Saturday

Spring in my Step

(Or: "How I was Unwittingly Trendy")

Having spent the last three days holed up with a fever, today, when I finally felt up to showering and facing the world again was AH-MAH-ZING.

The azaleas were in bloom, the birds were singing...it was lovely, even if all I did was run a few errands.

earrings: Vintage
tee: American Apparel
belt: J. Crew
skirt: Thrifted
shoes: Target




I hadn't realized how sheer this skirt was until I saw the photos. It's definitely semi-sheer, bordering on sheer in the sunlight. I had worn a short slip, so I did have opacity over, you know, the important parts.

The overall effect was definitely a bit like the half opaque, half sheer skirts that are so IN right now. And I think it balanced out the below-knee length.

And, in other amazing news, I think I solved my "Taco Bell" problem. We live near two college campuses, so they make great photo spots. If questioned, I can just say I'm working on a class project.

I'll do my best not to flash the undergrads.  :)

Monday

Taco 'Bout Embarrassing

I'm trying this new thing: not taking photos in my backyard. A good idea in theory, until I realize that the out-of-the-way office building I think is somewhat private is actually in full view of the Taco Bell Drive-Thru.

Talk about awkward. People just want their cheap, somewhat-reminiscent-of-Mexican food, and there's me, slowly scurrying back and forth from camera to pose. (I lost my remote.)

I'm just glad nobody called me a Gordita.

scarf: Vintage Schiaparelli
shirtdress: Anthropologie
bracelets: Birthday Gift
oxfords: Vintage
 


nail polish: OPI "Mod About You"

These oxfords were such a find! I love that they're leather, the punched fleur-de-lis and their bronze-y color. I picked up 4 pairs of shoes on this visit to Goodwill and all were size 8 and 1/2. So, thank you, little old lady who had awesome taste in shoes. I think I owe you a taco. 

Friday

Luck o' the Irish

Before my trip to Austin, I had wanted to pick up a new dress, but Bear and I had just tightened up our budget a bit, and I knew that spending $50+ on a dress just wasn't in the cards. I knew I just needed to wear older things I loved, and I already have so many, but somehow, a new dress just felt like it would provide that extra oomph of confidence during all the social events of TxSC.

Hoping to find something on a clearance rack, I popped in to our local Belk for the very first time.

(And...just as a side note...I am finding that I'm not sure which section I'm supposed to be shopping in at department stores as a 32-year-old. There seem to be two sections: "WAY-too-old-for-you" and "Trying-WAY-too-hard". Anyone else have this problem?)

This lovely lime dress was in the juniors section, and unbelievably, only $5.99.  It was a size too big, but nothing a little blogger belting couldn't fix. It wound up being too rainy and cold to wear during the Austin trip, though.

dress: Belk
scarf: Gift
belt: Anthropologie (via eBay)
bangle: F21
shoes: Cynthia Vincent for Target


Finally, the way I knew this dress and I were mean to be? Pockets.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you. I'll be in OKC for the weekend for a dear friend's bachelorette party. I'm hoping to get some fun outfit shots in Bricktown!

Thursday

Springing Forward


 If there's anything that might make me get back into blogging, 7 acres of nothing but daffodils and a great thrifted find might just be it. 

Bear and I went to Wye Mountain last year (here's the post), a local small town that boasts a little daffodil festival featuring 30 different varieties. The heat of this week had already wilted most of the flowers, but we had a good time anyway.

  
earrings: Vintage
dress: Vintage, thrifted, no brand tags
belt: Forever 21
shoes: Target

On my lunch break today, bolstered by incredible luck thrifting this weekend in Austin, I headed in to my local Goodwill and scored big time. I found several pairs of shoes and a few dresses, including this great one. 
 





I just love the back of this dress. 

  

And it's lovely to be able to wear sandals again. Thank you, weather. 


  

rings: Vintage, James Avery (a friend inscribed Eph. 1:15-19 in it, so sweet!)  
That nail polish looks obscenely bright, and it's pretty true to life. I'm not sure what I think of it yet. 

