Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Shopping

September is over, so let's review the shopping that happened.  The first 2 items were technically purchased in August, but the top hadn't arrived in the mail yet, so I wasn't sure if I would keep it.  And the necklace, I just completely forgot about including, so I'm adding it now.  Otherwise, I just didn't really keep track of my shopping.  I was in Indy for Labor Day weekend and bought a couple things at the Gap.  Then I went shopping with a friend and picked up a few more random things.  And then H&M opened in town and I had to check it out.  But I was pretty good and didn't buy everything that tempted me.  And I couldn't find pictures of everything, so my collage is deceptively minimal.  Here's the whole truth:  

J.Crew polka dot popover: $24 (originally $70) (exact)
F21 Long silver necklace: $8 (exactsimilar)
Gap navy skirt: $12 (originally $50) (exact)
Gap white/black tee: $7 (originally $27) (exact)
Old Navy windowpane top: $10 (originally $25) (exact)
Old Navy Pink skirt: $3 (originally $25) (this style in this color)
Old Navy white skirt: $3 (originally $25)
Gap white/gray skirt: $12 (originally $45) (this style in this color)
H&M black/gray leopard tee: $13 
H&M layering tanks (gray and navy): $5 each

Total: $102 (originally $300)

This means that I'm almost exactly at budget year-to-date.  I have $5.32 rolling into October!  

October will probably be light (don't I say that every month?).  My birthday is at the end of the month, so I am usually not supposed to buy things for myself before then.  We shall see!   As always, I'm linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Review - The Lost Wife

The Lost Wife is a really sad and really beautiful book.  The chapters alternate between Josef and Lenka, and between WWII Prague and modern day New York.  As with anything to do with the Holocaust, it is hauntingly sad to read about what was happening.  As I read, I almost questioned some of the hopeful moments that the author had mixed in, so I was surprised and happy to read in the author's note that most of those pieces were based on truth.  Even in the worst of situations, there were people trying to help each other and trying to make something beautiful.

This isn't really a spoiler, since the title kind of gives it away, but the story revolves around a couple who are separated during WWII.  In the first few pages, they meet again at the wedding of their respective grandchildren.  Again, I felt like this was a bit of a stretch, but the author's note at the end says this is also based on a true story.

My only complaint is that the book focuses so much on their time apart, and we barely get to see them together.  But I suppose that's the whole point.  I just wish there were a few more chapters at the end.

If you like historical fiction, you should probably read this.    

Friday, September 26, 2014

Skirt week - Stripes

It's the end of Skirt Week, so I thought another one of my long-time favorites would be appropriate.  I absolutely love this skirt and have worn it so many times over the last couple of years.  I actually wore this outfit a couple weeks ago to work and then shopping with a friend.  She had texted me that her outfit that day was very "Andi-ish", and when we met up, she was wearing almost this exact skirt with a chambray shirt.  So we were almost embarrassigly matched at the mall.

On that same trip, I almost bought this exact skirt in a wider stripe, but decided that might be ridiculous, so I left it.  But I kind of still want to go back for it.

You can still link up your skirt posts until Monday night!  Make sure you check out the other links, and especially my amazing co-host, Inge!

Jacket: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Top: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Skirt: Old Navy (similarsimilar)
Shoes: Target (same without patent captoe)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Skirt week - Snakeskin

Well, if everyone needs a black skirt, I have to be honest that no one really needs a snakeskin skirt, but it is kind of fun, right?

Anyway, I don't have anything interesting to write today, so that's all!  Link up your skirt looks below.  I'll try to be more clever tomorrow, but I make no promises.

Cardigan: Gap (similar)
Necklace: F21 (exactsimilar)
Top: Gap (similarsimilar)
Skirt: H&M (exact)
Shoes: Gap Factory (similar, similar)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Skirt Week - Black Pencil

There aren't many items of clothing that I'd say every women should own, but I do think a basic black skirt is one of them.  I almost said a black pencil skirt, but I know some people really don't like the style.  So whatever style you like best, but you should probably have a black skirt.  I had one from Old Navy for about 8 years, and it finally got too tight, so I was happy to find a replacement from Dillard's.  And this one is a stretchy fabric, so it's much more forgiving!

