Friday, August 29

Four Seasons, One Dress: Summer

Today I'm starting another something new on the blog. A few weeks ago I noticed that Danielle of Goodwillista (which has recently become a favorite read of mine!) and I had the same dress. I love when that happens, it makes me feel like I'm doing something RIGHT!

She came up with the idea for us to both style it throughout the seasons. I am always looking for pieces and inspiration for how to make a piece as versatile as possible, plus who wouldn't want to collaborate with this cutie? Naturally we are kicking off with Summer, which is nearly to the end, though Summery weather in these parts will persist until October. 
 photo Collages3_zps065ca42b.jpg
Danielle definitely gave me some new ideas for wearing this dress! I've never thought to wear a belt because the waist is elastic-y, but I love the way it looks! It adds further definition and helps pull together the accessories. Her sandals make the dress look maximum Summer-y, and the "pendant" style of necklace works great with the cut of the dress.

Head over to Goodwillista for the rest of Danielle's outfit details (and to look through her fabulous, affordable, closet & style), and to hear her say really nice things about me!
 photo IMG_6097_zps8dccd6a0.jpg
| dress: Gap Factory | necklace: from Mexico | clogs: Old Navy | purse: giveaway win |

Simple, knit dresses like this are my absolute jam. Because this one already has some detailing, it needs minimal accessories, making it SO easy to style. I opted for my brown clogs that I've been living in this Summer, and a beaded statement necklace to add some color. Also I've been using this purse for a few weeks now, so it worked out by default. 
 photo IMG_6095_zps649c86d8.jpg
Styling for Summer seems pretty simple and no-brainer, so I'm already brainstorming ways to make this dress a little more interesting, a little more layered, and a little more colorful for Fall. Stay tuned for part two of Four Seasons, One Dress: Fall. 

In the meantime, tell my girl Danielle hey, won't you? 
 photo IMG_6100_zps11bad9c3.jpg
Wishing you all a very fun and safe loooong weekend. Make the last memories of Summer count!!

Thursday, August 28

Thankful Thursday, # 1

Any kind of series I keep on my blog is a "series" in the loose, loose sense of the word.

Maybe I'm somewhat lazy and uncommitted when it comes to blogging. But when I think about blogging "goals", my first one is longevity. To keep that first goal, I think everything about blogging needs to stay fun, enjoyable, inspiring, etc. or what's the point? Is that my disclaimer for maybe doing this once and forgetting it? Possibly. I'm hoping it's more my disclaimer for continuing this as a series without any regularity, rhyme, or reason. That works for me.

I am trying to enjoy every day. I don't want to look too far ahead, or "work for the weekend." If there's one thing I've learned going from college to 8-5, it's that you need those little "spice of life" things to keep you feeling inspired and excited about daily life.

One of my resolutions for the year was to "never complain" (hugely unrealistic, but why even give myself an out to "complain sometimes?") I am working on it! I've been feeling a little blah this week and I'm not sure why. But I do know that a way to combat the blahs and keep feeling inspired is to think about what's making me excited right now. Though hardly revolutionary, that's my idea behind collecting a "Thankful Thursday." I've read that a gratitude journal is a great way to realize how much you have, and I do have one of those in my nightstands, but I like the idea of publishing it on my blog.

Plus I would love to hear/enjoy what you are thankful for today!
 photo TT1_zps003184bc.jpg
Hunter with "4" natilla at Taqueria, David with his Southern peas & greens!

Here's what I'm thankful for today:

1. Dance Blast with Deb. - I've been trying to stay consistent with going to the gym, and the best way I have found to do this is by varying my workout! I found this class a few weeks ago at the Y Downtown, Deb is the sweetest, most un-assuming Dance Blast instructor of all time. But girl can shake it and get in yo face (in a kind way.) First class we danced to "Get Me Bodied" and I was hooked.

2. But if I'm being honest, I'm thankful that we're thiiiiis close to a long weekend. - That will include sleeping in, a boat day, and Hunter's friends in town (at least I'm not hosting.)

3. Great breakfast/lunches at work. - Pellegrinos and smoothies are tiny little wonderful pick-me-ups.

4. Anniversary gifts. - I got Hunter some new cologne that he then realized he desperately needed, a fancy shaving set from The Art of Shaving, and a coffee table book about beer! I love buying gifts. And of course, getting them is wonderful. Hunter ordered us a custom bottle of wine with our picture on it, and he said he wants to help me decorate my new bathroom which is so cute I almost cried.