Everyday Present Post

If you're interested in this sort of thing, I posted my re-cap of Kendi's TxSC keynote over at Everyday Present today. 

It's long and emotional, and if you read the whole thing, I'll owe you a hug.

Wednesday

TL;DR

This weekend, while at TXSC, I had a few people ask if I intended to keep posting here while still posting at Everyday Present with Liz and Kara.

"Of course!" I would say. "It's just hard to maintain both, but I like having both a personal blog and a co-blog," wondering why someone would ask that.

Well, I just realized that it's been almost a month since I've posted here, so that question now makes sense. And that "not posting" has happened probably for a couple of reasons: I haven't felt inspired by my clothes, have felt self-conscious about my body (hey, it happens!) and have had some busyness (not a lot, but some) come up lately.

There's also been a lot of life stuff going on. Nothing bad--don't worry! Just processing and growing, and trying to figure out what this next year will look like. Trying to figure out what the next step in life for Bear and I is. Trying to figure out what exactly it is that I'm trying to do with my blog(s). Trying to, as cheesy as it sounds, figure out some more of who I am and what I'm good at.

The truth is that I've lost myself a bit. A lot of aspects of my life changed, and I either failed to change with them, or changed myself without knowing why. The saddest thing was that, in a lot of situations, I became afraid of being myself. Deathly afraid. Hiding under the bed afraid.

Once I realized this, it was time to pull back and re-evaluate. That's never been the way I want to live my life.

To me, style blogging is an outlet. And one that fills me, not drains. But lately, I just haven't been excited about it. And if there's one thing I can't do, it's fake interest in something that I'm just not feeling. All this processing and thinking has really drained me of any extra creative or mental energy.

The good news, I suppose, is that I firmly intend to keep blogging here. I'm just waiting for the day that posting an outfit doesn't feel like a chore, but is something I'm proud of and excited about.

That day is coming. I'm just not there yet.

Monday

EP



Check out my other co-blog, Everyday Present!

Together with Liz and Kara, we daily post outfits and bits of our lives. Our hope is that it helps each of us better enjoy each day, moment by moment.


Friday

Ridiculously (Good) Looking


I'm noticeing that most of my photos are taken from the left. And now I'm wondering if I have some sort of Zoolander issue. ("I'm not an ambi-turner!")

That said, I love this outfit. The black denim keeps it from feeling TOO much like a Texas tuxedo. Although, let's be honest, I'd wear that, too. 


 blazer: Forever21
shirt: Gap
necklace: Express
jeans: Target
bag: Asos
flats: Target
bracelets: Jewelmint, Forever21


 

If you need me, I'll be at the Darling Lola Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good, Too.


Thursday

Iron-y


 For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to stay up talking at a friend's house until midnight last night. I should have known that it was just going to result in oversleeping and then, wearing unironed clothes. But let's be honest, all my clothes are unironed. My method of ironing is throwing a garment in the dryer for 15 minutes and calling it good. 


cardigan: Target
v-neck: American Apparel
necklace: Forever 21
skirt: Gap
boots: Steve Madden
nail polish: Essie "Lovie Dovie"


And if you weren't fully convinced yet that I'm not a fully functioning adult, I've also spent most of this Thursday morning thinking it was Tuesday and can't find my phone charger.

Can I just go back to bed?


Wednesday

Penciled In

I always dress up a bit more on staff meeting days, I suppose because I feel more ready to face the day that way. Normally, how I dress really doesn't matter. I could wear yoga pants and a hoodie every day, but instead dress professionally. Which (I hope) leads me to working a bit more professionally.

top: Target
necklace: Jewelmint
skirt: J. Crew
tights: Target
booties: Steve Madden

Tuesday

Take Heart

I've always liked pink and red, but I think this is my first time to willfully clash colorblock. I liked the combo and already am smitten with the possibilities. Who knew it'd be fashionable to look like you got dressed in the dark were a Valentine's groupie?

sweater: Gap
jeans: Old Navy
shoes: Steve Madden
pin: Vintage


 I thought I'd also let you see my Christmas present from Bear, probably the best practical gift I've ever received. (Bracelets: Vintage, J. Crew; Watch: Michael Kors)

(Wearing my heart on my sleeve, just in case the outfit didn't tip you off.)

