Tuesday, March 31

March ing Forward

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Marin Headlands, March 2015

So it's the last day of the month, and totally, sweet, Springtime. I think I've said this a few times before; but since Spring has hit, things have felt much more bustle-y and hectic. I think I spent the first two months of the year working up to where I am now, where I've hardly had a completely free week-night evening for the past three weeks! I am always working to maintain an attitude that "Busy is not bad." Too quickly I default into busy --> stressful, when really, I am thankful for fun things happening, and good friends that keep me occupied nearly all the time.

It terms of goals (and, everything, really) it was a good month!
(You can read the full post about my resolutions [monthly goals] for the year here.)

- I took a trip home to California, and saw nearly my entire family (that's a two-for-one right there!)

- I saw a production of Jekyll & Hyde (three-for-one) and Jessica Lea Mayfield & Seth Avett Sing Elliott Smith (a friend invited me to this show, which I wouldn't have ordinarily thought to go to on my own. Fantastic! Three spectacularly talented artists, loads of new music to check out and they did a cover of "Just Like A Woman", one of my favorite songs of all time. That was a moment for life.)

- My one word motto was discipline. I would say I basically failed at keeping it though. I think the pitfall of this was that it was a little broad, and I can be very lazy. BUT I think I have my word of the month for April already. And I'm gonna DO IT, DANGIT!

- I hosted dinner for some friends to celebrate Hunter's birthday (I'm counting this for this goal), with all of his favorite things: poppyseed chicken casserole, roasted veggies (that I have been craving every day) and strawberry cake!

- I checked out and started Shirley Temple's autobiography, Child Star (don't ask me how I think of these books I want to read!) I haven't finished it. I didn't read a book this month. I haven't read a book so far this year, but I've slightly tweaked this resolution to be satisfied if I read 12 books this year. So, either way you look at it- I have WORK to do!

- I think I wrote three letters and two wedding cards this month. Check and check.

And this isn't one of ^ these goals, but still a goal: I purchased two bridesmaids dresses, and a few accessory items, but nothing else! I've avoided purchasing a new Spring wardrobe, so far! (More on this goal that's not really fun, here.)

April will bring: many out-of-town guests (four this weekend, alone!), lots of sunny time outside, some fun Spring outfits, and hopefully some peace of mind. Happy almost April, all! 

Thursday, March 26

Thrifty Style: Velvet Skirt

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| necklace: Target | t-shirt: Madewell via Carina | belt: thrifted in Finland | skirt: thrifted | heels: H&M |

Hey there! Today I'm linking up with expert thrifters, Lauren, Danielle, Laura, Whitney, and Jen to showcase my favorite thrifted finds. 

Number one has to be this velvet skirt. I don't shop a lot, period, and though I like thrifting, I don't do it a whole lot. I went by my local Goodwill last year on the first Saturday of the month (pro-tip: that's when everything in the store is on sale) and I remember thinking, "Man, what I really want to find is a velvet skirt." But if you've ever been to a thrift store before, you know that's not how it works. You can go in looking for certain items, but you really just find what you find. 

Skirts might be my favorite thing to thrift, probably because I've gotten lucky a few times. I was looking through the giant rack, and just pulled this one out. I could not BELIEVE my good fortune. It's black velvet, fits me perfectly, in decent shape. Done and done. 

I'm kinda in love with velvet and I always have been, but I'm just glad it's in style again. I love that this skirt can be dressed up, for a night at the theater (here), or dressed down with a t-shirt, for a great high-low combo. I wore this to work on Monday, and threw in as many Springy accessories as I could, since SPRING has SPRUNG! Three cheers!

One more thrifted item to highlight- this cute belt. When I went to Finland a few years ago, and my sister and I were determined to stop in a thrift store (because what could be cooler than thrifted items from another country?! So many gems!) My best finds were three colored skinny belts, this green one, a blue one, and a red one. I leave this belt hanging outside my closet, and grab it whenever I need a pop of color to pull something together. 