5. My friend David. - I say I've felt "blah" this week, but I should add that my good friend David was in town and that was such a highlight. We decided, "Old friendships never get old." He stopped through Nashville traveling around the country (#DavidsgreatAmericanadventure) which I am SO thankful for! We ate hot chicken & turnip greens, hiked at Percy Warner, got a beer at Robert's Western World, drove through the loud Southern night with country music blasting (<-- that sounds silly but it is really nice.) Love you, David! Thanks for coming!

7. New pink Moleskine journal. - I ran out of journal, naturally took a couple weeks off, and then treated myself to any one I wanted at Paper Source! A trip to that store is a gift in itself. But I'm very pleased with my next edition, which begins "When we last left our heroine..." because I just can't resist dumb stuff like that and no one but me reads it anyway! Usually.

Ah, instantly feeling a little luckier about today.
What are you thankful for right now? Share below, and have a wonderful rest of your day!

Tuesday, August 26

Weekend Update: Music in the Vines & an Anniversary!

Two notable things happened this weekend, in between chilling so hard and watching TV.

Saturday we met up with Ethan & Andrea (new blog for her- check it!) and headed to Arrington Vineyards for their Summer series of Music in the Vines. I've been to this gorgeous spot now three times, and honestly, I think it gets a little better every time! I've been wanting to attend their free concert series all Summer and it finally worked out for us. The band that played, San Rafael, had a Latin sound, which couldn't have been more perfect (since we are always enjoying Latin beats with Andrea!) We met up at Andrea's, packed up our cheese, crackers, fruits & veggies, and personal wine (shhhh!) and made the beautiful drive down. It was actually rainy the whole time, so they moved the concert into a giant tent. But, the rain didn't spoil anything! It was a perfect Summer evening and I love spending time with those two. We're good couple friends. Excuse my rainy day hair and wino stare/teeth. 
 photo IMG_6066_zps5ecd1465.jpg
Sunday Hunter and I celebrated an anniversary- four years! It has seemed like a long time, but I'd say we still have a pretty good time together. And yesterday I heard him tell a story I had never heard before (two words: camping. Moonshine.), so yeah, the mystery is still there. I won't get too rambley or sentimental here, but I have written about him a whole lot on my blog. We went to church, went to Taqueria for lunch, went hiking, exchanged presents, made dinner* (he made dinner I was doing my nails) and watched the VMAs. It was low-key but really nice. I love you, Huntee!
 photo IMG_6108_zps7d506aa7.jpg
Beaman Park is gorgeous and no more than 20 minutes from my house! Perfect for a hike literally anytime. Thanks to Art for the recommendation. 

I try to appreciate the moment and never "work for the weekend", but when I get caught in the grind, it's nice to know that the weekend wasn't long ago and isn't too far away!

Monday, August 25

Moto Kimono

Hey there! I'm gonna go ahead and attribute this look to Shell B Cheri, the fantastic stylist I had the pleasure of working with a few months ago. As for the pictures, I'll go right ahead and say thanks again to Stephanie, who took these for me when she was in town last weekend. I absolutely freaked having a profesh photog to myself and we took as many sets of photos as we could muster in one day (here's the first set on the blog.) 
 photo BlogResolution4120140817_zps72658967.jpg
| lipstick: MAC in St. Germain | necklace: H&M | tank: Gap | kimono: F21 via Carina | pants: Old Navy | shoes: Payless | 

My goal for my session with Shell B was to style pieces I love and wanted to wear, but had trouble with. Namely, these cargo pants and this kimono top (I've worn them on the blog here and here.)

And when in doubt on how to style things...pair them together! Ok that probably works out like, 1% of the time, and here's an example of that. I like the contrast of the rougher cargo pants with the flowy florals of the top.

Shell B and I put together probably a dozen ideas for looks. The nice thing is, I hung them back in my closet as full ensembles, and since I've been house-sitting and running back and forth, they've made for pretty easy grab & go outfits! Normally when I'm rushing to pick out clothes, I end up with things that are really weird or really simple, either way nothing I'm excited about.
I need to "pre-style" more often!
 photo BlogResolution5120140817_zps1b6a61e9.jpg
 photo BlogResolution5320140817_zps18068875.jpg
Forever my Beyonce shoes! I can't wear them without thinking about her. 

