Monday, March 31, 2014

Colors of the Wind

If you happen to fall in love and/or marry a boy named John Smith, there are certain things that you should be prepared for.  One of these is jokes about Pocahontas, even though she totally married a guy named John Rolfe, which everyone seems to forget!  Anyway, people pretty regularly call me Pocahontas.  I guess we do kind of look alike when it's windy out:

Dress, Belt, Cardigan: Gap
Tights: Target
Boots: Madden

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Boot Camp

Each Wednesday evening at AWANA, there's a theme of some kind.  I usually forget to wear anything theme-specific, because I have enough trouble remembering to bring my leader uniform shirt to change into.  But this week, the theme was Boot Camp, and I had the perfect item to wear!  I really love this jacket, but I hardly ever wear it.  Olive green is normally my color nemesis, but if you put it in a camo print, I am sold.

Jacket: Old Navy
Tee, Belt: Gap
Necklace: F21
Jeans: Limited
Shoes: Target

Friday, March 28, 2014

March Madness (I mean, shopping)

March Shopping

It's the end of the month, so it's time to come clean with the Budgeting Bloggers!  I just went shopping once in March - to the outlet mall a couple weeks ago, when J.Crew was having an extra 50% off everything.  And then I stopped into a few other stores, and ended up spending my whole budget for the month. Here's the detailed info:      

Old Navy
Polka dot blouse: $12 (originally $33) (worn here)

J.Crew Factory
Mint scarf: $10 (originally $35)
Yellow Cardigan: $12 (originally $55) (worn here)
Printed shirt: $15 (originally $65) - still trying to decide if I like this enough to keep, as it's a little weird, even for me.  Here it is in other colors.  I think I'd rather have the berry, which is not currently $15!  (EDIT - I returned this shirt.)

Forever 21
Gingham shirt: $20 - I will not be wearing it as pictured with a crop top! 
Nautical Necklace: $2

Blue/white printed blouse:  $14 (originally $40)
White tee: $9 (originally $30) (worn here)
Blue camisole: $4 (originally $20)
Athletic Socks (6pr): $4 (originally $13) (similar)

Total: $102  (originally $313)
UPDATED Total: $87 (originally $248)

Other than the shirt that might go back, I feel really good about these purchases!  I finally found the perfect gingham shirt (at F21 plus, of all places!), and I got a few other nice items that are very unique to my wardrobe.  

April might get a little crazy!  I'm heading up to Minnesota for my cousin's wedding, and then spending a little time at the Mall of America.  I don't intend to do a ton of shopping, but H&M is there, and I usually find a lot of fun things to buy.  Then my sister is visiting, and we tend to spend a fair amount of free time shopping.  I'll try to behave, but you know what they say - "what happens at the mall, stays at the mall" (until you post about it on the internet).  

Did you buy anything fun in March?  


As you can tell, I've been super inspired with blog post titles lately.  Like yesterday, when I completely forgot to even put a title on it.  Oops!  That has been fixed now, and it is cleverly named "Untitled." Someone should really pay me for being so awesome!

Anyway, this outfit is from last Friday, when I took pictures in the mall parking lot (who am I?) before meeting up with John to see Divergent.  My blogger bun is quite nice when it's so windy.  I don't have to fight with my hair at all!  I did, however, have to dive to save my camera a couple times as the tripod started to blow over.  I don't remember this being an issue last spring.  What's the deal, Nebraska??  (Sorry - I promise to stop talking about the wind just as soon as it stops being such a big part of my daily life).

Scarf, Jacket, Shoes: Target
Tee & Jeans: Gap

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I've worn this skirt approximately one million times.  Okay, probably more like 20 times.  The point is that I wear it a lot, and I keep finding new ideas for how to wear it.  It helps that several of my favorite bloggers have a similar skirt, so there's a lot of inspiration out there.  This particular combination was inspired by this outfit from Katie.  Then I realized it's also basically just a wintry version of this outfit from last summer.