One thing probably no one needs is a pair of floral print ballet flats.  But look how cute they are!!  I wish I had worn them more over the summer, because I don't see them transitioning into cold weather very well.

In other news, it's officially one month until my birthday!  I never made one of those 30 before 30 lists, but now I have 30 days before I turn 30.  I don't think it's going to happen.  BUT I think I've had a pretty great life so far.  No bucket list needed.

Link up below for SKIRT WEEK!

Cardigan: Gap Factory (similar)
Top: Gap Factory (similar)
Belt: Chinese Laundry (similar)
Skirt: Gibson & Latimer (similarsimilar)
Shoes: J.Crew Factory (similar)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Skirt Week - Orange and Blue

Last time I wore this skirt, I realized I should have taken a close-up, so you can really see the pattern.  Lesson learned - I totally remembered this time.  Anyway, I wore this outfit to the Rainbow Rowell book signing, and then I remembered that I wore this cardigan to her last event.  Not that anyone would remember, but I thought it was weird.  

And other people probably thought it was weird that I was taking pictures in the parking lot.  But I'm getting more and more used to the awkward stares.      

Link up below!  And remember to check out the other links!  And it's Tuesday, so you should also link up with Laura for Confident Twosday

Cardigan: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Top: Gap (similar)
Skirt: Gap Factory
Shoes: Old Navy (optionoption)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Skirt Week - Leopard

Happy Skirt Week!  I'll be honest, after sharing some feelings last week, I'm excited to have an excuse to talk mostly about clothes this week.  And skirts are one of my favorite categories!  

I have apparently been neglecting this skirt all summer long. I have no idea how that happened, because it's one of my favorites.  But it does work year-round, so I was probably giving my summer-specific skirts more attention.

As you can tell by my tank top, I'm desperately holding on to summer for as long as possible.  We had a bit of a cold front in early September, but this weekend was back up into the 70's, so I'm hoping winter won't show up for another month at least!

Link up with your skirt looks after the jump!

Top: Loft (similar)
Necklace: F21 (similarsimilar)
Belt: Old Navy (similar)
Skirt: J.Crew Factory (similar, similar)
Sandals: Target (similar)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Blogger Bloopers

When Fran announced the Blogger Blooper Link-Up, I was 100% on-board.  Because if we can't laugh at ourselves and each other, what's the point of fashion blogging at all?  I only looked at the last few months, and I have a lot of embarrassing photos to choose from, so I made a few collages.

My best pictures are definitely when John is available to play photographer.  Mostly because my smiles are better, and he can take a lot more pictures in a few minutes, so I have more to choose from.  Plus, he can see what he's doing, so of course it's better than my tripod/timer set up.  However, this also results in the most outtakes, because I don't know when he's clicking the button, so I'm frequently in mid-pose-change, or my eyes are closed, and I make ridiculous faces when he's around.

These tend to come in batches, like we get off track and neither of us realizes it.  So I generally have a few from each outfit that are just weird.

There are also times where I'm just not looking at the camera.  I know this is like fashion blogger 101 - it's so mysterious to be looking down or to the side coyly.  Except not.

Once nice thing is that he can tell me if something looks funny.  Well, if he notices.  But you might think he'd stop snapping pics while I fix the issue.  You'd be wrong.  So we have great shots of me fixing makeup lines and flattening down my hair.

To be fair, I do have trouble by myself sometimes.  I rely on my tripod and timer, which works great most of the time.  But lately, my tripod has gotten a little bit wobbly, so sometimes it shifts after I set it up.  And my pictures are headless.  Like this:

Other times, I move at the exact moment the camera clicks, or forget to take my work name badge off.  Or it's just really sunny.  Either way, there are some bad pictures in the mix.

So there you have it. My blog photo outtakes from the past few months.  I had a lot of fun putting this together!  And I'm posting early, because I'll be busy doing Skirt Week all next week.  The good news is that you have time to put your bloopers together and link up on the 23rd!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall Favorites - Denim Jacket

First of all, thanks so much for all the sweet comments on my post from yesterday.  I actually woke up at about 4am and thought I should stop the post from going live, because it just made me nervous!  I have no idea why it seemed like such a big deal.  Anyway, I'm so glad I've got that out there now. And we can move on to more fun topics!  

