:: Don’t Quilt Your Daydream ::

If you were to ask me what one quality I possess which is both invigorating and devastating, it is my belief that absolutely nothing is impossible.

Whether it was in my PreK classroom, some lofty college aspirations, potential business endeavors, or the search for the perfect fitting boyfriend jeans – I just can’t accept “no.” Perhaps that is also because my generation of millennials are a group who feel entitled, didn’t hear “no” enough as a child, or earned a participation ribbon when they should have just straight up learned a lesson about losing.

Whatever it is, it’s gotten me through some incredible rough patches of life and given me hope that my insane visions could be a reality. It has also created false hope when God decided another path or opportunity was better, but wasn’t quite ready to ready to reveal what that might be. He definitely has a sense of humor, right?!

So the lesson of today’s post is – you can wear a fabulous quilted dress, but most certainly – never “quilt” your daydream.

 

P.S. I was told this dress couldn’t be altered. LIES!

Dress > Anthropologie // Shoes > DVF // Necklace > Gifted // Bracelets > J. Crew, C. Wonder, Seasonal Whispers // Rings > H&M

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Beauty B // Hair It Is

When it comes to beauty, there is one aspect I really, truly, obsessively care about – hair. Today I am bringing you some of my favorite hair care products, because I love you and I want you to have incredible hair.

That’s friendship. Unless you touch my hair – then, we can’t be friends.

 

1 // No. 4 Clarifying Shampoo | 2 // Kerastase Masque Chroma Riche | 3 // Dry Bar Sake Bomb Conditioner | 4 // Dry Bar Southern Belle Volumizing Mousse | 5 // Sebastian Shaper Plus Hair Spray | 6 // Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo | 7 // Moroccan Oil

 

1 // No. 4 Clarifying Shampoo – I received a sample in my Birchbox, and went totally gaga over this product. Do you ever struggle to rinse ALL of the shampoo and conditioner out of your hair? Then, while drying it, find some crazy spot you missed and shoot at it with your dry shampoo until it’s 10% less oily? Me either… This shampoo does not let that happen. It leaves your hair feeling fresh, clean, and maybe I’m nuts – but my color seemed richer too. Oh, and are you a smell person? Because I smell so good that I skip the perfume with this product. It’s pricey, but with all the BB reviews I’ve done, I think I can buy it with Birchbox points and use sparingly! #firstworldproblems

 

2 // Kerastase Masque Chroma Riche – Also a Birchbox find. Definitely expensive, but making its way to my “want” list. The sample  made my hair feel repaired (which I don’t believe a one-time-use can normally do), moisturized, but not weighted down. Kerastase makes the best products to repair color-treated, teased to the Heavens, heat-abused hair.

 

3 // Dry Bar Sake Bomb Conditioner – Have you been to a Dry Bar? They greet you with a mimosa, have the best movies playing, and will wash and style your hair for $40! It used to be a more reasonable $35, but – life. Their products are also incredible, and I swear by the shampoo/conditioner set. Just a helpful hint for when you make it to a DB – tell them to go easy on the product if you want the style to last. I don’t do flat or soft hair – I want to keep it all locked into place like Judy Jetson.

 

4 // Dry Bar Southern Belle Volumizing Mousse – Holy hair. This changed my life! Shake well, spray just a bit into various parts on top of your head, and a touch into your ends. While drying, use a brush to pull up the areas you sprayed and VOILA! Hair that will hold. Another product that smells fresh, modern, and girly – but not fruity or floral-y.

 

5 // Sebastian Shaper Plus Hair Spray – I will just go ahead and say it – I am the Uncle Jesse of hairspray. If it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, then I am most definitely an expert of hairspray. Two dear friends arrived at my Miss Oklahoma send-off, gift in hand – in a wine sack. My first thought was that it was a bit unconventional to give a titleholder, but – wine! As I opened it, I found not wine, but another of my favorite things – HAIRSPRAY! Being from Mississippi, they noted that ALL the Mississippi ladies have incredible hair thanks to this amazing product. They were right. It is a gift from God! P.S. – Ulta often sells it as a Buy 2 get 1 Free deal!

 

6 // Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo – Just as I adore hairspray, I love dry shampoo. It can take second day hair from drab to fab, and this is another secret of mine to make it bigger and better. Not only does this dry shampoo smell fresh and clean, but it is under $6. Stock up before everyone finds out how fantastic it is and they raise the price!

 

7 // Moroccan Oil – I think by now, we know that I like things that smell good, and sometimes I catch my mom adding a bit to her wrist. Maybe I do that too… I pour just a dime-size amount and run it through my hair while it is still sightly damp, and it adds just the right amount of moisture to protect and mend the split ends I spent hours creating with a curling iron.

:: Chambray Dreams and Barn Scenes ::

Last week was the most beautiful week in Oklahoma. The evenings were clear, a subtle seventy degrees, and if you had shed your winter layer, you might have needed a jacket. Then, summer hit us like a ton of bricks.

 

I’ve almost reached the point of wearing Lulu Lemon 24/7. but until then – I give you chambray dreams and barn scenes!

 

Top // J.Crew (practically the same), Skirt // Peter Pilotto for Target (old, similar) Shoes // Vera Wang for Kohls, Necklace // J.Crew (old, similar), Bag // Kate Spade (Love this style!!)

Hope you are keeping cool!

 

:: 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)

 

 

:: Watch Yo’self ::

We can talk floral all day long, but let’s get to what I’m most excited about here – the three-faced watch I picked up at Anthropologie. While sprinting through Anthro during the one hour I was given to shop in Kansas City last March, I fell in love with this watch. Of course, not for the on-sale price of $50 (sometimes it hurts to be thrifty). So I let it go, and decided to chance fate.

