch > , Bracelets >

Dress > Forever 21 (similar), Top > J. Crew (similar), Necklace > Bauble Bar, Heels > Aldo, Clutch > Christopher Kon, Bracelets > Anthropologie, C. Wonder (similar)

 

 

P.S. Thanks for all the welcome-back-you’re-not-alone-hang-in-there-your-thirties-are-worse messages! I couldn’t ask for better family, friends and complete strangers!

:: Pattern Play ::

Remember being a kid and you would put all sorts of different patterns together while dressing yourself, and it was ok, because you were a kid?

Meet my generation – the group who grew up and decided to keep pairing weird things together, just because they could.

The most beautiful thing I have learned from my generation’s use of pattern play, is that you can literally wear anything, and if you wear it with confidence, no one will say a word. Seriously – it will not only look natural, but you’ll be lauded for being the torchbearer of the laissez-faire. Have you seen the photos from SXSW? Nothing goes together, but it looks so fab because the people wearing it absolutely do not care. Very “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” no?

That’s not the only lesson I have learned. Here are a few important tidbits collected from the outfit below.

Never wear your hair down with a sequined top – you’ll practically be bald by the end of the day. Always buy shoes in your actual size. As you can tell by my beloved red suede pumps, either my foot shrunk or I still believed I wore an 8 when I scooped up my sale selections. Also – this crossover between harem pants and a trouser are the socially acceptable form of sweatpants. I pray they never go out of style!

Top: J.Crew, Pants: Dillard’s, Shoes: Zara (old – love these!), Bag: Kate Spade, Necklace: Similar here

Top: J.Crew, Pants: Dillard's, Shoes: Zara, Bag: Kate Spade, Necklace:

*Let the record show that I was not that child, and leaned more towards the matching print on print a la Donna Karan Spring 2012 route.

:: Bring on Spring ::

This happens every year. One really lovely, warm Spring day and I’m immediately coming up with a zillion various cold weather outfits that I could kick myself for not thinking of during the winter. Inspiration comes at the strangest times!

While springing forward really throws off my days, I was so excited to come home to an evening of sunshine. After spending my days indoors, it’s so refreshing to walk outside to the surprising warmth of a true March day. Here’s to dresses and the promise of Spring.

Dress - ASOS // Vest - Forever 21 // Necklace - Neiman Marcus // Shoes: H&M,

Dress – ASOS // Vest – Forever 21 (old, similar) // Necklace – Neiman Marcus // Shoes – H&M (similar) // Bag – Kate Spade // Ring – Beyond Baroque // Watch – Michael Kors

:: Through the Windowpane ::

Top: J.Crew, Skirt: J.Crew, Vest: Stella Rae's, Clutch: Tory Burch, Heels: Aldo, Jewelry: Neiman Marcus, Beyond Baroque, Michael Kors, C.Wonder, J.Crew

Top: J.Crew (almost identical), Skirt: J.Crew, Vest: Stella Rae’s, Clutch: Tory Burch, Heels: Aldo (adore these), Jewelry: Neiman Marcus (fun option), Beyond Baroque, Michael Kors, C.Wonder, J.Crew (very old, from my favorite personal shopper)

B: What should I call this one?

T: Something with Urban Cowgirl. You’ve got the construction and your flannel on so I think you could do a play on words.

B: This isn’t flannel. It’s windowpane.

T: I guess that’s why they call it window pain?

And so, this post was born out of my love for J.Crew and Taylor’s knowledge of Eminem rap lyrics. An unlikely pair, an odd couple if you will, but one that somehow still works perfectly together. Will this be my Valentine’s outfit? I’ve been promised ice skating (I’m a total surprise ruiner – suggested it myself and was met with the “that was the plan” response), so no – sequins won’t do. The Chanel knee pads from the recent Paris show would be much more practical!

With snow and ice still on the ground here, I’m dreaming of the warmer temperatures we are predicted to have this weekend. Two years ago, I got the greatest teacher gift of all on my 23rd birthday – A SNOW DAY! This year, I’ll be equally excited to see the somewhat green remains (maybe brown is a better descriptor) underneath the snow and ice which is coating our red dirt. I’m no longer wishing for snow days, but warm weather so the show will go on (and I won’t be tempted to bring a space heater for my frigid bones). Maybe it’s a quarter-life crisis….or just the stirring of my soul. Who knows?

DSCN0229

 

:: Neon, Neon ::

Dress: Top Shop, Heels: BCBG, Bag: , Necklace: Neiman Marcus,

Dress: Top Shop (old, similar here), Heels: BCBG, Bag: Christopher Kon (similar here), Necklace: Neiman Marcus (another option), Bracelets: J.Crew, C.Wonder (on sale!), Coach (similar), Seasonal Whispers

As we were leaving for the Bahamas, I intended to come home with no less than seven blog posts. If it had been a New Year’s resolution, I would have epically failed. If you know me at all, you should know that I am NEVER on time when it comes to being ready – particularly when I think there might be a bit of leeway. Sure, I can make it to all business meetings or other appointments, but from dinners to basketball games, I am always late. Hence: “I’ll be ready in five minutes.”

On one of the seven days we were on vacation, these photos come from the one night I was early. By early, I mean that dinner probably was set for 7:00 and Taylor told me it was at 6:30. If this is true, then after four years, he totally understands how I function! It was so humid that this hair-do became my staple, and now I’ve forgotten how to do anything else. What’s your easy-go-to-up-do?!