Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hearing, Reading, Wearing, Watching: January

I did one of these posts a few months back and thought it was a fun way to talk about some non-style related things in my life that I am loving, maybe I'll even do one each month!

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
purchase it here

I got this book as a gift for Christmas this year, which was awesome, because I'd been wanting to read it for so long! Every Sunday when I'd read the NYT book review section The Goldfinch was always at the top of best-sellers lists and after reading the description online it quickly moved to the top of my 'to read' list. So far the book is living up to the hype. I'm not totally done with it yet (it's long, about 775 pages) but I've really enjoyed getting into every part of this many layered story so far. I don't want to give anything away, so I'm being intentionally vague, when I say that it was not the story I was expecting and the author definitely wrote the perspective of an art thief that I was not expecting to read. I would recommend this book to anyone - but if you're more curious about what the plot is like specifically I recommend looking for some more detailed reviews online!

The Decembrists
listen to it here

I have been waiting for this album to come FOR SO LONG. When The Decembrists announced last November that they were coming out with a new album in January I immediately pre-ordered it and impatiently waited for it to be released. Once January 20th rolled around and I was finally able to have the entire thing on my iPod everything in the world just started to seem right again. This album is flawless. It's The Decembrists at their best. I love every single song. I talk about it to literally everyone that I know. Please, please, please just go listen to it! My favorite songs are: The Wrong Year, Carolina Low, and A Beginning Song. Plus, can we talk about the album artwork? ugh, I love everything that is at all related to The Decembrists.

Parks & Recreation

Over winter break I finally gave in and started watching Parks & Rec, and it has definitely been one of the best choices of my young life. I'm somewhere in the middle of season 3 right now and I fall more in love with the show with every episode. As with all 20 minute shows that are on Netflix and can be easily binge watched I find myself making up excuses to watch episodes at different times throughout the day (one while I do my makeup, one while I fix my hair, one after classes, one before I start my homework, etc etc etc.) and I audibly laugh the entire time. This show is genius. So if any of you have been thinking about starting it and haven't been able to bite the bullet yet, do so now! 

NARS "Dolce Vita" Lipgloss

find it here

Makeup wise not a whole lot in my routine has changed lately but I did add this beautiful NARS lipgloss to my collection. I got in from Sephora in the early part of December and have been wearing it pretty regularly since then. It's the first NARS lip product I've ever tried and I'm really happy with it. The color that I got, Dolce Vita, is beautiful dusty rose color - which for me is perfect for everyday wear. The color payoff and texture are wonderful, and it lasts a pretty long time so I think it was definitely worth the investment. I'm really interested in trying more products from NARS as I've only ever used their blushes and eyeshadows before, any recommendations? 

And that was my January in a nutshell. 
Happy February!  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Misty Mornings

What I Wore: [Jacket: old Forever 21 (similar), Skirt: J. Crew, Booties: old Sam Edelman (similar), Bag: Madewell]

I've been back at school for about two weeks now and I've definitely been feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to readjust to school life and get this whole semester figured out. Things around campus definitely feel different this semester. The majority of my junior class is gone on abroad programs, including 4 of my closest friends, and since my roommate and I both studied abroad our sophomore year we feel as if we're the only ones left! So we've made it a plan to expand our friend circles and meet more new people this semester! I've also had to kind of hit the ground running in terms of classes and extra curriculars this semester. There has been lots and lots of reading, many meetings, and seemingly endless emails. It's all very exciting, and new, and a bit stressful, but definitely all good.

Morgan and I found some time in-between classes to take some outfit photos on Monday. We headed to south campus and were able to capture just how eerily beautiful campus can be when the fog rolls in. That's one of the things I love most about the Pacific Northwest, everything here is so beautiful no matter what the forecast is!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Portland Wardrobe Essentials

It's strange for me to think that I am already in my third year of living in Portland, and even though everyday I hear about new places to see and different things to do in the city, I am beginning to feel more and more like Portland is becoming a home. Over these past few years I have tailored my wardrobe to be as Portland appropriate as possible and have the city and it's conditions in mind often while shopping. Now, today the plan was to photograph the very "Portland Appropriate" outfit I was wearing, but in true PNW fashion it was raining and dark and foggy and pictures were just not going to happen. So in leu of that I'm going to talk about my Portland wardrobe essentials.