Be sure and check out the Thrifty Style link-up, for more thrifted steals! The same girls also wrote an "Expert Thrifting Tips" post last week, I found it full of great reminders about what can be a very beneficial hobby. Great for someone just starting out in a thrift store, or even a seasoned vet!

I would love to hear about your favorite thrifted find ever! Let me know in the comments! 

Tuesday, March 24

weekend update: #AmandaGoesWilder Wedding Weekend!

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all I have are iPhone snaps for now, but I'm hoping to share some of the official photographs later!

I think I'm still on a high from this past weekend, when my Roomie, Amanda, got married to Dustin! The whole weekend was just packed with l o v e, the most beautiful Tennessee backdrop, and actually quite a few of my close friends out here.

We were out in Pulaski, TN, at Milky Way Farms, named after Milky Way, the candy bar (seriously). Legend says that Frank Mars (of a little candy company called Mars) hopped off a train en route to Florida, fell in love with Middle Tennessee, and built an estate here. The ceremony and reception took place in what used to be stables; and we stayed, had the rehearsal dinner, and got ready in the amazing historical manor home. The highlight of the weekend was obviously the actual nuptials, but staying in that house was freaking cool.

But back to the wedding. I couldn't get over the specific feeling that was everywhere. I tried to soak that in, and every moment leading up to the actual "I Do's": making our bouquets at the giant dining table, walking down the aisle during rehearsal, running to see Amanda when I woke up on Saturday, watching her walk out to us bridesmaids after putting her dress on, and watching Dustin cry at the beginning of the ceremony. I just kept thinking- these are ("moments 4 life", as I like to say), and only things you get to experience by being IN a wedding. When else am I going to be staying in a giant house with some of my best friends, spending an entire day hanging around, dancing to Beyonce, and getting ready?

I cried through nearly everything, even right up until I gave my speech, which went well! To be fair, my speech came directly after a heartfelt Daddy-Daughter dance. I lamented about crying about everything to Amanda's sweet grandpa and he said, "That's ok, that just means you have a sincere heart." So THERE. I'll take this moment to give a huge shout-out to Amanda's family that I just adore, every single one of them. I loved getting to see them all and share the day with them!

And now Amanda is Mrs. Amanda Wilder, which, will take me a while to get used to. But I told her I'd be waiting at their newlywed pad when they got back from their honeymood :D

So, wedding #1 of 2015 is in the books! Now that I have one under my belt, I am so excited to be celebrating with my best friends all year long. Also, Andrea & Ethan got engaged over the weekend, so this officially concludes Wedding Watch 2015. No seriously. None of my other close friends can get married. I might lose my mind.

Saturday, March 21

ipsy vs. Birchbox, February

My ipsy vs. Birchbox posts originally started as I was trying to choose between the two subscriptions. Now they've basically switched focus, to experimenting with and reviewing new beauty products, and ultimately, just maybe, turning me in a beauty junkie.

Until further notice, and as long as I continue to use up my products, I'm gonna stay subscribed to both (I say this, and already March was kinda disappointing!) But February was a good month. 
(October // November // December // January.)

Here's what they sent me last month!
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Birchbox (products left to right)

*Juice Beauty Cleanser-* I've almost used this up, between my trips to Austin and CA. It smells great, has blemish clearing benefits, and takes my make-up off in one wash. I would buy this to give my face a break from my exfoliating scrub, but still get the cleansing benefit. 
Gilchrist & Soames Body Wash- I can't say much about this, though I do like getting a travel-sized body wash, which I didn't have any of. Subs always try to get you hooked on random, meh, brands. This is one of them. I wish they would "stop trying to make fetch happen."
theBalm Read My Lips Lipgloss in Rose Pink- Not bad, another BB sample that I can use approx. two times. Overall the color and consistency is not my favorite for gloss; darkish pink and really sticky/overly pigmented. Still, I like trying a "The Balm" product because I know it's a great brand. 
BeeKind Conditioner- I took this to Austin with me, and all I remember is that it didn't wash out of my hair very well, which is a huge problem for me. Otherwise I think it was pretty standard.
beautyblender + solid cleanser- My beauty friends in the office absolutely freaked when I got this, (and they all said "It even came with the cleanser!") Apparently a Beauty Blender is the Holy Grail of applying foundation and concealer. Both of which I don't use all that much...but, they all also said "Watch a YouTube video about it. It will change your life." I did a little research, and apparently you can use it to apply any sort of serum etc. on your face. I tried it out the other day, and it really DOES make liquid foundation go on flawlessly, and it keeps your fingers clean! 