Like Third Thursday Threads with Bri!  I'll be honest, I am not one of the "HOORAY IT'S FALL!!!!" types of girls.  I don't even like pumpkin flavored anything.  While I love actual fall weather, it's only leading to the depths of winter, which I would like to avoid as long as possible.  So you won't see me reaching for boots the first time the temperature is below 65.  My boots will get plenty of attention almost every day from November-March,  For now, my fall strategy is trying to wear my summery items as long as possible.  One of my trusty tricks is the denim jacket.  It's a heavy-enough layer to get me through the cool mornings, and it looks good with most of my skirts and dresses.  Everyone wins.  Except boots.  They have to wait.    

I think last year, I avoided tights until late November.  I'm hoping I can do the same thing this year, but it's gotten cooler in September than normal, so I don't know what that means for the rest of fall.  

Ooh, and remember next week is SKIRT WEEK!  So you can link up with Inge and me with your fun skirts (and boring skirts, I guess).    

Jacket: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Shirt: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Skirt: Gibson&Latimer (similarsimilar)
Shoes: J.Crew Factory (exact)

Yikes, that's a lot of JCF!  Can you tell it's my new favorite place to shop?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

On a Serious Note

Blogging is weird.  I write posts about 5x a week, but my writing tends to be pretty superficial.  I like clothes, and I like talking to people about why we wear the things we wear and how to style things in new and interesting ways (or just classics that always work).  Sometimes I talk about what I did that weekend, or the weather, but I don't go into a lot of details about my life.  I'm okay with having a blog that isn't super deep, but sometimes it feels like I'm not being 100% honest.

I definitely don't want or need to share every little thing that goes on in my life.  I tend to share the interesting or fun things, like going to musicals, traveling, or hanging out with friends.   And sometimes I will whine a little about having a cold, or my washing machine breaking, or falling down while taking outfit pictures.  But sometimes there are bigger things going on that I don't share.  I don't want to over-share, but I also don't want to give an unrealistic view of my life.  It's a hard balance, but I think I've erred on the side of under-sharing so far.

There's one big thing that I've almost mentioned several times, but I always stop myself.  I don't know why.  Well, I do know why - it's because I don't even like telling people about it IRL, so sharing on the blog seems even more intimidating.  But here goes...

In the summer of 2013, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I started noticing random joint pain early in the year, but like a typical 20-something, I didn't go to the doctor.  Instead, I self-diagnosed using WebMD and decided that I just had carpal tunnel.  So I got a wrist rest for work.  Shockingly, it didn't help.   

After a particularly painful week in June 2013 (terribly timed around my work conference in Orlando), I called my doctor and after several visits with several doctors, I was officially diagnosed.  But I really didn't like the specialist who diagnosed me, so I switched to a good one, who had an 8 week waiting list.  On and on, it seems like everything takes forever.  Around September, I finally had a doctor that I liked, and some idea of what was going on!  

The thing about RA is that they don't really know why it happens or how to cure it, so it's all about managing as well as possible.  For those of you who don't know what it is (which I didn't until I had to), basically my immune system is confused and attacking my joints.  So it's pretty painful.  But I also hate the medicine options that seem to all have long term side effects.  Like yeah, my knees hurt, but I also don't want to maybe go blind in 10 years.  So it's pretty frustrating.  But ultimately, I'm just trusting God and praying for wisdom in dealing with this issue.      

It's one of the reasons my goals were so fail-tastic last year, and why I haven't been doing goal updates this year.  It's also why I've been gaining weight.  The pain makes it difficult to do high-intensity exercise, and the meds make it difficult to lose weight.  And my emotions make it difficult to resist baked goods.  So it's kind of a trifecta of doom.  

The good thing is that I feel almost normal sometimes.  I also have a great doctor, and a wonderful support system (thanks husband, family and friends!).  These health issues also inspired my move to working part-time as of December.  This is another thing I haven't mentioned, because I didn't know how to explain it without giving the whole drawn-out story.  I'm still working 5 days a week, but just shorter hours.  It's really helped me prioritize exercise.  So I'm grateful for that option at my current job as well. 

