Monochrome valentine

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Happy Valentine’s Day! This is a holiday I typically don’t go all-out for. It definitely had more appeal when I was younger (does anyone else miss exchanging Valentines with classmates?!), but it’s fun every once in a while to use it as an excuse to go out on a special date with a special someone (or someones…you know, friends and/or family!). This year, Chris and I decided to go to The Melting Pot for some cheese and chocolate fondue. YUM! We went out last night mostly because they didn’t have any reservations for tonight, but it ended up working out well; today was a relatively lazy day, though we did decide to soak up one of the final warm days before the cold arrives again next week by going for a hike. (And cleaning the house, because that needs to be done regularly!)

I showed a sneak peek of this outfit on Instagram a few days ago and ended up going with it! I’m all about the monochrome outfits lately but I have a hard time putting them together and liking them on myself. I previously wore an all black outfit, which I think is easier to pull off than other colors. What I really liked about this look was how the colors get darker from head to toe. I felt like a walking valentine all day yesterday and did not mind one bit. 🙂

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Everlane sweater (last seen here; my referral link) / Madewell pants / & Other Stories boots (similar in black) / Halogen bag / J.Crew earrings / Anthropologie sunglasses / Zoya nail polish / Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick in soft raspberry

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Happy New Year!

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Another year has come and gone! I hope you all had fun celebrations last night, whether you were out on the town or cozied up on the couch. 🙂 We went downtown last night, but it was so cold! I think I might opt to stay indoors next year if it’s going to be as cold as it was. Brrr.

As I did last year, I thought of some resolutions. Since I did relatively well with the resolutions I set last year, I decided to follow the same idea with my resolutions this year: keep them simple yet significant and limit the number so I’m not overwhelmed.

  1. Drink more water. I definitely don’t drink enough water. I take a filled water bottle with me to school everyday, but I rarely finish it before the day is over. I think part of the reason why I don’t drink a lot is because I really hate having to go to the restroom. When I’m really busy, it feels like such a waste of time, haha. I know that water is really important for maintaining nice skin, so I need to drink more of it!
  2. Finish projects. I love DIY and fun little projects I find on Pinterest, but I’m really bad at actually doing them. Or, if I do manage to start them, I don’t finish them! So this year I hope to find some fun projects and actually complete them. One of the projects on my list is a mini gallery wall in the living room.
  3. Purchase garments with higher quality materials. As much as cheap, synthetic fabrics have their place (or not, depending on how you feel), I’m ready to spend my money on fabrics that feel nice on my skin. I’ve accumulated a fair amount of merino wool over the past year or so, and I’m ready to dive into the world of cashmere. I’m already constantly checking the care tags when I’m out shopping and learning more about which brands have better materials (in my budget, of course). This will likely mean that I’ll spend more on individual pieces and purchase fewer of them.
  4. Not go over my clothing budget. With my previous resolution in mind, I know it’s going to be difficult to stay completely within my $500-per-quarter budget (which ends up being $2,000 a year; that seems like a lot when I type it out). With the travelling I have planned for the year, I need to stay focused and not overspend in other areas–especially with clothing purchases!

original photo via cimatti on flickr

Noel, Noel

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Ah! I can’t believe Christmas is tomorrow! Every year, I’m bummed out by how quickly the days before Christmas go. The 22nd-24th FLY by it seems like–full of errands (I didn’t avoid the last-minute shopping this year), work for those not on an academic calendar, and other general busy-ness. In a perfect world, time would slow down on the days before Christmas. I like soaking up the energy and spending a few days with lots of present under the tree, food on the table, and time spent together (with a lack of being out and about).

On this Christmas Eve, I decided to wear a couple of new additions to my closet: an adorable, subtly striped top I found at Anthropologie and a pretty gold choker from J.Crew. I almost paired my new sparkly earrings from J.Crew (a gift from my boyfriend) with the choker, but I decided to keep the focus on the choker and save the earrings for New Year’s Eve. The socks were a gift from Chris last year and I forgot to bring them with me, so this year I made sure to pack them and wear them! When I’m outside, they’re covered by boots, but since I kept this outfit photo shoot indoors, I decided to showcase the socks. Aren’t they cute?! They’re perfect for a cat lady like me!

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas! 🙂 xo

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Anthropologie top (on sale!) / Madewell jeans / ModCloth socks (on sale!) / J.Crew choker / Kate Spade earrings via Nordstrom Rack

Cat Lady, not Catwoman

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Happy Halloween! I hope you guys are having/had a fun day and night! I don’t have much going on tonight besides hanging out with my cats–ya know, typical cat lady stuff. 😉 I also have a ton of peanut butter M&Ms calling my name! Sadly, I totally forgot to pick up any Halloween candy, so I’m hoping to raid a store tomorrow in search of leftover Halloween candy. I’m craving Kit Kats!

