Dress Rehearsal Dress :: Texas Part 1!

Earlier this month John and I drove to Texas because one of my very best friends from childhood got married!! We took this opportunity to turn a mere weekend trip into a week-long vacation!
On our first day of driving we made it to Tulsa, Oklahoma just in time to grab a bite to eat and see a band that’s been on my bucket list for a long time: Interpol. They were very fun to see live and although they didn’t play my favorite song they otherwise lived up to my expectations. Success!
The next day we made it to Dallas with several days to spare before the wedding. This gave us plenty of time to help the bride and groom with any last minute details and hang out and catch-up before the big day! Because they live in Texas our reunions are few and far between so getting this extra time with friends was crucial for us all. We had a couple of nice dinners and some downtime together before the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.
The venue they chose was absolutely beautiful! It was almost like being in a whole other world apart from Dallas! The house had a lovely vintage feel and there were beautiful flowers and lush greenery everywhere. There was also this little koi pond, which is where I chose to take the pictures you see here.

IMG_1085

IMG_1075

IMG_1072

IMG_1092

IMG_1096

IMG_1065

The rehearsal dinner was a low key pizza party with some DELICIOUS pizzas, salad and homemade (by the bride herself!) pound cake.
I chose this wrap dress last minute. I wouldn’t normally ever buy a wrap dress; they’re just not my style. This one stuck out to me though because of the pattern. I’ve discovered a few things that are quite nice about a wrap dress: 1) since the waist is adjustable there’s lots o’ room underneath which makes for a comfortable and flattering fit. 2) no need to slip this dress over your head! Just wrap it around your body to avoid messing up your hair (if that’s a concern for you, and it usually is for me.)

We were in a hurry to get ready post-pedicures so these sandals were the perfect choice to throw on and go and I think it turned out great!
Stay tuned for part 2 where I show off my wedding attire and fancy Texas hair!

Outfit details: Dress :: Charlotte Russe | Sandals :: Hello Holiday | necklace :: Urban Outfitters (several years old)

jessi-signature

Gone Patchin’

Every fall since Joe and I have been together, we’ve gone pumpkin patchin’. Is that a verb? Anyway, this year was no exception and we had so much fun! Charlie is old enough this year to really get into all the stuff they have for kids: climbing hay bales, sliding down a giant tube slide, making mud pies, taking a hay ride and of course the key part: picking out pumpkins. I was definitely overdressed for the occasion but I feel like that on a daily basis so I was okay with it. Shout out to Howell’s Pumpkin Patch! We had too much fun.

IMG_0548

IMG_0552

I just really love gourds

I just really love gourds

IMG_0558

details

The 30 for 30 Fashion Challenge is finally over! I’ll post the results some day soon, promise! Just know that it’s been so fun to unpack all my clothes and find real gems I’ve been missing for what seems like a lot longer than a month. Like this cowl I put on when I found it Friday and haven’t taken it off all weekend. It’s just like this warm little snuggle kitty on my neck, without any stray fur stuck in my mouth.

Well, I am currently sitting in a coffee shop typing this since we still don’t have internet at our new house yet, and my computer decided to take a big crap on me last week. But I’m back in action and feeling good about it! Hope everyone is well, xoxoxoxo

Outfit details: Cowl :: gift from Jessi, made by Ramona | fall cape :: thrifted, Found Things | striped gold and white sweater :: JCP | polka dot shorts and tights :: Target | black booties :: Jessica Simpson, Amazon | Hair bow :: Forever 21 | Cuff :: gift from Joe, Betsey Johnson at Von Maur

marlena-signature

Farewell Summer

It’s officially fall in Iowa and in an attempt to bid adieu to summer I’m sharing one of my favorite summer looks! In the dead of winter I long for nothing more than to throw on a dress and sandals in order to be ready for the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love layers but I’m trying to preserve the tights-free and sweater-free days that are left, and those days are numbered.

This dress to me is quintessential summer. Gingham will forever remind me of picnic blankets and if I had my way I’d spend every obligation-free day sprawled on a picnic blanket, eating bread and cheese and drinking sangria… But that’s not a reality, my life is not a Pinterest board! But if I could, I would.

I love the fit and length of this dress. Often when I buy a dress it’s too long and I have to hem it up or it’s too short which makes it a tights only dress, which means I can only wear it in the fall or winter. This was a birthday gift and on the pricier side, but I’ve learned you really do get what you pay for. Here I get fantastic fit and adorable details like the buttons up the back!