Wool in all forms

On the day I wanted to take these photos I was wearing this wool skirt from Madewell. I found it on sale just before Christmas and was so glad I snagged it because I think it is going to quickly become my favorite colder weather skirt. Since it's wool and is a heavier material, even though it's above the knee, it is a bit warmer than say something made of chiffon or cotton. Plus, doesn't it just kind of look like Portland? (Anything grey makes me think of Portland) The second kind of wool investment (aside from socks) I would recommend are lightweight sweaters, such as this Merino wool turtleneck from J. Crew. The wet kind of cold that exists in Portland chills me to the bone some days so it's really nice to have a warm wool layer that I can snuggle up in but that isn't going to be too thick underneath my jacket.


Plaid is one of the easiest patterns to wear and is something that I think really works with kind of personal style aesthetic. It's just as easy it make a plaid shirt look preppy as it is to make it look punk or hipster-ish. Two ways that I find myself wearing plaid a lot are either in the form of flannel shirts that I like to tuck into one of my many pleated skirts or as a scarf wrapped around my neck and tucked into my leather jacket. It's an any season, any style, any article of clothing pattern that I think should exist in some capacity in everyone's wardrobe.

Weather Proof Shoes

Okay, let's talk shoes. For me, I like to stick with investing in classic shoes that will go with everything and last through anything. That means either leather or some water resistant material, things that are either flat or have low heels, and are well made. My two suggestions are these chelsea style rainboots from J. Crew (so much easier to wear than full on, knee high, rainboots in my opinion) and some black leather flats from Born. I have so many pairs of flat, black, leather shoes because they just go with everything and Born is one of my favorite brands for shoes that are practical and still stylish.

Black Tights

These are basic, but important! I like to wear dresses and skirts year round but usually it isn't warm enough to always go bare-legged so a good pair of black tights is essential! I like these because they are designed to stay up better than most and these because they're fleece lined and extra cosy. 

Big Hats

Weather in Portland usually lies somewhere in the middle of raining and trying to be sunny, which generally leads to me having a lot of unpleasant, frizzy, and damp hair. Hoods on rain jackets only kind of fix this problem, but they can really only be employed when it is actually raining outside (plus my hot pink north face rain jacket does not go with a very large percent of my wardrobe) so my go-to solution to this problem is hats. Large felt hats in particular. They make any outfit look more chic, they hide unsightly hair issues, and they keep my head/hair/face area mist free! and that is all I can really ask of an accessory. 


Finally we have reached the topic of outerwear. I am not going to talk about rain jackets or light-weight down coats, because those are kind of no-brainers and not really my style (even though they are sometimes necessary). Instead, let's talk leather. Or faux leather at least. My faux leather jacket is probably my most worn, and most complimented, article of clothing. This is especially true when I'm in Portland because it's just the perfect solution to all of my outwear needs. In one piece of clothing I can be warm enough for the mild Portland wear, somewhat water resistant, and still achieve my desired "aesthetic". This quilted one I found from Asos is one I've been coveting as of late.

And that's it! Those are my Portland wardrobe essentials - I hope they were interesting/useful to you all in some capacity. Outfit posts are on the way!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Brave & Unapologetic

Every January blog post upon blog post comes out revolving around the idea of New Year's resolutions; what they are, how to make them, how to keep them, etc etc - and every year after reading all of these posts and hearing people talk about their own resolutions I always get to thinking about my own. I am definitely a goal oriented person, I like to have an end point to work towards, but I feel often times (in regards to resolutions) having those specific end goals can be a bit limiting. In years past I always felt like I had really failed if I hadn't reached the exact goal I had set for myself on January 1st, and in that disapointment I would gloss over and forget about all off the new things I had learned or explored along the way even if they didn't end up bringing me to that predetermined end point. So with that in mind, while thinking about what worked and what didn't in 2014 and what I wanted to carryover or improve upon in 2015 my mind kept going back to two words/ideas, those being to be brave and unapologetic.

