Road Trip + Family Fun

Last weekend John and I took some time off from our regular lives for a good ole family vacation! We drove up to a lake house in Wisconsin to hang with my brother and his better half as well as my mom, aunt and grandma. I grew up on road trips so the five hour trip it took to get to  our destination was no big deal. As a kid my family often drove to Colorado and we made several trips to Florida and even drove to New York once. Throughout the years John and I have taken many mini road trips to Omaha, Minneapolis and Chicago so by now we pretty much have road tripping down to a science. We stockpiled music and podcasts (check out our Podcast post to see what we’re in to!), got our requisite bagel and tea breakfast on our way out of town and stopped once or twice for road snacks and to stretch John’s long legs.

Side note: my fav road snack hands down is a Whatchamacallit candy bar. I can’t believe they still make those! So delish.

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We took these photos at a rest stop that was downright beautiful! It was tucked into the woods a bit and perfect for a photo op. When traveling in the car I like to dress for comfort, of course, but don’t ever want to get caught looking too schlubby. This outfit here has been my summer go-to of late. The top is actually a stretchy dress that I could not personally pass as a dress (too tight! too short!) but it works just fine tucked into a skirt or high-waisted jeans. I’ve really been in to scoop-back tanks or anything that reveals my tattoo. I almost forget about Gus in the middle of winter! I’ve gotta show him off when I can. I bought this denim skirt very recently from a store in the mall that I would not normally shop at (check out my outfit details at the end to reveal the mystery store!). I’m typically very into thrifting or spending as little as possible on anything, with the exception of dresses from Modcloth, my total weakness! I usually stay away from slightly higher end stores because of the price tag, but this denim is quality and it’s nice to own something that I know won’t fall apart any time soon. Oh the luxury! Don’t get me wrong though, I will thrift-shop until the end of time, I’m in no way fully converted. But this skirt is so comfortable and fits into my wardrobe really nicely. And it withstood the road trip test!

I spent the next few days in my swimsuit by day and leggings and boots by night around the camp fire. It was nice to get away and I 100% do not want to go back to work, right?!

outfit details: Top, seashell ring :: forever 21 | shoes :: urban outfitters | skirt :: Ann Taylor Loft (similar) | necklace :: Domestica | belt :: thrifted | sunglasses :: Ray-Ban

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Green Acres, Take 2!

This is part 2 of the farm photo shoot I took when visiting my mom in Mt. Vernon a few weeks ago (see my first farm post here!). If you want to get another peek at cute kitten Thomasina, you’re in luck!
I got this dress from White Rabbit in Iowa City (can I just live in that store please? I’m obsessed!) This dress is a true summer go-to with the light fabric and floral print. I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture lying down in the grass, I missed a great Virgin Suicides moment for sure.
I know I’ve gushed about Worishofer sandals here on the blog before but I can’t stress how great they are! These are my second pair and they’re truly like walking on air. One of the worst parts of my job is the fact that I can’t wear open toed shoes to work. Sorry to be shallow but this really bums me out! Instead I save these puppies for gallivanting around on days off.

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I don’t know about you all but I’m having a pretty great summer so far. I’ve got a bit of a tan going, have been hanging outside with my cats as much as possible and going on ice cream dates with my love.  The weather really turned up a notch today so I plan on hitting the pool hardcore this next week and I’m super excited about that!
outfit details :: dress, necklace :: White Rabbit | sandals :: Worishofer via Zappos  | belt :: thrifted

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Green Acres

A few weeks ago I visited my mom in Mt.Vernon, a couple of hours away from Des Moines. She recently moved back into the farm house she grew up in, a home that’s been in our family for over a 100 years. It’s not a working farm anymore but is pretty gorgeous in the summer. The yard is huge, and I would know, I used to have to mow it back in high school! The light was so nice when I pulled up to the farm that I made my mom take pictures of me right away. When your friend or family member is a fashion blogger you never know when you’ll get pulled into and bossed around for an impromptu photo shoot!

