:: 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

 

:: 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)

 

:: Take a Napa ::

 

However, in these pants… I could really go either way!

After spending a weekend in the Dallas patio heat, I totally understand why women brunch in Lulu Lemon. They don’t do it because it makes their butt look awesome (even though those pants are the next best thing to a plastic surgeon), they do it because the fabric is sweat wicking and they look like they are glowing instead of dripping. I was a shining example of the latter.

What I love about these pants, is that they are socially acceptable. They are as soft as pajamas, but make me feel like I should be sipping wine in Napa! When my friend Josh lived in LA, I visited for a week and we took a trip to the Santa Ynez Valley to see Los Olivos and Solvang – two of my most favorite places ever.

I fell in love with the most adorable dutch town where we ate fabulous danishes, baked fresh from I kid you not – a building that looked like a windmill. We roamed from tasting room to tasting room, trying dozens of wines and playing the part of tourist. However, the adorable clutch that Josh insisted I must get, turned out to be the wine tote I’m toting around.

Napa – I’m ready for ya!

Top > H&M, Pants > Anthropologie, Clutch > Local Winery Find, Shoes > DVF, Necklace > Dillard's, Rings > H&M

Top > H&M, Pants > Anthropologie, Clutch > Local Winery Find, Shoes > DVF (love these), Necklace > Dillard’s, Rings > H&M


:: 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!

 

:: Stripes and Sequins ::

Man. I thought Christmas was busy, but spring has brought so much more in every aspect of life! I have been waking up, so excited at the anticipation of the seventy degree weather – only to put a halt to my skirt and dress-wearing with the THIRTY MPH Oklahoma winds.

As I was going through my closet and trying to decide what gets to transition to spring, I realized that I really didn’t have much in terms of warmer weather wardrobe. With two years of teaching behind me, I had time off during the hottest months (cue – nothing appropriate , and my classroom was never warmer than the arctic, so I was wearing sweaters up until the last day of school.

You’ll be seeing a lot of interesting things coming out of this blog, since I’ve been blowing my already minuscule monthly shopping budget on my new hobby – sangria swirls on the Iguana patio hot yoga. I seriously don’t know what I did before it, and have never felt so at peace with myself. I leave after an hour of forced water drinking, with sweat pouring from places I didn’t know it could, and a clear head which cannot think of the trials of each day for those 60 minutes. In the past, I spent multiple hours working out – but it was never a stress reliever because I felt like I had to do it. (And to be honest, I did have to do it to reach the goals I had set, and could not have done it without the help of the world’s greatest trainer). With yoga, I’m not doing it for anyone or anything but myself, and that feels amazing.

So, in the coming months you may see me in yoga pants, because that’s all I own. Or maybe I’ll just restyle this skirt every other day. Because – why not?!

Top: J.Crew, Skirt: J.Crew, Shoes: Converse, Bag: Kate Spade, Necklaces: J.Crew, Ring: David Yurman

Top: J.Crew, Skirt: J.Crew, Shoes: Converse, Bag: Kate Spade, Necklaces: J.Crew, Ring: David Yurman

 Photography by Kurstyn Mills

:: 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

:: 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?!

:: Kaleidoscope ::

Remember the Peter Pilotto for Target debacle from a few weeks ago? I had my eye on this dress from the get go, and even girlfriend who was shopping for her daughter couldn’t beat me to it! With a dozen weddings and showers in the coming year, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of this little gem. The cool tones with bright pops of neon make it so flexible in terms of weather. Adding a long sleeve top with tights and booties, or a collared shirt, will take it into the winter seasons. Throwing on a different belt and matching various colors and patterns of heels will keep it rocking through summer.

Did you ever look through kaleidoscopes as a kid? This dress reminds me so much of the magical, transforming shapes swimming at the end of the mirrored tunnel. I did a quick Wikipedia search of kaleidoscopes (because I spent four years in the journalism college being told not to do so), and learned all about the history of these gorgeous, greek-invented objects. Do yourself a favor and take a look here. Only, of course, after you take a look below!

Dress: Target, Shoes: Zara, Belt: ASOS, Bag: J.Crew, Rings: C.Wonder, Bracelets: Seasonal Whispers, J.Crew, Nails: Essie Marshmallow

Dress: Target, Shoes: Zara (similar), Belt: ASOS, Bag: J.Crew (similar), Rings: C.Wonder (super sale!), Bracelets: Seasonal Whispers, J.Crew, Nails: Essie Marshmallow

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