For Halloween this year, I decided to wear all of my cat-themed clothing items together. I wore almost this exact look for comic con, and someone called me Catwoman. I wasn’t able to correct them (Chris heard them say it) and tell them I’m actually Cat Lady. Haha! It’s kind of an extreme print mix with the smaller, busier print in the shirt and bigger print in the skirt. The shirt was a Christmas gift from my sweet brother, and I think it works perfectly with the skirt! Of course, I had to add my cat ears. And I know it’s strange, but it was warm enough for bare legs today! I would not be surprised if this was the last day I’ll be bare-legged this year.

Also, yes. I am hissing in the photo below. I had to…

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American Rag shirt / H&M skirt (last seen here) / ModCloth headband and wedges / Kate Spade earrings via Nordstrom Rack

Valen-twee

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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope you had/are having a lovely day and (hopefully) eating lots of chocolate. I wish I had a bag of chocolate to indulge in myself. I’m hoping to grab a bag or two (or three, or four…) at the store tomorrow, but they sure seem to go fast! Chris and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day in terms of gifts (except I think Chris broke that rule), but we are going to a movie and getting a massage this weekend. I also want to go ice skating! The Winter Olympics always put me in an ice skating mood.

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When I put together this outfit, I basically tried to go as twee as possible. In terms of style, twee means super cutesy and young with really sweet and feminine details. I sometimes gravitate towards twee looks (ModCloth’s style is quite twee, for instance), but I’m trying to be more “grown up” with my style so twee isn’t really something I connect with completely now. This look, however, screams twee, and I know I look a little ridiculous (and five years younger), but for this cutesy holiday, I don’t care! Not to mention, I am in love with Peter Pan collars right now. Prepare yourselves.

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Collared sweater: J.Crew Factory | Sweater: Old Navy | Skirt, earrings: Forever 21 | Tights: Anthropologie | Expert Spokesperson Bootie: ModCloth

Twenty-Fourteen

ImageWoo! It’s 2014! I spent a nice NYE with family before heading downtown for the festivities! How did you celebrate?

Usually I feel really overwhelmed when the years change. My mind races as I think about everything that happened that year and everything that is yet to happen in the new year. I worry that if I’m leaving a good year behind, the next year surely can’t get any better. How could it? I’m a bit of a worrywart, if you can’t tell.

This new year feels different to me. I don’t know why. I don’t feel the anxiety that I usually do when a new year comes around. I was really excited counting down to 2014 and letting go of 2013. I’m really excited for what this year brings, and I’ve been thinking a lot about my personal goals/resolutions. In the past, I’ve made some pretty elaborate resolutions that I just couldn’t uphold. This year, I narrowed them down and made them simple yet significant.

  1. Maintain a budget. I always start budgets but never keep them up. I want to travel and do more fun activities this year, so a budget is a must!
  2. Go somewhere new. I love travelling. I’ve been to a lot of the same places, but I will make it a point to at least travel to somewhere new in my own state. I’m really hoping to make it to one of the three New England states I haven’t been to when Chris and I go back!
  3. Make healthy choices. I know pretty much everyone has this resolution, but I’m going to jump on the bandwagon. I’ve done a good job weening myself off of soda, and I don’t buy candy all that often (screw late October to now, though…I can’t get enough candy). I’m also going to attempt to floss more frequently. Chris is the only person I know who actually flosses somewhat regularly.
  4. Keep up with this blog! I’m having a lot of fun with it so far, and I’m SO excited for all of my outfit ideas come spring! (First I have to make it through two or more months of winter. Ugh.) I’m so happy I started blogging. I’ve been leaning more towards fashion as of late because I get so excited to create outfits. It’s nice to actually put a little more effort into how I look because then I get to document it! I’m looking forward to seeing how my style evolves this year.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday! xo

NYE party picks

It’s almost 2014! I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love sequins and jewels for New Year’s Eve celebrations! I don’t have a fancy party to go to this year (as usual), but I still love perusing websites looking for the perfect party pieces. I am totally in love with Anthropologie right now. They have some really great pieces on sale, which is perfect for me because I can’t afford their products at full price! They’re also currently doing an extra 25% off all sale items with the code 25BELOW. I stopped in on the 26th and couldn’t resist picking up a couple of things!