Anytime I go back home for a visit I try to make a stop in Iowa City for a quick shopping trip. I was short on time but managed to run into White Rabbit and pick up a few things. Yay! I’d been eyeing this necklace via White Rabbit’s Instagram account (@whiterabbitgalleryic). Since I’m prone to breaking/losing jewelry I don’t usually invest too much in it but I decided to splurge slightly and I’m so glad I did, I’ve worn it nearly every day since I got it. I also picked up this tank on my stop. It’s lightweight and the print is super cute! I don’t have much else like it in my closet, which is a new shopping rule for me. There have been too many times that I’ve come home from thrifting only to realize I had nearly identical dresses or tops just waiting to be worn. I’m gonna take a moment here to say I think that Cher from Clueless was spot on in terms of archiving all her outfits via Polaroid pictures. The girl is brilliant, obviously! New summer project, perhaps???

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The first order of business once I made it to the farm was to play with my mom’s new kitten, Thomasina. She was about 8 weeks old when I met her and just toooooooo cute! I’ve tried to talk my mom into getting another cat for awhile now and I’m excited she finally did! Suffice to say most of the evening was taken up with kitten time, much to the dog’s chagrin. But we did manage to take a break and visit Palisades Cafe in town (shout out Palisades Cafe!!) The food was super delicious and, even better, is owned by a friend of mine from childhood. We had a brandy cheese dip to start and I had a black bean and beet veggie burger… Yum yum! Highly recommended if you happen to be passing through Mt. Vernon, Iowa.

Outfit details: tank, skirt, necklace :: White Rabbit | Shoes :: Worishofer

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Portland: Our Little Corner of the World

Hey guys, I have a secret: John and I love Portland!! Okay, if you know me at all that’s a not-so-secret secret. We both have great friends that live there along with the most delicious food ever, plus, it’s gorgeous! Aside from seeing wonderful friends, my number one favorite thing about Portland is unlimited, cheap, vintage shopping! We often toss around the idea of just moving out there but haven’t made the leap yet. Until we make that dream a reality we make sure to visit at least once a year.

Typically our trips consist of eating, drinking and shopping. What more could you ask for, really? This time around though we did head to the Puget Sound with some friends where we hiked, saw some otters and got a great dose of nature.

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House of Vintage is one of my fav vintage stores ever. I have dreams about going to this place. A true dream come true!

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The weather was actually gorgeous while we visited so we took an afternoon to walk around the city and encountered this charming sign.

John and I standing next to some big ole trees in Washington | Voodoo Donuts is a Portland staple that 100% lives up to the hype. My favorite is a grape donut dusted with lavender sugar. Yummmm!

Typically when I go on vacation I over pack. I never want to be without options! But this was a short trip so I planned my outfits carefully with plenty of room to spare for some of the goodies I snagged shopping around the town. I’ve figured out that when I go on a vacay it’s best to stick with tried and true outfits. Sometimes an outfit looks great in my head but I don’t want to get stuck trying to have a blast in something I’m not comfortable in. This outfit here has become a major staple for me. I loved the pleats/high waist combo of the sheer American Apparel skirt. And the top was a vintage long sleeved blouse that I altered into a racer-back. With the altered top I didn’t do any measurements, I just took a chance and chopped off the sleeves, cut out the back and sewed up the raw edges. Luckily I’m very happy with the results! I chose a racer-back for two reasons. For one, I’ve gotten sick of rolling up the sleeves on oversized vintage blouses, and for two, I wanted a cute way to show off my new tattoo!

These pictures don’t even do the lush greenery justice, but there were beautiful plants and flowers EVERYWHERE. I guess all that rain does pay off!

Outfit details: boots, top :: thrifted | skirt :: American Apparel | jacket :: H&M (similar)

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A jacket-less spring day

One of my favorite parts about spring is the fact that I don’t have to wear a jacket anymore! Or at least not all the time. Fall and winter jackets are cute for awhile but they really end up cramping my style around February or March. The allure of tights, boots and jackets are gone and I just want my arms and legs to be free! However, with a slight chill still in the air I like to strike a balance. If my legs are bare then I’ll cover up my arms (shorts and a sweater are the cutest!) or, here, I threw on some jeans with this cute but tight dress. I bought this dress recently on a birthday trip to Ragstock in Minneapolis. I love the color and pattern, which reminds me of little crescent moons that compliment my tattoo nicely. The dress didn’t fit quite right but I bought it anyway, as I tend to do. It was close enough though, and I knew once I got it home I’d figure out a way to make it work. Since I’m not really into the body-con dress trend I needed something on my legs to make me feel more at ease. I threw on my best jeans ever that I’ve mentioned in previous posts along with some 80s wedges and was ready to go!