I then ran into this beauty again for $30 at the end of the month. We all know what that means… so we parted ways again.

On a recent Anthropologie venture, I scoured my go-to area: sale. There was my vintage-vibe friend, staring at me for LESS THAN $20! I did that thing that is kind of embarrassing – I grabbed it like someone was going to Black Friday me and snatch it out of my hand, and headed straight to the register.

As Elvis crooned – some things are meant to be.

 

Dress // H&M, Bag // Kate Spade, Wedges // DVF, Jewelry // Anthropologie Watch, H&M Midi Rings, David Yurman Ring

Dress // H&M, Bag // Kate Spade (love this one!), Wedges // DVF (very close!) , Jewelry // Anthropologie Watch, H&M Midi Rings, David Yurman Ring

 

:: Crop it like it’s Hot ::

When I was in second grade, I got called into the office.

As a gifted and talented student who was running away with the win for number of books read that month, I was really confused. After arriving at the office, already feeling guilty for whatever I did not remember doing, I was given the phone to call my mom and get a change of clothes. This was just the beginning of being sent home for my sartorial selections. But that day – it was for a crop top.

I know, I know – why were you wearing a crop top to school?! Well, it was an outfit, and it was a rather adorable one at that. Not only did I have this outfit, my my sister had a matching one (le duh!).

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I love donuts, so you can imagine that I’m not a big belly barer – HOWEVER, I’m loving the high waist pants/skirts/shorts/crop top trend because, unless I’m reaching for the top shelf at Target (ugh – tall people), you never see a hint of skin!

Also, I’ve been living in this outfit, so if you see me within the next month and I’m in the same thing over and over again – sorry I’m not sorry.

 

Top:: H&M, Skirt:: J.Crew Factory, Bag:: Kate Spade, Sandals:: Coach (old), Necklace:: Max & Chloe, Watch:: Anthropologie, Ring:: Lulu Frost

Top:: H&M (Almost identical AND on sale!), Skirt:: J.Crew Factory, Bag:: Kate Spade (need this one, on sale! and looks like the Celine I would give my firstborn (but not my dog) for, Sandals:: Coach (old, love these), Necklace:: Max & Chloe, Watch:: Anthropologie (old, but you can totally find it in stores), Ring:: Lulu Frost (these people have THE best customer service)

 

We really liked matching outfits…

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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!

:: These Are My Confessions ::

I love donuts. Like, will eat a dozen if left alone with the box. My favorite drink is red, red wine. By the fourth of every month, my “shopping budget” is almost always kaput. My only motivation for doing cardio is fitting into my spring/summer 2010-2014 wardrobe watching Game of Thrones. I could be on hoarders if they ever found my costume jewelry collection.

 

These are just a few of my not so fabulous habits.

 

Isn’t it so easy to not love yourself? The day we took these photos, the wind was hitting 30 mph, plus it was hot. My boyfriend jeans were looking more “mom” than “boyfriend” and my necklace kept slapping me in the face. Are you really that surprised when I tell you that I wasn’t being my best self? After an unsuccessful go at using positivity to encourage me, Taylor gave in and took me for a Sangria pitcher.

Problem momentarily solved.

 

The past few months have been full of peaks and valleys (more valleys, and clearly – I wasn’t up to blogging at that time), and I was struggling to love myself. Call it a quarter-life crisis if you will, but I’m back and we’ll focus on moving forward and keeping up the as-expensive-as-therapy-hot-yoga, rather than being dark and twisty. No one tells you that your twenties are hard – but they are! People don’t actually travel Europe for months at a time, or have the money to be social every night, or buy everything they pin -AND, it’s not easy to make friends after college either. My friend Chelsie says it best, so go here for what I’m talking about. Social media gives us this opportunity to essentially “frame” our lives with all the cool places we are going and all the fun things we are doing. But no one posts what they look like when they’re late for work and their dog has had an accident the size of its four pound body. Because life happens.

 

And so for that reason, I’m giving you my confessions. Because – life! And – donuts!

 

Top: Kate Spade, Jeans: Gap, Bag: Kate Spade, Heels: Aldo, Necklace: Neiman Marcus, Rings: David Yurman, mom find, Bracelets: C. Wonder, Anthropologie, Coach

Top: Kate Spade, Jeans: Gap, Bag: Kate Spade, Heels: Aldo, Necklace: Neiman Marcus, Rings: David Yurman, mom find, Bracelets: C. Wonder, Anthropologie, Coach

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P.S. – I missed you all!

 

:: 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.

:: Weekend Wear ::

There are some outfits I wear over and over and over again – and somehow my friends love me enough to pretend that they don’t notice. While my favorite weekend wear consists of an oversized red Hotel Del Mar sweatshirt or my white and pink fancy floral sweats (unfortunately – sometimes together), every now and then I must leave home.

Hence, the boyfriend jeans making their come back! Whether worn with sparkly loafers (which keep my toes toasty!) or a fun heel – these are my go-to’s. Sure, I know they aren’t the most flattering pants on earth – but at the end of the day, prying peeling those skinny jeans off is not enjoyable. You’re in the closet, while your legs get caught up in the attempted escape of the second-skin-like tightness surrounding your ankles, tumbling over yourself and into a wall of dagger-like heels…. Let’s be real – it just isn’t safe!

Then again, how often do we choose function over fashion? I know I’m not the only one who has had a near-death like experience with skinny jeans!

Top: Forever 21, Coat: Sheinside, Jeans: Gap Boyfriend, Loafers: Steve Madden, Bag: Vintage Chanel

Top: Forever 21 (old – love this option!), Coat: Sheinside, Jeans: Gap Boyfriend, Loafers: Ugg (on super sale!!), Bag: Vintage Chanel, Necklace: Pinterest?

P.S. I am currently seeking a web designer – any takers out there?!