*Favorite of the month, because at press time, I've used it all. I love that this takes my make-up right off. Close close runner-up is the beautyblender, can't wait to use that forever.

The actual boxes have been killing it lately. I feel silly keeping them, because I'm not sure what to do with them, but this one was so so cute for Valentine month. 
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ipsy (products clockwise)

Cargo Cosmetics lip gloss in Anguilla- I wanted to like this lipgloss. I really did. Lip color is the item I consistently receive AND use in every sub. But this lipgloss makes me look ill. The very light pink just does not work for my skin-tone. Anyone want this? For real. I hate wasting anything! To be fair- this is not really the fault of the lipgloss, maybe just my genes.
Rob Scheppy for Tini Beauty eyeshadow in Pearl Fizz- This was also a little bit too light for my taste, and definitely shouldn't be used as an all-over shadow. Upon further research, I think I should be using it as a highlighter for my cheek/browbone. 
Joya Parfums Composition No. 1 Roll-On- I actually love perfume samples, because I've been out of perfume forever. This mini roll-on is a perfect fit for anywhere! I don't know that I love the smell necessarily, and you definitely don't need much to make it work! 
*ModelCo Blush in Peach Bellini-* I desperately needed new blush! This is a peachy shade, where I normally stick to pinks, but I actually love how it looks! And that right there is why I subscribe to ipsy in the first place. 
Luxie Beauty Large Angled Face Brush- My old blush brush was also (cheap) and not that great. This certainly feels luxe, works well, and bonus that the handle/bristles are pink. 

*Favorite of the month, I've been using this blush and the accompanying brush since I got them! 

This bag is cute for sure, but they could have gone so many cuter ways with a "February" themed bag. So it's a little meh for me. I tucked it inside another purse to hold gloss, etc. 

Victor for February: very close, but I'll have to say Birchbox this time! Getting a (game-changer!) $20 beautyblender to try out really couldn't be topped.

Anybody else receive a Birchbox or ipsy this month with the same stuff? Or maybe you got something awesome that I missed out on? Spill!

If you are interested in signing up for ipsy OR Birchbox (or both ;) for $10/month, you can find my referral links here: ipsy // Birchbox.

Oh by the way- I am totally not really here today. I'm off in Pulaski, Tennessee, because Amanda is getting hitched! Fingers crossed that I don't cry off all my make-up, trip over my dress, or bomb my bridesmaid speech! Talk to ya soon!!

Thursday, March 19

Thankful Thursday #4

I have a bad habit of letting myself feel overwhelmed and frazzled when a week gets busy, rather than grateful for everything fun that's going on. In the spirit of that attitude check, here's what I'm thankful for these days.
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                                                                                    via                                                            #tbt, look at those tans!

21. Amanda. My first friend in Nashville, my best friend for a while; who becomes Mrs. Wilder on Saturday. I just love her and I want to celebrate her and Dustin to the maxxxx this weekend. Still working on that speech.

22. Being on time to work all week. (Except today because I was sleeping so well, okay?!) I should note that my one word motto for the month was discipline. And I haven't shared it because I've been failing miserably. But, as I tell myself, they are goals because I need to work on them. If I were just perfect already, I would have nothing to work on. Well, I'm just working on it; waking up on time, going to bed on time, working out, portion control, blahblahblah.

23. A laundry room! It's not mine, but I'm house-sitting so it basically is. Oh divine luxury to have a room dedicated to washing my INSANE PILE of dirty clothing. Did you know that sometimes otherwise I use a community laundry room and it's the worst part of my life? Now you know.