Friday

Dinner & Dancing

Tonight, Bear and I are going to our church's dinner and dance fundraiser. I thought the red would be Valentine's appropriate, and add some color to this lovely dress that I sadly haven't worn much. The colors and the lace combined felt feminine without being twee or too girly.

cardigan: Target
dress: Rodarte for Target
tights: Gap
pumps: Payless
nail polish: Essie Clambake


Wednesday

A Thigh-ful

I got my first negative comment today, and, surprisingly, it stung quite a bit. Not for what they said, really, but that someone took the effort to say it. I'm not exactly a big name in need of a take down. 

It's amazing how comfortable someone can be making a really personal rude comment when the internet is between them and me. (I deleted the comment, and probably always will remove hurtful things.)

 
earrings: American Eagle
shirt: Gap
sweater: Target
jeans: Gap
shoes: Payless


(By the way, I think my thighs are awesome.)

Monday

Wu Girl

This unseasonably warm winter has meant that I haven't worn my favorite Christmas present from Bear all that much. I had thought that a wool trench made sense, with its warmth and timelessness. The mornings here have hovered around 40 degrees, so I do wear the coat in the morning, but then dress fairly warmly underneath for the inevitable 60 degrees of the afternoon. 

coat: J. Crew
scarf: (vintage) Schiaparelli

top: Jason Wu for Target
skirt: J. Crew
tights: Betsy Johnson (via T. J. Maxx)
shoes: Target
nail polish: Carry On by Essie

Surprisingly, this was the only piece of Jason Wu that I bought. By the time I had left church and arrived at Target, most everything was gone. I hear it was good, though!

Saturday

Pink Lady

The husband's out of town at a conference, so I've been having some fun re-organizing the closets. And by re-organizing, I mean, organizing. And by organizing, I mean picking up all the clothes off my floor and hanging them up. What can I say? I know how to have a good time.

I'm having dinner tonight with a friend, so I felt like dressing up. Highlighter pink pants and a sequin top may be pushing it on the fun factor. We'll see what happens when margaritas are added.

earrings: The Limited
jacket: Target
top: Express
jeans: Old Navy
shoes: Charlotte Russe

Friday

Black n' White

Oh rain, go away. It's enough that you take over summer and fall. You can't have winter, too. That's for snow. I'll thank you for the clouds, though. My photos look amazingly colorful.

blazer: Thrifted (Banana Republic)
sweater: Old Navy
tee: H&M
jeans: Target
shoes: Payless


Tuesday

Almost Red-y

Just one photo today. It was all I could grab before heading out to work!

I've loved colored jeans for quite a while, and now have red and green jeans in addition to the usual blue. But I haven't quite found my comfort level with them. So far, all I've been able to pair with colored pants are neutral hues.

scarf: Limited
sweatshirt: Target
jeans: Target
boots: Steve Madden

Saturday

Snow Problem

Somehow I accidentally ordered 20 pizzas online the other night. I had meant to order 5 for last night, but instead the order re-submitted itself 3 additional times, and for RIGHT THEN. That was an embarrassing phone call to Papa John's. I'm just glad it was caught in time. 

sweater: Gap
skirt: Anthropologie
tights: Gap (old, I've somehow had these since High School!)
boots: Steve Madden


It started snowing while I was shooting these photos. Just a light little dusting, but it was  comfortingly there. I was worried we'd miss winter entirely this year. I'm ready, though, armed with the most comfortable skirt in the world.



Friday

Still Sleepy

I feel asleep last night around 1 a.m. on our bed as I was folding laundry. When I woke up this morning I was still holding a sock. 