So why am I even blogging about this?  You'd probably never know, other than the fact that I've been getting rid of uncomfortable shoes and stocking up on more comfy options.  Like I said, I've almost mentioned it a few times, and always talked myself out of it.  But I really appreciate other bloggers who share their struggles, so I figured I should stop being weird about it and just share mine.  I don't anticipate blogging about RA very often, but I just wanted to put it out there.  So now you know.

And I couldn't do all of this without outfit pictures, so I picked one of my favorite dresses (aren't they all my favorites?), in one of my end of summer outfits. 

Scarf: Calvin Klein (similar)
Dress: Limited (similar, similar)
Belt: Steve Madden (similar)
Sandals: Target (exactsimilar)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Confident Twosday

It's Tuesday, which means I'm linking up with Laura for her Confident Twosday party.  And this week is extra special, because she asked me to co-host!  Whoo!

I've been thinking about confidence, since that's the whole theme of the linkup.  I've never considered myself to be a super confident person, but I pretty regularly have people tell me I must be confident to wear whatever bright colors or crazy patterns.  That may be a back-handed compliment, but I'll take it.  The more I've thought about it, I guess I agree with them.  I don't walk around feeling super confident all the time, but I also don't spend very much time worrying about my flaws.

It seems like there's a trend recently towards celebrating different body types, and I think that's good.  What I don't like is that it sometimes swings too far, and we get into the "real women have curves" type comments.  So I would like to say that yeah, sometimes real women have curves, and sometimes real women have angles, and sometimes we are short or tall or medium, or whatever.  I don't buy into the "everyone is perfect" thing.  I'm more on the "everyone has their own set of flaws" side of things.  We've all got to work with what we've got.  So I probably need to lose a few (well, more than a few) pounds, but right now I'm a little bit fat.  And that's okay.  

And here's a SUPER HELPFUL definition of "self confidence" from Merriam Webster: confidence in oneself.  Wow, I never would have guessed that.  Isn't there supposed to be a rule that you can't use the word to define itself?  Doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of defining things? 

Anyway, link up below!  And I'd love to hear your thoughts about confidence! 

Cardigan: H&M (similar)
Dress: Loft Outlet (option,option)
Belt: Steve Madden (similar)
Necklace: Old Navy (similar)
Shoes: Target (exact)

I do deClaire (Bloglovin) | Just Another Smith (Bloglovin) 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lessons Learned

There's a bit of a story around this skirt.  It starts back in May, when I had a last minute business trip and I didn't feel like any of my current options would be professional enough.  After a very stressful mall trip, I came home with 2 suits.  This one from Younkers that I ended up keeping, and one from New York & Company, which I immediately regretted and intended to return.  But then I was out of town a lot, and I'm rarely at the mall that has NY&Co.  I looked at the receipt, and it said "90 Day Hassle-Free Returns!" so I wasn't too worried about it.  Approximately 62 days after buying the suit, I finally made it into the store to return it.  Well, "hassle-free" really means "some hassle."  After 60 days, they won't refund your money, but just give you store credit.  If it was a store I normally shop at, this would be fine, but I never buy things at NY&co.  Honestly, I think I have 2 belts from there in my closet and that's all.  I asked to talk to the manager, because I hate it when companies have tricky policies like that.  Bad news - I was already talking to the manager.  Anyway, I was stuck with this stupid gift card.

So I figured it was partially my own fault, and I'd just deal with it.  I tried to sell it, but no one was interested.  Then I decided to go try and find something that I'd like.  I searched the store and tried on a lot of items.  This skirt and a couple shirts seemed okay.  But again, with the tricky policies.  They had huge signs up in the entire store about Buy One, Get One 50% off, with no indication that it only applied to pants.  So I got frustrated again and ended up only getting the skirts.  I will say that the workers in the store were very nice and I know they can't help it that the company has shady policies.

Anyway, then I was talking to my mother-in-law about the whole thing and she said she'd buy the rest of the giftcard from me.  So she is my hero.  And I doubt I'll be shopping in NY&Co ever again.  They are too tricky for me.