IMG_0642

IMG_0628

IMG_0658

IMG_0655

details-jessi

And then there’s the elephant in the room… My new cat tattoo!! I’ve been wanting a cat tattoo (or Cattoo) for awhile now but nothing I saw or thought of seemed quite right. Then along came John to save the day. Oh the perks of having an artist for a husband! I asked him to draw something up for me and he came up with this and I fell in love. It’s purrrfect, it’s just what I wanted and I’m happily to officially be a member of the crazy cat lady club!

Outfit details: Dress :: Modcloth | shoes, belt :: thrifted | sunglasses :: Ray-Ban | necklace :: White Rabbit

jessi-signature

A Summer Dress in Autumn

I love finding new ways to wear clothes I’ve had for years. I stumbled upon this match-up late one night when I crazily packed up 95% of my clothes into cardboard boxes and announced to my empty bedroom, “We are moving to our new house in 30 days so I hereby declare my participation in the 30 for 30 fashion challenge!” More on that later, since as I write this I’m only on Day 18. (Note to self: Day 18?! I have so much to do in 12 days!!)

I’ve tried this look before, and it didn’t quite look right. If the shirt underneath is too big, or too clashy, this look will just not work. I’ve said it a million times, but one trick to matching patterns is to match one color and that’s what I did here. I love being able to wear my summer dresses when there’s a crispy chill in the air. My go-to is to usually wear the button down on top and tie it at the waist, but next time you feel like doing that, why not try going under?

My cat flats are the single biggest compliment-receiver in my office. It’s gotten to the point now whenever someone says they like them, I just meow at them instead of saying thanks! I use them in place of a plain, black flat and I must say it’s working well for me during this challenge-thingy.

IMG_0275

IMG_0273

photo(1)

IMG_0284

IMG_0280

My little family has been trying to enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve been having in between all the packing. Last Sunday (when Joe took these pics) we walked on a pretty trail in the city, and Charlie took his big wheel bike out. He’s growing up so fast! He just whips around these curves so fast that we have to run to catch up with him. And I just have to say this: 2 1/2 is where it’s at, kitties! He sleeps through the night, he loves routine but is still pretty laid back, and every day I’m just amazed at his crazy imagination and wit. Oh and maybe the best part: he loves to snuggle! Okay, I will stop but just know I could talk ad nauseam about my little Chazberry.

Outfit details: Polka dot button up :: JCP | Dress :: Dear Creatures at Vitae Design Collective | Mustard tights :: Target | Cat flats :: Gift from Jessi, Modcloth

marlena-signature

#MonthlyMani: Autumnal Hues

This month for our #MonthlyMani series the group picked Autumnal Hues. As I mentioned in our last post, autumn has kicked up it’s chill here in Iowa so this theme really grabbed me. If I could paint little bowls of soup and giant cups of lattes on my nails, that would have been ideal since it’s how I’ve been celebrating so far. Alas, I don’t work at WAH Nails so I chose to go the fall fashion trend route of nude nails!

Have you jumped on the nude nail bandwagon yet? I’m here to convince you to get on! Once you find that perfect nude that isn’t too transparent (what’s the point?) or too pink (just wear light pink!) then you’ve found your perfect match. It took me a long time, to be honest. Usually I would go to Target thinking, “I will buy a nude nail polish,” only to leave Target thinking, “Oooh I can’t wait to see this weird baby blue texturized polish in action! Wait, what color was I going to buy?” But the other day I successfully found one that looked great (CoverGirl Forever Fawn), and so far so good! And since just painting my nails nude for a monthly manicure post seemed frightfully boring, I decided to have some fun with another 2014 nail fall fashion color: dark red!

IMG_0299

IMG_0302

IMG_0297

The little red dot pattern turned out a lot nicer than I thought it would, I must say! Here are a few tips if you want to try a similar look:

1. Use a dotting tool. If you don’t have one of those, do what I do and use one end of a stray bobby pin.

2. Start by putting some nail polish on the bobby pin and putting your first dot right in the center of your nail, however far down you want to go. Then just add two dots on either side of the initial dot, creating a little arch. I liked it when the first dot was slightly larger due to more polish being on the pin.