Also, I desperately need some new sunglasses!  These were an emergency purchase at a mall kiosk several years ago when I somehow ended up with no sunglasses over a holiday trip to Indiana.  They are knockoffs of something, and they aren't quite right.  My "good" pair (seen here) are purple and losing rhinestones, so they need to be done soon.  I try to avoid sunglasses in pictures, but sometimes it has to happen.  Especially on Sundays when I'm afraid of taking pictures in the shady front yard, because I don't want my neighbors to ask me what I'm doing.  It's going to happen sometime.  I should really have a response prepared that is less awkward than shouting "I POST PICTURES OF MY OUTFITS ON THE INTERNET!" and running inside.  That's my current plan.

Tee: H&M
Necklace: F21
Cardigan: J.Crew Factory
Skirt: Old Navy
Boots: Steve Madden

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How Many Blue Skirts Does One Blogger Need?

Three, apparently.  About 6 months ago, for some reason, I got it in my head that I really needed a COBALT blue pencil skirt.  Even though I already had 2 other blue pencil skirts (here and here).  There was one at J.Crew Factory that I really wanted, but it never went on sale enough for me to take the plunge.  Then I saw this knit option at Old Navy on black Friday (yeah, way back in NOVEMBER).  Since I love my Old Navy knit striped pencil skirt, I thought this would be perfect.  So I bought it.  And then I didn't wear it for 4 months.  Yeah, that's probably evidence that I didn't need it.  Oops.

Anyway, this is it's big debut on the blog.  Pretty exciting.  I wore this a couple Friday's ago to work, and then to the outlet mall to check out J.Crew Factory's big 50% off sale.  Where I probably bought more things I don't really need.  But I've already worn most of them, so at least they won't be ignored for 4 months!

Anyway, I've been thinking I really need a NAVY blue skirt now.  That's completely different, right?

Last time I wore this shirt, Brynn asked for a close-up of the pattern.  So here you go!             

Jacket: Target
Shirt: J.Crew Factory
Skirt & Shoes: Old Navy

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Windy City

Last week, Laura said she feels a little "4th of July" when she wears red and blue together.  I can relate!  One of my co-workers actually told me I looked patriotic in this outfit.  I guess that's okay, right?  At least red, white, and blue look nice together.  And there are not stars or stripes, so at least it's a subtle patriotism.  This skirt has been neglected all winter.  Now that it is officially spring, I should show it some love.      

The other day, I mentioned that the wind makes taking outfit pictures more difficult.  I spoke too soon.  On this particular day, I had a lot more trouble!  I got exactly one decent picture, where my hair isn't blowing all over the place.  An outtakes collage had to happen. 

Cardigan & Shoes: Old Navy
Top: H&M
Belt: Chinese Laundry
Skirt: Bass

Monday, March 24, 2014

Crazy Weekend

This weekend was crazy!  Don't worry, I was mostly busy watching things.  Friday after work, John and I went to see Divergent.  You can read my thoughts about it here.  Saturday is kind of fuzzy for me.  I was just getting caught up on some things around the house.  Then John and I headed out in the evening to see The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was really wonderful.  It's only showing at the artsy theatre downtown, and we were not expecting the long line for tickets, so we had to buy tickets for the next showing.  No worries, we just grabbed some dinner while we waited! 

On Sunday, I headed back downtown right after church to meet up with Nicole and Becca for the Sister Act musical.  It was pretty cute.  Then I got home just in time to change and head back out to evening services. 

All this was happening while I kept an eye on the basketball games, which shall now be known as March Sadness.  All my friends lost.  Nebraska on Friday, and then Kansas and Wichita State on Sunday.  I was really hoping WSU would win the whole thing!  I was just glad Creighton also lost, so I don't have to listen to their fans bragging anymore this season!  I don't really know who to vote for now.  I should probably just hope Kentucky crushes everyone else they play, but I'm a little bit mad at them.  Anyway, I don't actually pay that much attention, so this paragraph is already too long.

How was your weekend?  

Cardigan & Shirt: J.Crew Factory
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Old Navy

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Divergent: Movie vs. Book

via goodreads
Any time a book is made into a movie, there is the possibility for great disappointment.  On the spectrum of best adaptation ever to worst, Divergent falls easily on the "good" side, but there were some things that I felt were missing.  I'm not going to put spoilers in white font, because that would just be a lot of invisible text.  So you've been warned.  SPOILERS AHEAD!  Don't read my comments until you read the book or see the movie, or both.