Side note: this cute table and chair set up is right outside one of our absolute favorite local Des Moines stores, Vitae, which we mention here often!

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This is the first post of many where I’ll be showing off new clothes acquired from birthday shopping, birthday gifts or vintage scores from Portland, so look out!

Outfit details: scarf, shoes, belt :: thrifted | dress :: Ragstock | necklace :: Domestica | jeans :: Urban Outfitters

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B-day Fun Times!

Welcome to my birthday party outfit! Since my birthday fell on a monday this year (boring!) I decided to throw a joint party with a friend the weekend before both our birthdays. Why celebrate one birthday when you can celebrate two?! This party also kicked off the week I took off from work so let’s just say I was pretty excited.

As usual I got a little too dressed up for the party, but honestly I’ve been doing that my whole life, why stop now? I ordered this one online from Nasty Gal and it’s almost perfect. It’s a wrap dress and therefore incredibly low cut, but nothing a little safety pin-up couldn’t fix.

The party was So. Much. Fun! Since it was Easter weekend Marlena couldn’t make it, and a party is never the same without her and her hubs. But, we still managed to have a blast. The usual drinking and dancing ensued. There were champagne cocktails aplenty for everyone and I made the usual, Amy Sedaris’s Lil Smoky Cheeseball, which is always a hit. My friend Alix set me up with an Easter egg hunt (so fun!) and I was given some very lovely gifts. You can see evidence of the egg hunt and gifts I added throughout the evening in the last picture (a cute Betsy Johnson necklace from my friend Tiffany and a Blondie pin from my friend Scott).

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As I’ve said before my Birthday is a week long, if I can manage it, and don’t worry, I did! John and I went to Minneapolis so I could get my back tattoo worked on (I know, I can’t stop! But I think I will stop for awhile. Newsflash: tattoos are painful! Pics to come…)

Mar and our friend Mindy took me out to one of my fav restaurants this week for a belated birthday dinner. Even though they couldn’t make it to the party it was super fun to have quality time and yummy drinks and food with some of the best ladies I know. And after dinner Mar and I went to see Sleigh Bells and it did not disappoint!

And you know what, that’s not even everything! But suffice to say I have some really rad friends and family that make me feel loved always, but especially on my b-day!

Outfit details: dress :: Nasty Gal | hair bow :: forever21 | Tights :: American Apparel | Shoes :: BCBG | earrings :: gift

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Back to Basics

I am so excited about this outfit, not because it’s particularly special or exciting, but because I got to put on shorts and step outside and it wasn’t completely inappropriate!!! You guys, it’s the best feeling, am I right?

These shorts are new to me, I picked them up recently when I went thrifting with a friend. I’m really in to the high-waisted mom-jean look, and I mean that completely un-ironically. It’s just my taste! Usually when I go thrifting I come home with an armload of things to alter and these shorts were no exception. Honestly, I was a little embarrassed to buy them because they started as a really hideous pair of Capri jeans with an elastic waist. Sorry, they just were not cute! But I saw potential so I hacked them up and transformed them into shorts that I feel good about.

This is a really typical lazy day outfit for me. When I’m not sure what to wear or don’t care much I’m usually happy pairing a grey t-shirt and sweater with a skirt, shorts or black skinny jeans.

The color of this sweater really gets me. It’s just SO bright! I think it really elevates any outfit up a notch. 9 out of 10 times I prefer dressing up and wearing something fun, but sometimes it feels soooo good to go to staples like these that I know work for me.

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Another thing that I love about spring is changing up what I’ve been listening to. I’ve been super into Sleigh Bells of late. They’re so fun and energetic and great for car rides or exercising. Plus, they’re playing in Des Moines later this month and I’m psyched to see them live for the second time!!

Outfit details: shorts, sweater :: thrifted | sunglasses, shirt, belt :: forever21 | shoes :: bcbg

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Duck… Duck… Spring!

This whole look gives me such good feelings. First, I’m in LOVE with this Pepa Loves dress I bought recently in anticipation for spring. Have you ever seen a more perfect spring dress?