But hey, this skirt is fun!  And I've learned to return things ASAP, no matter what the receipt says!

Top: Loft outlet (similar)
Skirt: NY&Co (similar)
Shoes: Old Navy (optionoption)

Friday, September 12, 2014

20 Things You May or May Not Know (or care to know) About Me

Well, if you want to know 20 random things about me, today is your lucky day!  You can thank (or blame) Brynn for tagging me.  She made a cool video, but I wasn't up to that challenge.  At first, I was just like "no, I hate seeing myself on video" and then I was like "Oh yeah, and I actually wouldn't even know how to do one anyway, so it doesn't matter."  So if you want to know what my voice sounds like, you'll just have to come visit.  I'll take you to the zoo.  Or maybe I'll figure out how to vlog someday.  It's not likely.  

Anyway, here are the questions and my answers.  
  • How tall are you?  5'9"
  • Do you have a hidden talent?  If so, what?   I don't think so
  • What's your biggest blog-related pet peeve?  Probably just the weird rat race to get followers.  Sure, I'd love to have 1000 followers (although saying that makes me nervous, maybe I wouldn't love that at all).  I think I've mostly stopped following people who seem caught up in that.  But even now, I will get people who link up for a theme week and they aren't even remotely close to the theme.  I should delete them, but then I feel like a jerk if I do.   
  • What's your biggest non-blog-related pet peeve?  Oh, where to even begin?  Probably grammar and spelling errors, especially online.  I know I'm not perfect, but seriously, the computer has spell check!  You should not be making these stupid mistakes! (and now I'm extra paranoid that I have stupid mistakes in this super long post!)
  • What's your favorite song?  It's impossible to choose a favorite song.  I can't even pick a reasonable number of favorite songs to put on my iphone.  My favorite artist is definitely Ben Folds.  That man is a musical genius. 
  • What's your favorite Etsy shop that isn't yours?  No idea.  I'm not into Etsy.  
  • What's your favorite way to spend your free time when you're alone?  If I'm in a lazy mood, I will be reading or binge-watching Netflix/Hulu.  I also really like to shop by myself.  
  • Do you have a pet or pets?  If so, what kind and what are their names?  Nope.  I really want to get a dog, specifically a Great Pyrenees, but the timing hasn't worked out for us yet.  We just aren't home enough.  
  • What are your number one favorite nonfiction and fiction books?  Again, I am really bad at picking favorites.  I mean, I had 6 favorite books from just one year!  So, my 2 favorite fiction books from 2014 so far are The Rosie Project and Ready Player One.   I don't read as much non-fiction, but I really like Malcolm Gladwell's books.  
  • What's your favorite beauty product?  I've been using Pantene Curl Defining Mousse for the majority of my life.  Other products just don't get the job done.    
  • When were you last embarrassed?  What happened?  I do embarrassing things all the time, so these moments don't really stick with me as much.  So, I can't think of anything specific that has happened recently.  
  • If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?  This is tough!  I think I have to pick milk.  I drink a lot of milk, and I don't think I could do without it.  But I'd really miss drinking soda.   
  • What's your favorite movie?  Ugh, why are there so many questions about favorite things??  I like lots of movies!  Probably the movie I've watched the most is Waiting for Guffman.  It's just so hilarious.  I really need to watch it again - it's been awhile.  Every time I watch it, I notice something new.  
  • What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?  Well, I went to a pretty small Christian school, so most of the groups overlapped quite a bit.  We didn't have a prom queen.  I was smart, but I think about 30% of the class had a 4.0 at graduation.  I kind of wanted to be a cheerleader, just to teach them that doing the "we're #1" cheer isn't appropriate when we are losing by 50 points.  I was definitely not a jock, band geek, loner, or artist.  And we were all preps, because we literally went to prep school, uniforms and all.  So, have I answered the question?  No?  Well, I don't know what I was.  There were a lot of things I didn't like about my high school, but I think the social dynamic was pretty good.  I honestly think I was friends with almost everyone.  Does that make me sound like I was actually friends with no one?  Longest non-answer ever.  
  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?  I would want to live on the beach!   I always joke about moving to Puerto Rico, but I should probably pick a place that mostly speaks English.  So maybe we should move to Hawaii?  
  • PC or Mac?  I've always had PCs.  
  • Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?  Our anniversary was just at the end of July.  John sent me flowers at work, and bought me an opal ring.  So that was pretty nice.  Otherwise, we tend to be silly rather than super romantic.  
  • Favorite celebrity?  I'm not super interested in celebrities.  The first person that comes to mind is Jimmy Fallon, just because he seems like such a nice guy, and appears to really love his job.  I remember loving him back in the day on SNL, because he couldn't get through a sketch without giggling.  Most celebrities seem like jerks, so my favorites are the nice-seeming ones!  
  • What blogger do you secretly want to be best friends with? I don't think it's a secret that I want to be best friends with Kate and Danielle.  Well, and a few others of you.  You should all move to Nebraska and we can hang out all the time!       
Top: Kohl's (refashioned from a dress)
Cardigan: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Skirt: Gibson&Latimer (similar, similar)
Shoes: Target (exact)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Survey Results