24. Receiving and sending cards. Hold up, has this never been on a Thankful Thursday list? *checking old posts* Uh, snail mail is one of my favorite things on earth. Yes, I text all day, but I really feel like I'm talking when I'm writing a letter. And finding a letter in my mailbox is such a bright spot in any day! Thankful for friends who are penpals!

The coming of Spring has really picked up the pace of life around here, but that is something I should always be thankful for, instead of begrudgingly getting out of bed to start the day.

But you know what I just realized? I haven't worked a full week this month. And it's nearly over! That's gotta count for something, especially when you realize everyone who isn't working right now is on Spring Break. Ahhhh those were the days. Okay, now about that attitude of gratitude!

What are you thankful for today? Let's share those positive vibes!

More positive vibes: Thankful Thursday 3 // 2 // 1

Wednesday, March 18

Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking.

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| necklace: Tiffany's | t-shirt: J.Crew from Carina | dress: F21 from Jamie | flats: ancient AE | 

This outfit was born out of a combination of not buying clothes + trying to wear everything hanging in my closet. This dress is a hand-me-down from one of my co-workers, and I love the floral print! Since I wouldn't get away with this at work as-is, I decided to wear it "jumper style", layered over a t-shirt, which is one of my favorite ways to wear dresses, actually! I forgot that this t-shirt is drapey, which is normally awesome, but under a dress ended up looking pretty saggy by days end. In conclusion, I would say this outfit is just ok. Any ideas on how I could style this better? I hate to let a print so pretty go to waste!

Also- shoutout to these flats that I've had since high school. They are finally comfy! I honestly think I did the "they were in style, they went out of style, now they're BACK in style" thing.

And yes, I DID get to wear this on Monday, which was SUCH a beautiful day! After work, Hunter and I ran at the park, then grilled and ate dinner outside. It was really lovely. I hope Spring is finding you wherever you are, too! 

Monday, March 16

Weekend Update: in three

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left to right

1. Thursday night, I baked this cake for Hunter's birthday festivities over the weekend. I realize this looks like a five year old girl's birthday cake, but strawberry is his favorite. By the time we actually lit it up and shared it with friends, the icing did NOT look like this. But, I was pretty pleased with my initial Ziploc icing job, and the cake was well-received. Hunter's birthday party(s) were somewhat of a fiasco, but he was happy and we celebrated with a good group of friends, so, success!

2. I spent a few hours on Saturday AND Sunday with these little guys, James and Lewis. Friday afternoon I got to hold a co-worker's baby as well, and I have this theory that ANY day I get to hold a baby is a good day. These boys are the sweetest and certainly kept me on my toes. Uh, being a mom is exhausting #respect.

3. Saturday night I met a few co-workers at Chauhan Ale & Masala House, the coolest new restaurant in town! Maneet Chauhan, of Chopped, selected Nashville as the location of her British Pub food meets Southern meat and three meets classic Indian cuisine eatery.  I loved everything about it. I was mesmerized by the Bollywood movies playing on the wall, and the impeccable make-up of our gorgeous Desi waitress! My food was great too. Masala House just jumped to the top of my list of favorite restaurants in town, and places to take my out-of-town guests.

Sunday we got the most glorious glimpse of Spring weather! You know, terrible as the icepocalypse was, I think it makes this sunshine even better. Everyone just seems more cheerful with the sun out. Otherwise Sunday was pretty laid back, but I'm pleased to report that I checked off nearly everything on my to-do list (filed my taxes! yay!), and ended the day with dinner outside, and Parks & Rec in bed.

Other things going on: Hunter leaves for Colorado tomorrow, I'm house-sitting this week (why did I agree to do this), and Amanda's wedding is on SATURDAY. So this week is going to be bizzay. I am excited and also in disbelief that it's time for her wedding. And as of Saturday I'm giving a speech at the reception. Good thing improv is my specialty ;)

Hope you are having an awesome start to the week!!