:: 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)

 

 

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:: 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!

:: A Tale of Five Targets ::

Top: Target, Skirt: Target, Booties: H&M, Necklace: Max & Chloe, Bag: Christopher Kon, Watch: Toy Watch,

Top: Target, Skirt: Target, Booties: H&M (old, so similar!), Necklace: Max & Chloe, Bag: Christopher Kon, Watch: Toy Watch, Bracelet: BCBGeneration, Ring: Beyond Baroque, Nails: Essie Marshmallow

Over the past few years, Target has collaborated with designers to create affordable fashion (and bring in a flurry of crazy, Black-Friday prepped women to kill each other over the one Size Two on the rack). Throughout the last couple of collaborations (Missoni, Neiman Marcus, Prabal Gurung…) I was in the classroom, unable to even connect to wifi and try to order something from the collection. So when Target announced their partnership with Peter Pilotto, I put on my war paint and prepared for total domination.

After calling nearly every Target in the surrounding area to select the one receiving the greatest supply, mapping out my routes and carefully selecting the items I would fight for – it all fell apart. I woke up early, and for once in my life – was actually going to arrive ahead of schedule! But even though I was on my A game, I got lost, met zero Peter Pilotto crazies, and drove to five Targets just to ensure that 70% of the collection really was only available online. Alas, another traumatic Target experience. Next time, I will play it smart and stay at home in my pajamas – fighting the refresh button rather than the rain.

I must admit, I’m thrilled that I trekked to the store and checked out the goods in person. There were a few items I had my eye on, but was not a fan once I actually touched it. Also, I would have bought a size up and was pleasantly surprised when I could go down a size. Bonus! Did you score anything from the Peter Pilotto collection?

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:: Little Red Riding Hood ::

I have been drooling over capes ever since Gwenyth Paltrow graced the red carpet in the most stunning gown I can ever recall. Not a piece of shimmer, not even a true color – pure white, with a breathtaking cape. Had they allowed me to, I would have worn a cape as my evening gown… but shockingly, it was dismissed instantly.

Since my cape gown dreams were crushed, I added capes of all colors, lengths and fabrics to my Christmas list! I especially love this one because it has an adorable faux-fur trimmed hood – reminding me of the ever so creepy tale which is Little Red Riding Hood. Had Red owned a pair of Hunter boots, I doubt the wolf would have been so keen on trying to take her out! These beauties are not only thick and durable, but I’ve worn them to work two days in a row and they are super comfortable – as long as you’re wearing thick socks. The only problem now is… what color next?!

P.S. I told you I would be wearing these boots all week!

Top: J.Crew, Cape: Sheinside, Jeans: Joe's, Boots: Hunter, Bag: Necklace: Anthropologie, Ring: Beyond Baroque

Top: J.Crew, Cape: Sheinside, Jeans: Joe’s, Boots: Hunter ℅ Taylor, Bag: Christopher Kon, Necklace: Anthropologie, Ring: Beyond Baroque

:: Perfect Pants ::

:: can't get enough neon ::

:: can’t get enough neon ::

Top: J.Crew, Jacket: Stella Rae's (C.Luce), Pants: Nordstroms, Shoes: Steve Madden, Bag: H&M, Rings: David Yurman, ASOS, Arm Party: Toy Watch, C.Wonder, J.Crew

Top: J.Crew, Jacket: Stella Rae’s (C.Luce, similar), Pants: Nordstroms, Shoes: Steve Madden (similar), Bag: H&M (old, super fun option here), Rings: David Yurman, ASOS, Arm Party: Toy Watch, C.Wonder, J.Crew

I’ve worn a lot of pants in my life. From sequins to fringe, bell bottoms to boyfriends, and leather to custom painted (these really exist – TWO pairs), I’ve tried just about every style. However, this new trend is by far my favorite. Not only do these pants have the holy grail of all clothing items – pockets (isn’t it the absolute worst when pants psych you out with the itlaysflatterbecauseitdoesnthavearealpocket thing?), they have everything else you could ever want. A wild print, plus eye-catching neons, and a lightweight fabric so moveable that I may just wear them daily. And to bed. And back to work again. No shame.

To top it off? A STRETCHY WAISTBAND! 

If you are a donut-loving, pizza-eating, cookies-n-cream craving gal like me, you’ll appreciate a pair of pants that are not just stylish, but can be worn on the most delicious of Thanksgiving Days. After my healthy eating kick (no, I’m not the resolution type – but the holidays are too busy to take proper care of myself), I’m already looking forward to that glorious day when I can pig out. Until then, you’ll be seeing me pretend to be sporty in these fancy joggers and sweating like Richard Simmons in the gym downstairs! But most definitely not both at once. That just wouldn’t be right!

:: 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?!

:: Going Rogue ::

“Life is a party. Dress like it.” – Lilly Pulitzer

So often, I wander into my closet, looking at my most prized pieces, and putting them back because it’s “too much” for whatever occasion is in store. Then I got inspired by Blair Eadie and decided to throw together all the things I had been wanting to wear and were instead beautifully decorating the interior of my closet. It was time to go rogue… and not in the Sarah Palin way.

