The weirdest sweater

I don’t even know where I got this sweater. If you gave it to me, or if it’s yours, please tell me! Especially if you want it back. I found this sweater in a box while unpacking and was like, “uhmmmm who are you and why are you so amazing and weird?”

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Do you see what I mean? It has giant cuffed sleeves that fall down, it’s both tight and giant at the same time, and the pattern/colors are amazing! Anyway, it’s a keeper.

Fall fashion for me right now is all about sweaters over dresses. And tights of course! I’ve been buying up as many crop sweaters as I can find since I think those are easiest to pair with dresses in my closet because they aren’t all bulky at the waist. Ignored that with this outfit though; I think bulky sweater is okay the shorter the skirt. Heyyyyy!

Life isn’t slowing down any time soon I suppose. Charlie turned 3 last week which is just nuts. 3 seems so much older than 2. 2 he was still baby-ish. 3 is all, “Momma, your face smells like bread in a bad way” and “I do not like mushrooms and pepperoni but I do like bats.” What I mean by this is that he’s turning into this hilarious little human instead of a cute little sack of potatoes. What an adventure! Except the potty training. That adventure sucks.

Outfit details: Sweater :: no idea (Jessi, is this yours?) | Bow necklace :: Forever 21 | Navy blue dress :: Urban Outfitters | Oxford heels :: Dollhouse via Buffalo Exchange | Ruffle socks :: Target

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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.

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I just really love gourds

I just really love gourds

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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

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A fun take on mixing patterns

Kitties! I’ve been digging on some plaid + stripes these last couple of weeks. Try it out! Of the outfits I’ve tried, this one is by far my favorite. Bright colors + black and white are a no fail combination in my eyes. The last time I wore this dress on the blog I dressed it up for a Christmas party, and my goal was to dress it down for this post but it’s ended up in that fuzzy area of not overly dressed up but definitely not dressed down either. That fuzzy area is pretty much where I like to dress 98% of the time.

Also in classic Marlena fashion, I have three different bows on (belt, shoes, and a small bow on my purse). Bows! I just love them. This top has no bows but does include ridiculously puffy sleeves, and every time I wear it I definitely get some sidelong glances. I feel like a space commander in it, albeit the type that wears purple kitten heels.

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So I do have to take a time out and talk about my new purse, especially since I never want to use another one again. Joe and I just celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary, and we like to do the traditional wedding gifts. Joe was like, “Leather? That seems hard; any ideas?” haha uhhhh yeah! So now here I sit with easily the nicest purse I’ve ever owned and I love love love it! I got him some cute oxford shoes by Cole Haan. We definitely went overboard…

Speaking of presents, I can’t believe it’s my birthday month already. Yesterday I had a blast at our company golfing trip (I was lucky enough to score the position of Gator Driver instead of Golfer… I can say with real confidence I left all of my athletic hopes and dreams back in high school) but the entire time I was like, “Why is it so hot?” Uh, because it’s June, dummy! Still isn’t kicking in I’m afraid, but now I have sunburned knees to remind me.

Outfit details: plaid ruffle top :: thrifted | black and white stripe dress :: Charlotte Russe | brown belt :: Francesca’s | purple bow heels :: Grey Dog Boutique | Kate Spade bag :: gift from Joe, Kate Spade

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Pssssst! Did you miss our $50 ASOS gift card giveaway, happening right now? Hop to it and good luck! We will announce the winner on Monday.

 

Two day roller coaster

Wednesday: best day! Thursday: worst day! Wednesday was my husband’s birthday, and I was able to take off for the afternoon, eat a fancy lunch with Joe and then head to the zoo with him and Charlie. So fun! That night I had put together a surprise dinner party for Joe at a fun Teppanyaki grill place. So great! And Joe was so surprised I loved it.

Before I left work for the afternoon, Kristen snapped some pics of me. It was super windy and I actually ended up changing before we went to the zoo but I am digging this outfit. I’ve actually paired this belt with this crop sweater before here, but I’m loving this beautiful bright red dress with it. Jessi gave it to me! And this scarf is a gift from my grandma that I’ve been wearing a lot lately. It’s so big and filled with such pretty colors.
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The worst day was Thursday. Not only did I have to go to the dentist on my lunch break (always a blast), I got into an accident on the way back to work! A nice enough woman wearing a terrible outfit (kitties, please never match a teal bulldog shirt with a light yellow Winnie the Pooh jacket and giant jeans. Ok?) ran a red light and crashed right into me. I wasn’t hurt or anything, but she hit my car so hard the front tire ended up falling off. Cuckoo! Oh well, now I have a rental for the rest of the month.

outfit details: pearl earrings :: gift from Joe | dress :: gift from Jessi | gold cardigan :: Charlotte Russe (forever ago) | blue anchor belt :: Kokorokoko | scarf :: gift from my grandma | gold oxfords :: Aldo (similar)

 

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Feelin’ Nautical

Lately I’ve been loving all things nautical, and just my luck it seems to be very in this season! I found this anchor top at forever 21 and it was love at first sight. I love that it’s sleeveless, it’s got snappy buttons and is long enough to tuck into my jeans. Winner!