Book thoughts:
I read Divergent in August of 2012.  I loved it.  My biggest problem was that I kept imagining Tris as Katniss.  I didn't write a review at the time, and I don't remember many details about what I liked or didn't like.  I did think the Chicago setting was cool, because it was interesting to imagine it in the state of decay Roth describes.  I also liked how the romance was there, but more peripheral to the main story, and no love triangle!

Movie thoughts:
Just as a movie, I thought it was pretty good.  It's definitely a dramatic action movie aimed at the tween/teen crowd, but it kept my attention.  Here are some of my thoughts about the movie in general, and how it compares to the book:

  • Shailene Woodley as Tris was fabulous.  I haven't seen her in anything else, so I had no idea what to expect.  I loved her!  I think she captured the tough/timid combination of Tris perfectly.  I'm really excited to see her in TFIOS!   
  • Theo James as Four was also great.  I mean, look at him.  My only complaint is that he is obviously so much older than Tris.  In the book, she's 16 and he's 18.  Shailene can pass for a teenager, but Theo cannot.  They had great chemistry, but it seemed a little creepy.  While the movie didn't really specify their ages, I read somewhere that he's supposed to be 24.  So a 24yo instructor seduces 16yo student, and that's just fine?  I mean, even in the dystopian future, it doesn't sit well with me!  
  • The plot - despite some changes, I think the movie really captured the point of the book.  Most of the things they added or removed made sense to me - either in the interest of time, or the fact that we can't just read their thoughts.  Just a few examples where I think they messed this up:
    • Peter in the book is super evil.  Like, he stabs another initiate (Edward) in the eye because he's jealous of the first place spot.  He also orchestrates the attack on Tris, and is sexually harassing her throughout the training.  Edward isn't even in the movie (other than his name on the leaderboard), and Peter isn't shown as involved in the attack on Tris.  Movie Peter is devious, but in a more "disney bully" way, if that makes sense.  I didn't hate him like I should.  That's important to their relationship going forward.  
    • Al is also diminished so much in the movie, that I don't know why we are supposed to care that he betrays Tris.  It's obvious that Tris is upset about it, but we'd basically seen them talking a couple times and they didn't seem like particularly close friends. 
    • Also, Will and Christina are very much a couple in the books.  And they are also really close friends with Tris.  I don't think the movie even specified that they were an item, and although Tris is upset with she shoots Will, I'm not sure it made a whole lot of sense (without the book details), why she was more upset about him than about all the other brainwashed Dauntless soldiers she shot. 
    • Jeanine is more involved.  I know, I know - we need more screen time for Kate Winslet.  But it seemed like she was in charge of everything when she ran the choosing ceremony, and then they make a huge deal of how she's taking over.  She already seems like the president of everything - what's the big deal?
    • In both the movie and the book, Tris's mom dies saving her daughter.  In the movie, they are in a firefight and she gets shot.  In the book, Jeanine used the information from Tris's fear landscape and puts her in a tank filling with water.  Then her mom shows up and saves her, and then is killed.  I thought that was an important part of the book, since it shows how Jeanine used the simulation info against everyone.  Same end result, but I think they missed showing that.  
  • Dauntless initiation was a little bit tamer in the movie.  Nobody missed the jump from the train and fell to their death, Edward wasn't there to get attacked and leave for Factionless life, and Tris miraculously recovered from all her injuries immediately (maybe she's a mutant, like Wolverine?).  It was still obviously tough, but not quite as graphic.  Maybe they were trying to keep it in the PG-13 zone? 
  • Abnegation folks are supposed to be completely opposed to vanity.  So the perfectly groomed eyebrows and expertly applied mascara on Tris and her mom - kind of distracting!  How do they pluck their eyebrows without looking in the mirror?  I guess maybe they help each other out?  It seemed like they could have skipped the thick mascara at least!  
  • It was kind of confusing how Tris and her mom had to be very sneaky to chat in the food delivery scene, but then she just hops on the train and waltzes right into the Erudite compound to talk to her brother.  So is it totally fine for factions to meet up?  Or completely illegal/dangerous?  The book gets around this with a family visiting day that makes more sense.  