Skirt: Shoptiques, Top: J.Crew, Jacket: H&M, Sunglasses: John Randolph, Belt: Vintage, Boots: Tory Burch, Necklace: Max and Chloe, Bracelets: , Nails: Nails INC -

Skirt: Shoptiques, Top: J.Crew, Jacket: H&M, Sunglasses: John Randolph, Belt: Vintage, Boots: Tory Burch, Clutch: Christopher Kon, Necklace: Max and Chloe, Bracelets: Seasonal Whispers, Anthropologie, Rings: C.Wonder, David Yurman, Nails: Nails INC – Regent Street

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:: Chucks and Lace ::

Third grade. The year my feet grew four sizes and I had to stand on the back row of class photos because I was freakishly tall. It seemed as though I would totally follow in my mom’s side of the family’s footsteps as an epic basketball player, and live up to the 5’8″ height, predicted by doctors upon doubling my size as a tot. In order to keep up with my growth spurts (and probably get my paddle boats used to athletic shoes) I owned every color and style of converse they made. Of course, I thought this was the coolest shoe ever because it had my dad’s name and my middle name emblazoned proudly on the side with a star – CHUCK TAYLOR. Legit.

Years later, these gems of a shoe found their way onto the dance competition and pageant circuit. We were clearly new to this whole pageant thing, and a clogging solo had been choreographed for me to “Skater Boy.” (It may actually be titled “Skater Boi,” but that’s beyond embarrassing). When my mom and I set our minds to something, we go all out, and Skater Boy was no exception. Rhinestoned camo cutoffs, a red tank with a ripped fishnet overlay and of course – clogs specially built into a pair of rhinestoned (le duh) converse. As I gave up my last pageant title tonight, this special dance was reminisced about by many of my pageant friends and family.

You can put your kid in sneakers, but they may still only score four points in one season. Doctors can use modern medicine to predict size (I was itty bitty – someone should have caught on) and only hit the 5’2″ mark. You can be too old for pageants and still own that pair of converse clogging shoes. However, I still have a soft spot in my heart for Chuck Taylor’s. When I caught a glimpse of these silver, slightly iridescent beaming shoes – I knew they had found their home.

Top: J.Crew, Skirt: Forever 21, Shoes: Converse, Sunglasses: John Randolph, Necklace: H&M, Rings: David Yurman, C.Wonder, Watch: Michael Kors

Top: J.Crew, Skirt: Forever 21, Shoes: Converse, Sunglasses: John Randolph, Clutch: Christopher Kon, Necklace: H&M, Rings: David Yurman, C.Wonder, Watch: Michael Kors, Nails: Nails Inc Regent Street

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:: Staley Love Story ::

This past weekend was a whirlwind – but so wonderful, and I’m clearly in post-SD depression now that it’s over! To even begin to describe Bayley and Craig’s wedding would never do it justice. It was truly the most perfect day, with a 4 pm wedding on the beach, an amazing cocktail hour including a sand castle sculptor, and a reception which featured the bride taking over the mic and rapping until the wee hours of the night. Oh, and a photo booth that makes actual photo “booths” look average. Bayley is five years older than me, so I grew up idolizing her, and the Staley’s special day was very special for our whole family. Here are a few highlights, with more being found on my Instagram account @paperdollblog! {Photos courtesy of Carlos}

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This little fella partied pretty hard...

This little fella partied pretty hard…

and  here’s what I wore…

Wedding Wear: Maxi: Stella Rae's, Necklace: Dillard's, Sunglasses: John Randolph, Ring: David Yurman, Clutch:  Christopher Kon, Shoes (not pictured): DVF gold wedges

Wedding Wear: Maxi: Stella Rae’s, Necklace: Dillard’s, Sunglasses: John Randolph, Ring: David Yurman, Clutch: Christopher Kon, Shoes (not pictured): DVF gold wedges, Nails: Nails Inc – Kensington Place

Feelin' the sea breeze

Feelin’ the sea breeze

Sunny San Diego

Sunny San Diego

:: Saturday in the Park ::

I often talk about my friends to my other friends, referring to them as “my best friend.” My best friend from Nashville, my best friend from Pi Phi, my best friend from pageants. Typical girl thing, I’m sure. I do have one best friend that is different from all the others. He could be my best friend from high school, my best friend that Instagrams like it’s his job, my best friend that lives in LA, my best friend that’s Jewish, my best friend that leaves me four minute voicemails (that was probably originally of my own doing), but most importantly – my best friend that understands just how important brunch is.

Luckily, my manfriend also loves brunch, so I got to dine at Flint twice in one weekend. Josh was ever so kind to photograph me on our way to the world’s greatest biscuits and gravy and most amazing berry compote topped french toast. It was a cool morning, but quickly warmed up – as Oklahoma always does.

Top: Jcrew, Pants: Jcrew, Clutch: , Sandals: , Ring: , Nails:

Top: Jcrew, Pants: Jcrew, Clutch: Christopher Kon, Sandals: Zigi Girl

Ring: , Clutch , Nails:

Ring: Third grade vintage find from my hoarding armoire, Clutch: Christopher Kon , Nails: Birchbox find – Ruffian – Hedge Fund

Typical.