3. Have fun with your accent nails! I did the arch three times on each accent nail to shake things up a bit. You could also flip flop the colors, so paint the accent nail dark red with nude dots. I thought of that too late or I would have done it myself!

Nail polishes used: CoverGirl Forever Fawn | Sephora by OPI Forever Wild | Essie Good to Go Topcoat

 

Now go see how the other pretty kitties in our group got creative with the theme!

Kristi from Alligator Toe
Piniel from Pins-Place
Justine from The Two Cent Chick
Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali
Erika from Erika’s Style Diary
Angie from hashtagRANDOM
Tracy-Ann from Mint Statement
marlena-signature
P.S. Let me know if you want to take the #MonthlyMani challenge with us next month! We post the 3rd Wednesday of the month and it’s open to anyone that likes to polish their nails. You can also use the hashtag on Instagram to play along this month!

Favorites: Fall Booties!

This past week started the beautiful season of fall for us here in Iowa. I say that with authority because on Wednesday I broke out the tights! And what looks better with colorful tights than cute little fall booties? We think every pretty kitty needs at the very minimum a black pair and a brown pair. Here are some of our faves this season:

finds-layers

1. I just bought these and I’m in looooove! -Mar
Jessica Simpson Orsona Bootie :: 6pm

2. Love a chic cut-out!
Started from the Blossom Booties :: Modcloth

3. A wedge is a great way to change it up.
Blowfish Luminate Wedge Bootie :: DSW

4. The quilted pattern makes these look so comfy.
Disc Golf Debut Boot :: Modcloth

5. Great for a girls night out.
Montoro Boot :: ALDO

6. Splurge on a pair of Frye booties: you won’t regret it!
Reina Booties by Frye :: Piperlime

7. Perf with a skirt and tights!
Black Polish Ankle Boots :: ROMWE

8. Pair with dark high-waisted jeans and a crop sweater.
Anda Triple Buckle Boots :: Topshop

9. Classic, reliable go-tos.
Lucky Penny Booties :: Seychelles

10. With an almost 3″ heel, these are perfect for stomping around in the leaves.
Cool Tan Boots :: Lulu’s

So are you more of a black or brown boot girl? We like both but there is definitely more brown than black in our closets!

both-signature

What to Wear to a Fall Wedding: Part 2

I, for one, die for fall weddings! I mean, I met my hubs in the fall, we got married in the fall… Fall is the perfect time for love in my humble opinion! Weather-wise you’re typically going to be in luck. Hopefully it won’t be too cold, it won’t be too hot, it’ll be juuuuuuust right.

I love weddings for the obvious reasons: the friends, the food, the drinks, the dancing. And I simply LOVE love! However, another reason I’m totally into weddings is it gives me a chance to dig deep into my vintage dress treasure trove and pull out dresses so rarely worn and let them shine. This one here just happens to be one of my vintage babies that I love dearly.

For my outfit I went sans sweater and tights, but those are both easy elements to add last minute if necessary. Or if you’re not feeling like having a sweater moment add a little blazer or even maybe even a cute jean jacket for the after party.

Even though it can be a bit of a drag to keep track of a purse all night I absolutely cannot go without one. If you’re like me and must have a purse or handbag, make it a statement piece. Again, I’m very into pulling something out of my closet that I love but doesn’t see much action, save for special occasions.

Another must: bring an alternate pair of shoes!!! A simple pair of ballet flats will work for sure. These vintage kitten heels I’m wearing are comfortable, don’t get me wrong, but weddings can go on for hours and sore feet are the worst! I like to glam it up for awhile, then once everyone has had a few drinks slipping off your shoes and changing them out ain’t no thing. No one will notice but you!

IMG_9966

IMG_9976

IMG_9962

IMG_9978

jess=details

I really love what Devan did with my hair! I went in with just a few ideas: big and curly, and she took the reigns from there. I tend to get stuck in hair ruts, so it was a total luxury to have her curl and tease my hair and definitely gave me some ideas for how to glam it up myself in the future! For a wedding I think it’s fun to get out of your comfort zone and do something different. I usually pin my hair back in one way or another, so big curly hair (well as big as it can be with short hair!) was a total treat for me.

One of my best friends is getting married this fall and I can’t wait to replicate this look for what is sure to be a totally fabulous time!

Outfit details: hair: Devan Elbel at the Beauty Parlor | dress, shoe, handbag :: vintage, vintage, vintage! | bracelet :: F21

jessi-signature