And just because I'm a nerd, I'll leave you with my results in the "what faction are you?" test. 

I would have guessed that I'd get Erudite, Candor, and Amity pretty evenly.  There's absolutely no way I should have gotten Dauntless.  I mean, if by some miracle, I was able to jump on and off the train appropriately to get to headquarters, I would have just cried when they yelled at me to fight someone.  They'd probably throw me in the pit right away and be done with it.  It's more likely that I'd miss the train in the first place and be factionless.  Who am I kidding - it's more likely that I would refuse to cut my hand or faint at the Choosing Ceremony.  They don't really explain what would happen if you do that.  Probably factionless.  At least I'd get to wear more than one color all the time!

Anyway, have you read the book or seen the movie?  What did you think?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Green Week - Jeans

It seems like cobalt blue pretty much goes with everything.  I've really been loving it with green recently, so putting these jeans with this t-shirt was a no-brainer.  I wore this for a casual movie date with John, and thought my Chucks would be cute.  But then I took pictures and felt goofy.  Like I was trying too hard to look young.  Or maybe sneakers and skinny jeans just don't look right on me.  I don't know, but I swapped out the shoes for some pointy-toe flats and felt much better.  Here's the comparison:

Which do you prefer? 

Also, it's the last day of Green Week!  The linky will stay open for a couple days, so you still have time to jump in. Thanks to everyone who jumped in and extra special thanks to my lovely co-hosts - Heather and Ashley.

Cardigan: Urban Outfitters
Tee, Jeans, Flats: Old Navy
Sneakers: Converse

Linky info is after the jump!  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Green Week - Dress Remix

When I planned this Green theme, I didn't even think Third Thursday Threads falling in the same week.  No worries!  Bri picked a theme that I can work with - remixing! It also works out perfectly to join in on the Many Days, Many Ways party! 

I seriously love this dress, but the first day I wore it, I quickly became self-conscious about the slit in the front - it's way too low to be worn without a little extra coverage, and a camisole just wouldn't look right at all.  Good thing scarves are so popular!

Then I bought this blouse and decided to try the old "blouse under a dress" trick that Kate is so good at.  I still think it would look better with a scoop-neckline, but I think it still works pretty well.  And I LOVE how the green of the dress brings out the green dots on the blouse.

Anyway, remix!  Here's my collage of 5 ways to wear a pretty green dress.  *Standing in front of white garage door is optional*
Dress: Banana Republic Outlet
Blouse & Shoes: Old Navy

Linky info is after the jump!  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Green Week - Skirt

I finally remembered to bring my wind machine with me for outfit photos! Or maybe the windy season is just upon us. I actually love windy days, as long as it's not too cold outside. Blame it on growing up in Kansas!  Unfortunately, windy days are not ideal for taking pictures. There are a lot more outtakes than usual, and most involve my hair obstructing my face or me trying to prevent my hair from obstructing my face. Hashtag StyleBloggerProblems.

This is what I actually wore on St. Patrick's Day. One of my co-workers said "I see you are wearing lots of green today!" and I thought "not LOTS, just a skirt!"     

I was inspired by this outfit, and then obviously made some changes based on the items in my wardrobe. I thought my bright blue cami would show through the sheer floral pattern on my shirt, but it actually isn't noticeable at all. Maybe I should have worn my lace shirt instead. Maybe next time!

We are halfway through GREEN WEEK.  Remember you can link up any day! I'm also linking up with Pinned It & Did It and Style Swap with Ginny and Jenn

Blazer, Tee, Cami: Gap
Skirt: Target
Necklace, Shoes: Old Navy

Linky info is after the jump!  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Green Week - Top (and Literary Junkies Day)

Day 2 of Green Week coincides with the March Literary Junkies linkup.  The green week linkup is at the bottom!  Here are my questions and answers for this month:  

What are you reading right now? Tell us about it!
I'm reading Sarah's Key.  It was recommended by several friends, and I really like it so far.  It jumps between 1942 and 2002, focused around the Vel' d'Hiv in Paris.  I'm definitely more interested in the 1942 storyline.  When it jumps back to 2002, everything just seems trivial.  I guess compared to the Holocaust, I just can't feel too bad for the wealthy American in Paris who has a kind of mean husband.  I'm expecting a connection at some point, so I'll just have to see what happens!  