Speaking of (I mean...I'm really always speaking of Beyonce), WHO watched the VMA's last night?? I actually watched the whole thing, super enjoyed it, and live-tweeted throughout. Plus Beyonce did a medley of her entire new album, nbd. And then Jay and Blue presented her with an award and she was crying, I was crying, it was a magic moment. 
 photo BlogResolution5520140817_zps1071665a.jpg
 photo BlogResolution3720140817_zpsc595f382.jpg
We took these right outside of a laundromat, where there were totally people doing their laundry, and I didn't even break pose! I think these are serious strides as a fashion blogger.
 photo BlogResolution4920140817_zps414b08f9.jpg
Oh and then there was a motorcycle there. I mean...providence! I can't take myself too seriously with these pictures of me posing in front of a motorcyle, but it made for a fun prop. 

I hope your week is off to a great start! Yesterday I was thinking, "A Sunday well spent brings a week of content." (- not sure who to credit for that) I had a well spent Sunday so I'm ready for a week of content. Thanks for reading!! 

Thursday, August 21

Happy Birthday Carina!

 photo carina_zps0ada4a4b.jpg
Carina in Nashville, October 2013

Ok, this is belated, which you probably already know. If I had been on my A-game, I would have had this scheduled for when my family was in town a couple weeks ago, when it actually was Carina's birthday. Going forward, I am implementing a "birthday month" policy for these posts. 

When I was younger, I was usually jealous of my sister. I think I've shared this story before, but since her birthday is during the Summer, it usually fell when we were traveling somewhere; Finland, India, etc. One year I vividly remember celebrating it in Lake Tahoe, and totally eye-rolling when she opened a gift of some new clothes. My dad said, "Priya, it's really only a matter of time before those become yours anyway!" He made a good point. So I'd like to open this birthday tribute by saying: holy hand-me-downs! I hardly have an outfit post without something that Carina has "given" me (sometimes it's stolen ;) 

This may seem very superficial when I'm explaining how much I love my sister, but we have always bonded over fashion (where my bloggers at?! You get me!) Since the moment I realized we could "share" I've been beg steal and borrowing things from her to wear! The very first time(s) I shopped online were when we learned how to hook up Carina's debit card! So we've really bonded over all that normal, girly stuff, her doing my hair, sharing clothes, getting our nails done, etc. All of those things that you have to learn as a girl, so thank goodness for sisters!

Still being jealous: my sister has always been an avid reader, and that's what spurred me to learn to read. Carina was running cross-country and track in high-school when I was younger, and there I was a few years later, doing the same thing. When I think about her now, I think she knows everything. She has taught me so much! I text her all the time with random questions, and she never judges me, just helps me out instead.

In my life, I've never felt like I had the type of sisters that are your best friends. (I would like to take this time to share that I learned to braid my hair by myself because Carina would refuse to do it for me as she was running out the door for school.) But I have to say, as I've gotten older, I've come to absolutely love the kind of sisterhood we share. They may not be conventionally "my best friends", but they are in a way; the kind that always has my back, always loves me, and who I now have the craziest/funniest time with. I feel that we really respect each other, and give each other space, but have still achieved that sisterly level of being all up in each other's business. 

I am so so thankful for the relationship I have with Carina now. I only really remember a few years of being young and her willingly playing with me, and we've had our clashes, like all sisters, but now, it feels like what I've always wanted. 

Carina, you're the sister I've always admired! You are so wise and lovely, and LOVED by me! 

Happy 26th Birthday to you, and here's to a great year.

(I'm writing everyone in my immediate family a post on their birthday.
you can find them here: Dad // Mom // Sundar // Amir & Tarif // Coren

Tuesday, August 19

weekend update: Stephanie takes Nashville!

 photo Steph_zps42e1382e.jpg
Stephanie and I have been friends for a long time, specifically, since we were about 9. we met at the birthday party of a mutual friend (that we reminisced about on Thursday night), and I have to tell this story because it's so funny: the party was a sleepover and at some point during the night, Steph fell off a couch, woke up confused, and got into the closest sleeping bag- mine. soon after we started going to church together, took a little friendship break, and re-connected right before high-school, which we attended together. so, there's about a million funny memories and stories there.