My scarf collection is totally out of control, and very often I’ll forget about certain scarves that I once loved. This one was buried deep but I pulled it from the trenches and it’s now back in rotation. I wrapped the scarf around my head and simply tied at knot at the top, which happens to look like a bow. A happy accident!

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I’ve had these shoes forever, probably since high school, but they don’t get much action because they are nearly impossible to walk in. Sad but true. They’re vintage and the heels are super wobbly so they mostly sit in my closet looking pretty.

John took these pics for me at the beginning of birthday week, so stayed tuned for later this week when Mar and I post our very special birthday party outfits, the most amazing DIY ever (!) and some of the yummy food from the b-day festivities.

XOXO!

Outfit details: Bow :: Thrifted | Necklace: Forever21  (similar on Etsy) | Anchor top :: Forever21 | Shoes :: Thrifted | Jeans :: Urban Outfitters

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My Favorite Dress in a Butterfly Garden

This past weekend we celebrated my husband’s birthday in Omaha and had a blast! We went shopping, ate awesome food, went swimming at our hotel, and then on Saturday hit the zoo. We even took a time out and shot some photos in their lovely butterfly garden.

This dress is one of those dresses that I love so much, I can still remember the day I bought it. I mean, look at it: the collar, the sleeves, the stripes! I was with my bff Kim in a small vintage shop in Chicago and it was seriously love at first sight. And since that was 4 years ago, pretty much every person I know has seen me in it. And now that includes you!

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A blurry photo, but a butterfly landed on me!

A blurry photo, but a butterfly landed on me!

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Jessi gave me this cute little mint belt for Christmas and I have to say I love it mixed with this dress. Confession: I only wore these shoes for the photo shoot. I switched to my gold oxfords about 2 seconds outside the butterfly garden. Even though these heels really are comfy, they are not let’s-walk-around-the-zoo-looking-at-monkeys-and-tigers comfy. But a diaper bag is for filling with extra pairs of shoes, right?

Outfit details: dress :: thrifted | mint bow belt :: gift from Jessi (Forever 21 coral version) | bracelet :: gift from my husband (Micheal Kors) | floral tights :: target (old) | black wedges:: scheel’s (yes, really)

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p.s. Next we’ll be celebrating Jessi’s 30th birthday on the blog, so you’ll want to stay tuned! xoxo

A Happy Green Dress

So I have to take a minute and gush about this dress. When I bought it at Hill Vintage, the lovely Marion asked if I’d like it shortened. “Because we were going to shorten it anyway, and sometimes you want to shorten it and you never get around to it, or you just cut it but don’t hem it, and then it ravels.” NAILED IT. I’ve moaned in the past about my inability (read: laziness) to shorten dresses and Marion went above and beyond for this little dress: Not only did she shorten the hem but she also added buttons to the top, made the clasp in the back much sturdier, and also cut the sleeves to a less-dowdy length and uhhh hello she did it for FREE! Local Des Moines ladies: get thee to Hill Vintage and you’ll find that most of the dresses have already been shortened and sewn for the better, but if you happen upon one that hasn’t been, just ask! They are super friendly about it and do a great job.

Okay, gush over. Today was a bright and sunny day and I was dancing in circles chanting, “No coat! No coat! No coat!” Spring fever is here people, and I predict my newly found energy will go into feverishly swinging my 17-month-old Charlie around the park, painting our kitchen, and making large batches of deviled eggs.

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Remember that horse dress I wore in last week’s post? Well it came with a belt that I cut off and I love it mixed with the little tiny bow prints on this dress.  In other news, how do you like the multi-cinched pony? I saw it over on Jane Says blog in a ponytail gallery. I’m digging it; it feels a little paper lantern and a lot 1987.

I hope everyone had a delightful Easter! Now that we tote around a toddler, Easter is a little more happening: think Easter egg hunts, baskets full of goldfish crackers and cute little pinstripe suits. Much more entertaining than in previous years!

Outfit details: heart earrings :: forever 21 | dress :: hill vintage | cardigan :: gift from Jessi | tights :: target | shoes ::  house of vintage

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p.s. A fun DIY is heading this way soonish, plus Jessi’s outfit of the week includes a fabulous dress plus a cute kitty cat accessory!