2014 was the first year in a long time that I could track myself becoming a more brave and confident person, and because of that the confidence that I feel I possess now is something I cannot imagine myself going forward into the future without. Not only could I see myself being more brave in my personal life (I am usually a very shy, introverted, homebody) in the way I was seeking out new friendships and relationships, trying new activities I wouldn't have before, and trying to challenge myself in someway everyday, but I also felt that sense of bravery making its way into big picture things in my life. I feel less afraid of my dreams, I feel more willing and able to chase them, and I want to keep that motivation going. If 2014 was the year of becoming brave I want 2015 to be the year of being brave. 

In regards to being unapologetic, I mean this not in a cruel or malicious sense, but in a "I am not ashamed of my feelings and I stand behind what I say" sense. I had a few moments of being proudly unapologetic in 2014, of really and truly not caring what people thought of the way I felt or what I said, but it's a hard way to be all of the time. The opinions and scrutiny of peers is seemingly inescapable, but I found that if I was truly proud of what I felt and said then I had no reason to be concerned with what anyone else thought of that. In 2015 I want to have more of these moments so that I can continue to chase after what I want and deserve without the opinions of others knocking me down or frightening me away.

So those are my resolutions, just the two. I feel that being brave and being unapologetic are two things that will benefit me through the year 2015 and beyond. These goals don't expire when the clock hits twelve on December 31st 2015, so if I haven't gotten as far with them as I think I can there are no feelings of disappointment or regret holding me back from marching on and fulfilling these goals to the best of my ability. 

Thanks to everyone that read this whole ramble, I know it's different than my usual posts, but sometimes a girl just has to think out loud to her laptop. I hope to have some more outfit posts up soon, but no promises since I plan on drinking in these last few lazy days of break the way I do best (pajamas all day and not a stitch of makeup), but there will be some new ones for sure once I get back to Portland.

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The 12 months of 2014

Rang in the new year with my best friends from high school, started my semester abroad in London, fell head over heels in love with London, and randomly met my favorite choral composer 

Visited Stonehenge, Cambridge, and Scotland (and had to pinch myself every time) and celebrated love day by baking red velvet cupcakes with Kaylie for everyone on our program. 

Spent the most magical week on spring break adventuring around Nice and Paris with some of my dearest friends, experienced Harry Potter World, and had my best friend from Germany come visit me in London for a week! 

Said a tearful goodbye to my lovely London town, met up with my parents and visited Oxford, bicycled from Bordeaux to Toulouse across France, ate SO MANY French pastries. 

Spent a week in Germany with my second family, came back to the states and promptly redecorated my bedroom, started running, and got to see my siblings for the first time in a long time (!!!!)

June was lots of seeing the people I love (including surprising my best friend, Ali, by flying down to visit her in Arizona) and trying to improve my cooking/baking skills. 

Enjoyed outdoor concerts in the rain, performed in my first play since the 8th grade (!!), attempted to cook French food, drank a lot of milkshakes. 

Watched one of my dear friends walk down the aisle and marry the love of her life, spent a lot of time on the water (as a true Minnesotan should), and squeezed in as much dog time as possible before heading back off to school. 

Finally flew back to Portland after nine months of being away and GOT TO SEE MY FRIENDS AND IT WAS THE GREATEST.

Drank a lot of lattes, ate a lot of tacos, re-fell in love with all things turtle neck, and celebrated Halloween with the best of them. 

The best month. Turned 21, danced the night away with my best best best friends, saw First Aid Kit in concert (and it was perfect), and ended the month by getting to spend time at home with my family for Thanksgiving. 

Shot a documentary about blogging, danced a lot, spent a wonderful weekend of shopping and eating in Portland with my momma, and had the most fantastic Christmas with my whole family back in Minnesota. 

I truly believe that 2014 has been my best year yet. I attribute a lot of that to my semester abroad and how that time forced me to grow, change, explore, and mature in ways I can't fully understand right now. Obviously 2014 wasn't perfect, there were some really bad days that hurt a lot, but I have I feeling I won't remember those bad days a year from now. What I will remember from 2014 are the wonderful memories connected to these pictures, and the hundreds of others sprinkled throughout the year.

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