I'm convinced there's nothing as comforting as old friends. bonus points if they are old friends from home, when now you live in a different place entirely. you can't help but wonder though: now that we're not in the same school/place, does our friendship still work? do we still have things in common/stuff to talk about? the short answer: yes. TOO many things to talk about. we both share interests and humor, and like Steph said, finally our passions & skills are complementary (her- photography, me- blogging.) it also helps that it's SO easy because she already knows essentially everything about me--and she still likes me! there are a handful of people on this earth that I don't think I could ever scare away by telling a really dumb joke or asking a stupid question- she's one of them.

SO- we had a great weekend. it was her first trip to Nashville, so while I wanted to pimp the city out to her, it was MUCH more laid-back than last weekend with my family. which was so perfect.

Saturday we went to Cummins Falls and I cannot WAIT to go back. I'm not sure if it's real, or man-made I mean. it seems too perfect. we also ate Mexican food nearly everyday, which we were both ok with. we had a couple fun nights out, (including night one of Live On The Green, Nashville's free music festival) where she got to meet some of my Nashville friends! oh- including Michael who also went to high-school with us. we surprised him and that was really really fun. we only broke out the real camera once, I mean, allllllll day on Sunday. that was super fun! otherwise we just snuck some iPhone pics which was so relaxing.

come again Steph! feeling thankful for friends. now excuse me while I take a nap that spans three days.

Monday, August 18

(Birthday) Party Pants

Today marks the first time in the history of ever that I am posting about the outfit I am wearing today. Like I mentioned last time I was here, I spent the weekend with my girl Stephanie. She flew in from California on Thursday, and I just took her to the airport this afternoon :,(

But I don't know if I mentioned that she is a brilliant photographer. Or that I thoroughly exploited her while she was here. You could have guessed that, right? Expect a slew of photos by her to follow.
 photo BlogResolution920140817_zps9c00ec41.jpg
| top: vintage (giveaway win) | jeans: gift (Seven For All Mankind) | clogs: Old Navy | leather cuff: handmade by a friend |

If you're a blogger like me, your first priority is just getting photos and making do with the best ones. If someone with talent can take your pictures, that's awesome. But a pro with a UNIVERSITY DEGREE in photography? Shut the front door.

I'm house-sitting right now and it comes with the most amazing screened in porch. It was totally dark in here yesterday while we were combatting stormy weather. Dark enough to where if I tried to take pictures out here, game over. But she's the best! I honestly think it is magic that the lighting in these is so dang nice. Thanks a million, Schepy! More about your weekend (and many more pictures you took) here in Nashville later! If you're interested in seeing more of her work, ch-ch-check it out!
 photo BlogResolution420140817_zps269e3eb2.jpg
Ah yes, the outfit. Remember when jeans and a top was your bread and butter look (circa 2nd-10th grade?) And then you stopped wearing it completely because wearing a dress made you look like you put some thought into what you were wearing? 

Well, everything old is new again. Just a super simple look, with three pieces, that I think works great. 
 photo BlogResolution820140817_zpscbdc4608.jpg
 photo BlogResolution120140817_zps3d34b4bf.jpg
Funny story about these jeans, here's the first part: I'm obsessed! I am a believer in jeans again! 

Last weekend when my sisters were here, Friday afternoon I was at work, and they were running amuck. They came back to my office with matching Seven jeans. Carina laments, "These were on sale and look amazing. Aw, we should have bought you a pair! I totally would have gotten you some for your birthday! Sorry!!"

If I am to be perfectly honest with you (alternation titles for my blog: "perfectly Honest" OR "And I'm Still Getting Birthday Presents") I was pretty determined to go back by the store and get a pair. Sometimes you have to make your belated birthday presents happen! And this time, they did. 

Oh! I nearly forgot; the punchline of the story is that by the time we went back and bought them, it was on Carina's actual birthday. That's right. She bought me a pair of new jeans for my belated birthday present on her birthday. Because she's the best.
 photo BlogResolution720140817_zps7d8a4cbf.jpg
Today also marks the first day of my "back-to-back-weekends with out of town visitors" rehabilitation plan. Leftover pad thai, New Girl, and that screened-in sofa is calling my name! Bye!!