It’s true, my closet is jam packed with animal print sweaters and dresses, but really, can you ever have too many? Doubtful. The duck print really drew me in (obviously!) but I was a little shy about the stomach-tie. However, I took a chance, ordered the dress online and luckily ended up with a winner! The stomach peekaboo isn’t too revealing but is a cute detail that I’m really into. Dare I say, I see a trend of tasteful crop tops cropping up in my future??!

Outside of loving my new dress I’m so psyched to finally be able to go sleeveless and sockless outside!! Spring can be so unpredictable and often lead to disappointing days of rain and cold, but the fact that we’ve had a few days when wearing my light jean jacket has been too warm or I’ve regretted wearing tights to work because my feet want to be free, well it makes me remember what it feels like to be human. It feels so good to finally thaw out!

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The beginning of April marks the beginning of birthday month for me (!!!) Yes, I obnoxiously try to get away with playing the birthday card all month long. Unfortunately for my husband, turning 30 did nothing to quell my birthday excitement and turning 31 really feels no different. The combination of spring + birthday = fun and excitement that is just plain hard to contain! I hope everyone is enjoying the little bits of Spring doled out to us thus far. I hope you’re all dusting off your spring dresses—I know I am!

P.S. Check out my new wrist tattoo. Je t’aime!

Outfit details: dress :: Pepa Loves via Modcloth | jean jacket :: H&M | shoes :: BCBG | watch :: American Apparel

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Date Night : Neutral Milk Hotel

I’m a night owl, which can prove to be a problem when trying to take outfit pics for this little blog. But, there’s nothing like a date night outfit, am I right?!

For Christmas John bought me tix to see an old favorite (like, major all time favorite!), Neutral Milk Hotel in Kansas City. After this brutal winter we really lucked out because the weather cooperated and we got to take a mini vacay in the middle of February. I would have loved to go somewhere tropical, don’t get me wrong, but we had so much fun road tripping, eating tasty dinner and brunch and seeing the band. And I’m happy to report that the show was truly magical. A dream come true!

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This dress is a true favorite and one that I often turn to for special occasions. This is actually not the first time I’ve worn this outfit to see a band I love. Collars often make me nervous because I tend to feel like I can’t breathe, but I love the triangular peekaboo collar here.

This Levi’s denim jacket is something I scored while thrifting. I don’t remember how much I paid but I know it was a steal for something so classic! Long before we got married I noticed that John and I often tend to dress alike (cute or lame?!) and this particular night he was rocking his grey Levi denim jacket. We sucked it up, dressed alike and embraced the fact that we’re just too unbearably stylish!

It was so great to get away and as I write this I can nearly smell spring around the corner. Raise your hands if you’re ready to retire your sweater tights for the year because I know I am!!

Outfit details: earrings :: Urban Outfitters | dress :: White Rabbit | shoes :: DSW (similar) | jacket :: thrifted

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A chameleon in winter

Looking at these pictures I feel a bit like a chameleon. The black/white/brown/blue palette i’ve got going on blends in pretty easily with the barren landscape… Thank goodness for those red lips!
I wear this denim shirt shirt often but rarely button it all the way up. I’m a big fan of a plunging neckline, both for aesthetic and comfort, but I guess the button-up bug bit me on this particular day. I was rummaging through my jewelry drawer and found this cutie bow pin. (And by “rummaging” I mean grabbing anything that wasn’t tangled together and swearing a bit. Anyone semi-disorganized with a jewelry drawer knows what I’m talking about!) As far as my other accessories go I’d love to say they were strategically plotted, but my scarves are about as well organized as my jewelry drawer, so I grabbed the first favorite I saw and tied it atop my head.
I pulled the ole ‘wear a dress as a skirt trick’ (is that a thing? I guess it is for me!); I love this dress but it’s sleeveless, and therefore not conducive for a February photo shoot.

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Something that’s been getting me through the last bit of winter is my obsession with Spotify. I know I’m the last person on the planet to jump on this train but I’ve had a lot of fun discovering some new music and revisiting lots of old favorites. Suffice it to say, I’ve been spending many nights on the couch with my Spotify and a cat on my lap, and it’s pretty great!

Outfit details: shirt :: Charlotte Russe | dress, earrings :: forever21 | pin, scarf :: thrifted | boots :: Dorothy Perkins

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