Here’s a little list I put together of sale pieces from Anthro that I would pick myself for New Year’s Eve parties! (Click on the picture to go to the item.) Hope you all have a fantastic NYE!

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Glittery Christmas light bulbs

I am in a full-on Christmas mood lately! We took our tree down yesterday because we’re spending our Christmases elsewhere, and it made me sooo sad. I feel a little bit better, though, because it has been snowing almost all day today and now the tree is outside covered in snow! I like to think of the snowfall as being a proper burial for our tree.

In honor of the season, I made these lovely glittery Christmas light bulbs! I originally found an image of these bulbs on Pinterest, but it wasn’t connected to any sort of blog post or article about how to make them. I’m not terribly crafty, but these seemed easy enough to do without directions! My dad has been switching out his big outdoor Christmas lights for LED lights, so I got ALL of the old bulbs he would have thrown away. I got nearly 90 bulbs! I’m really excited I could give a new life to the bulbs that used to light up my childhood house.

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I went to my local Michael’s to grab glitter (in seven different colors!), matte Mod Podge, and a couple of foam paint brushes.

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I put each tube of glitter in its own plastic cup. (We only had six so I used a bowl for the seventh color.) Then, I got straight to painting on the Mod Podge and dipping/twirling each bulb in a glitter cup!

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Look at how pretty they are! It was totally worth being covered in glitter. And having to clean up glitter. Lots of glitter.

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I also bought glass vases at Michael’s and used them as my glittery bulb displays! I would leave them in a nice bowl but I know the cats would play with them. These bulbs were SO easy to make and I just think they are so gorgeous. I especially like them because you could mix and match colors for different winter themes since they aren’t overly Christmas-y. I’m planning on keeping them displayed through January and February!

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Turkey day outfit

For Thanksgiving, I decided I didn’t want to wear jeans or anything else that felt too restricting on my midsection. I also wanted to look cute while avoiding sweatpants, so a dress fit the bill perfectly! This dress is one I’ve featured in one other outfit post and many other outfits I didn’t document. I just love it so much. It goes with so much in my wardrobe and has a nice weight to it.

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My boyfriend and I participated in Black Friday. I’m not one to line up days, hours, or even minutes in advance of a store opening, but I’ll go the next morning and catch whatever deals I can. We didn’t end up getting much in the way of things for ourselves. We did stock up for Christmas and got a tree, lights, ornaments, and things for a craft I want to do! The cats also got their Christmas presents–new beds, a new scratcher, and much to their chagrin, reindeer antler headbands.

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There’s a kitty behind me! Rosie was curious about whatever the heck I was doing! She wanted me to plug her fountain back in, I’m sure.

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Dress: American Eagle Outfitters | Sweater: J.Crew Factory | Tights, earrings: Forever 21 | Shoes: Minnetonka Moccasin via Nordstrom Rack | Fashionably Ornate Necklace: ModCloth

Giving thanks

My boyfriend and I hosted Thanksgiving this year, and the thought of preparing and cooking all of the food really freaked us out at first! Luckily, everything went smoothly; we didn’t even have to run to the store for a forgotten ingredient!

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We gave the raw giblets to the cats, but only Rosie seemed interested in them. She absolutely LOVED them! She definitely has more expensive taste than the other two cats. She went back to her plate three or four times before napping the afternoon away.

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We hosted my dad, step mom, and two of my three brothers. It was super fun! We set out Juanitas tortilla chips (the best) and cherry pomegranate habanero sauce to dip. Of course, football was on the TV! It wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving with my dad without it.

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We cooked the turkey in a really hot oven (435 degrees F) for a little less than two hours. Only olive oil and LOTS of salt and pepper graced its skin, and we kept the apple sausage stuffing to the crock pot. Salt and pepper were also put in the cavity. We made sure we had a self-cleaning oven because it splattered EVERYWHERE! Our oven is quite a mess now, but it was so worth it. We didn’t baste it or anything and it came out juicy and delicious.

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We made everything from scratch except for the cranberry sauce. It was really hard timing everything to be done at the same time! It was basically impossible because the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts went into the oven after the turkey came out and the sweet potatoes were done sooner.

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We decided to make Brussels sprouts instead of green beans because we tried this amazing recipe a few weeks ago. My brothers didn’t enjoy them as much as the rest of us, sadly. They really are incredible with maple syrup, balsamic vinaigrette, and bacon! I’m planning on featuring them in their own post next time we make them.

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Yum! I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings! I spent a lot of time on the couch after my meal online shopping. I am so thankful for the delicious food we indulged in and spending the day with part of my family! 🙂