We have one of our 3 times yearly staff trainings this weekend. And I'm already tired going into it. Hopefully I can get some rest soon!

scarf: Target
shirt: J. Crew
pants: Target
boots: Steve Madden


Monday

Recipe: Healthier Chicken Parmesan

I love Chicken Parmesan, but I don't love the calories, nor the typical chicken patty that you'd get at a restaurant. This was my attempt to make a "better-for-you" Chicken Parmesan. It turned out really well, with a golden crust and a flavorful, tender chicken. 

This was a dish I winged making, using several different recipes' ideas in order to bring this together. It will definitely be made again! I did use pre-made sauce from Newman's Own to cut corners, but I'd love to make this some time with a scratch tomato sauce.

Using Panko for the breading made it light, while still yielding a good crunchy exterior. (Panko also doesn't absorb as much oil as a typical breadcrumb.) We also used a finely grated Parmesan, instead of mozzarella, over the top of the chicken when baking, and served it with a whole wheat pasta.

So, while it's not a "healthy" meal, per se, it is still healthier. Good enough, right?


Chicken Parmesan
4 chicken boneless chicken breasts
1 egg white
1-1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
salt & pepper
1 T dried basil
1 t garlic powder
3 T ground Parmesan
Olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2. In a bowl, mix the egg and milk and whisk to combine well.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the dry Panko, basil, garlic powder, ground Parmesan and a few turns each of the salt and pepper.

4. Heat a 12 inch skillet to Medium-High and spray with an olive oil sprayer. (Or you can just pour in 1 T olive oil.)

This is my olive oil sprayer...you can find them for about $9 and it's my new favorite thing!



5. One at a time, coat the chicken breasts throughly, first in the egg/milk mixture, then in the Panko mixture. 

6. Place the chicken breasts in the heated skillet and cook on each side for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown. 



7. In a small baking dish, or pie dish, place the chicken breasts. Pour red sauce over the chicken, then cover and place in the oven. 


8. Cook, covered for about 25, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees internally, using a thermometer to check the temp. 

It's not quite done yet!
9. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and place chicken back in oven until cheese is just melted. (It should take less than 2 minutes.) Serve with spaghetti and red sauce, and, if you're really wicked, bread.

Friday

Simple

Somehow, I've gotten it into my head that a sweater/shirt combo is menswear. But I felt incredibly feminine in this outfit. It might have been that I felt a bit '40s-ish, with the silk blouse, wide jeans and red lipstick: A bit--a very small bit!--like a modern Katharine Hepburn.

sweater: Anthropologie (on super sale!)
blouse: Thifted
jeans: Gap
heeled booties: Seychelles

I was really enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, but today it was 22 degrees again! Is it bad that I'm already excited about Spring coming soon? BRRRR!!!!

Wednesday

Twilight

"Twilight" used to be one of my favorite words. Then a certain book series came along and RUINED EVERYTHING. 

sweater: Target
t-shirt: Target
skirt: J. Crew
tights: Gap
boots: Steve Madden

She begged to be picked up, but wasn't planning on that!
We went to Memphis last night and saw one of my very favorite bands, The Civil Wars, perform. It made for a rather late night, and photos just didn't happen until this evening. 

I really like this color combo. I've been seeing so many pastels for Spring, the likes of which I haven't seen since Elementary School Easter Sunday. The outfit was an attempt to "winter-ize" the colors.

And just for fun, here's my favorite cover the band performed last night: 


Monday

Joan-sing

I felt very "Joan Holloway" in this outfit, but without the gross husband and the old man on the side. If only I had remembered to wear my pen necklace.

bow blouse: Gap
skirt: thrifted
tights: Target
oxfords: Seychelles, via eBay
out of focus photo: running late for work

We also added to our little family this weekend by adopting a rescue Cairn terrier that we named "Halle". 

She's a spunky wee thing and we're so glad to have her. While I took these photos, she defended our yard from an advancing tree's attack. The tree must have won, because she ran behind me and hid.

Trees, man, they'll get ya.