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.

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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)

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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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A day on vacay

Last week Joe, Charlie and I went on an epic Midwest road trip for our 2nd Annual Summer Family Vacation (last year we headed west!). On Monday, we found ourselves in the Dells of Wisconsin. If you’ve never been, I’m here to tell you: that place is cuckoo! I’d never heard of it until about a month before we left, and I wasn’t prepared for all the craziness! As a friend said, “It’s like Vegas mixed with Branson plus a bunch of water parks.” Love!

We had a jam-packed day: mini golf, a deer park, a ride on an army boat (called a duck!), and lots and lots of swimming. Luckily Joe snapped some pics of me during mini golf, and I’m also sharing some other photos taken that day.

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Looking at these photos again makes me wish I was still on vacay! Our whole trip was just super fun, and this day was one of the best.

Packing for a week long trip is always a little bit of an exciting challenge. Here are my tips for vacation packing:

1. Write down/draw out the outfits you want to wear each day, and tuck it into your suitcase. Sometimes I feel inspired on the trip to mix and match, but I like knowing I have planned outfits since you don’t want to spend 45 minutes getting dressed when adventures await!

2. Try packing outfits that you know you feel good in and are comfortable. I’ve packed crazy outfits that I’ve never worn before the day of vacation, and then I’m uncomfortable all day and regret it. Juxtapose those crazy fun outfits for a normal weekend!

3. Plan for weird weather. One day on our trip we hit a cold front and downpour and it was in the mid 60s. This led to the whole family getting new hoodies at a mad dash to Target, when we could have just packed them!

4. Always remember to bring at least one extra outfit. You will look at what you wrote down to wear one day and think, “Nope. Not feeling it.” It’s nice to have another option all ready picked out!

I want to know your tips, since I am definitely no expert (see #3)!

outfit details: sunglasses :: Forever 21 | dress :: an epic garage sale! | belt :: my mom’s | shoes :: Charlotte Russe (super old)
on Charlie :: long-sleeved tee :: gift | basketball shorts :: Children’s Place | Air Jordans :: gift, Nike Store | Batman hoodie :: Target (similar)

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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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Chicago Road Trip!

As Jessi mentioned, we headed to Chicago for She & Him for a birthday weekend. My best friend in the whole wide world, Kim, lives in Chicago so I was so excited I couldn’t sleep for days. I felt like when I was 12 and would toss and turn thinking about rollercoasters the night before going to Six Flags. I’m happy to report the weekend lived up to my sleepless nights!

Kim knows that when I visit I have to stop at my two favorite vintage shops, Kokorokoko and Shangri-La Vintage. They did not disappoint! Jessi found out about the Urban Outfitters Outlet store on Clark and let’s just say we didn’t want to leave.

For the concert I found my inner (outer?) Zooey and wore this Dear Creatures dress Joe bought me for painting the kitchen. For accessories, I just kept adding what I bought to the ensemble. When Kim (or was it Jessi?) pointed out this amazing zebra mural I knew it was perfect for my outfit! I kind of blend right in, don’t I?

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Chicago highlights included: Uber cab, playing board games with Jessi, John and Kim the first night, shopping and drinking beer, the concert, Vernon and the Ethiopian Bread Debacle, Jessi trying to get on the L, getting bitten all night by a lovely little demon cat named Joey, and catching up with Miss Kim. So, basically every minute! And I thought turning 31 would be oh so boring. . .

Outfit details: Sunnies :: Urban Outfitters (similar) | Earrings :: DIY | Dress :: Dear Creatures, Vitae Design Collective | Belt :: Francesca’s | Aqua ring :: Gift from Kim | Laura Palmer ring :: Kokorokoko | Purse :: thrifted

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Little Kitten, Big City

There’s almost nothing I love more than taking a few days off of regular life for a good Midwestern road trip! Typically John and I will head to Minneapolis, Omaha or Kansas City for a fun few days away. But this time we ventured a little further to… Chicago! I haven’t spent much time in Chicago in my adult life, so it was fun to explore the city with my honey. Not to mention Marlena and her hubs were there too, which made for an extra fun time! We saw Camera Obscura and She & Him and got to hang with old friends. To celebrate John’s birthday (and Marlena’s too!) we went shopping, ate tons of good food* and basically had a spectacular time.

*good food includes cream cheese stuffed red velvet French toast and mac and cheese grilled cheese….. Heaven!!!

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I got this woodland creature tank at the Urban Outfitters outlet store in Chicago. I’d had never been to an OU outlet before, and it was a true treat! So much stuff for so cheap. I mean, I got a fox tail for my phone for fifty cents…. (See our iPhone photos post to see the tail in action.)

I’ve basically been living in these high waisted shorts this summer. The denim is stretchy but still durable and so so comfortable.
Mar and I bought complementary Twin Peaks Laura Palmer rings, which is probably my favorite purchase from the trip. Early on in our relationship we bonded over watching Twin Peaks in her dorm room, so buying matching rings seems appropriate.

All in all such a fun trip!!

Outfit details: shorts, top, necklace :: Urban Outfitters | sweater, shoes :: thrifted | bow :: Vitae | purse :: forever 21 | Laura Palmer ring :: Kokorokoko | sunnies :: gift from Marlena

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