What was your favorite series to read when you were a kid?
 Easy - Boxcar Children.  I pretty much read anything I could get my hands on, but this series was my favorite, by far.  I had read all of them, and then I was SO EXCITED when they started publishing more in the early 90s.  And there were so many released each year!  It was really awesome!  (Just looking at Wikipedia, I learned that the newer books were written by other authors.  I had no idea about that when I was a kid!) 

What is your favorite genre to read?  Why?
I struggle a little bit with defining genres.  Can I just say "fiction" and be done with it?  I think I read all the basic genres except romance novels.  I can't stand romance novels. 

If you wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

Hmm, this is a tough one.  Maybe "Just Another Smith" and it could be the super interesting story of how I met John and became a Smith!  (at least, I think it's interesting, but who knows!)

What is next on your "to-read" list?  Tell us about it! 
Orange is the New Black - which I assume everyone has heard of by now!  It's a memoir of the author's time in prison.  I've heard it is pretty good, and I am excited to watch the show and compare!  

Have you read anything good lately?  Make sure to check out the other Literary Junkies!  AND remember to link up your green posts below!   

Jacket: J.Crew Factory
Tank & Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Gap

Linky info is after the jump!  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Green Week - Polka Dot Cardigan

Get excited!  It's St. Patrick's Day and the first day of GREEN WEEK!  My husband pointed out that I'm not Catholic, so I should really be wearing orange, but green is prettier, and I don't know that I have 5 orange things to wear, so here we are.

This outfit wasn't originally supposed to include green.  My plan was to style my new gray/black dress like this outfit (one of my favorite's from Franish recently).  I was going to wear my black cardigan and boots.  Then I realized I don't really have a similar scarf, and it's close enough to spring that I decided to bust out the floral.  Then I couldn't find my black cardigan, and thought the green in the scarf would go well with my green polka dot cardigan.  Then I checked the weather and realized it wasn't going to be snowy or super freezing, so I went with wedges instead of boots.  So the actual outfit isn't really anything like the inspiration, but that's how it goes sometimes!  Maybe I'll get a chunky knit scarf and try copying Fran again in the fall.

Cardigan: Target
Scarf: H&M
Dress: Old Navy
Belt: Chinese Laundry
Shoes: J.Crew Factory

Linky info is after the jump!  

Friday, March 14, 2014

That's a Green Coat!

If I had a nickel for every time someone said "That's a green coat!"  I would have about 25 cents.  Maybe 30.  I never know if they mean "wow, it's so cool that your coat is green!" or "You are a weirdo for wearing such a bright green coat!"  I just say "THANKS!"  and pretend they mean it is cool.

This outfit is inspired by this pin, but I don't have a gorgeous pink coat, so I went with another brightly colored coat.  Kate also put a spin on it by wearing her pink blazer.  It's a good reminder that when I see something I don't have, I probably have something pretty similar to make it work.

I actually really like the simplicity of the outfit without the coat, and then the coat adds a fun touch.  I just wish I had found my perfect gingham shirt!  J.Crew Factory is having 50% off in stores this weekend, so I might have to head to the outlet mall and see if they have this one.  I also have my eye on this one from Gap.  It's Friends and Family weekend, so it would be an extra 40% off.  The saga continues...

Anyway, back to my original point:  This is a green coat.  Next week is GREEN WEEK.  So gather up your grassy-hued items and put together an outfit to share!  Then be sure to check out my partners-in-crime:  Heather and Ashley.

Happy Weekend!  I hope it is spring wherever you live (unless you hate spring, in which case, I don't know if we can still be friends)!

Coat: Old Navy
Shirt, Sweater, Jeans:  Gap
Boots: Madden
Pearls: gift