The first rule of developing a survey is to decide what you want to accomplish with the data.  I did not do this before creating my blog reader survey.  So what am I going to do with the data?  Well, mostly just say "Hmm, that's interesting" and then go on my way.  I do really appreciate everyone taking the time to offer some feedback.  And I'm going to share the results, just in case you all are interested in who else is reading this blog!

Demographic information was as follows:
  • There is exactly 1 male reader who took the survey (Hi Dad!)
  • 50% of my readers are 21-29, 33% are 30-39.  I've got zero 40somethings, and then a handful over 50 (again, Hi Mom and Dad!).  I also have 1 respondent under the age of 17, but I'm suspicious that my niece was helping my sister fill out the survey.  I don't think she actually reads my blog!
  • Clothing budgets are also similar to my own.  50% are spending less than $50/month.  25% are in the $50-99 range, and 25% are spending $100-200

Blog-related topics:
  • 70% of readers also have a blog.  
  • 60% found me through another blog, while 22% know me in real life, and 18% don't remember.  
  • 60% of you keep up using some kind of reader, like Bloglovin, Feedly.  This pretty much lines up with those who say they read anytime something new is posted.  
  • I was surprised that 40% just check directly.  How do you remember??  
Favorite topics - this is a question I should have asked differently.  By putting these topics in order, I have no idea if you all hate book reviews, or just like them a little bit less than outfit related posts.  I really like writing book reviews, so I'm going to keep doing it.  Here are the topics in order, from most to least favorite
  1. Outfit of the Day - this makes sense.  If you don't like OOTD posts, you probably won't be reading!  
  2. Clothing Item Remix - I've been neglecting these lately.  I'll have to start back up.
  3. Theme Weeks
  4. Personal Updates
  5. Book Reviews
And finally, my favorite part of the whole survey - open-ended comments.  Since the survey was anonymous, I don't know who said what unless you gave it away in the comments.  

For these 3 comments, I say: THANKS!  I am glad you like it!
  • Awesome survey Andi! I always enjoy reading what you write, too. It always makes me laugh!
  • Enjoy reading your blog daily.
  • I love your blog Andi! I am always on the lookout for fashion bloggers that are open and honest about their personal style and their fashion darts and laurels. Keep up the good work, and we'll keep reading!
For these 3 comments, I say: Man, my real life people are goofy!  Especially that little riddle from my niece.     
  • I'm your mom. And I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!
  • YOU ROCK ANDI. I love you!! PS - I'm sitting next to you right now IN REAL LIFE. BOOM!
  • I'm near you but not usually. I love you but I'm not John. I'm small & young
For this comment, I say:  Do I know this?  I have no idea who wrote this comment.  I may or may not heart you too.  
  • I <3 you. But you already know this!
And finally, one person had a question: 
  • What is your favorite thing about blogging?
To that, I say:  It has changed over time.  When I first started (and had pretty much zero readers), my favorite thing was having a creative outlet.  I had totally been in a rut with my style, and the blog helped me get out of that.  I also really love writing, so it was fun to have a little daily excuse to write something.  Now, I still like those aspects, but my favorite thing is my blogging friends.  I've met a couple of you, and would love to meet others.  Even though we live across the country from each other, I feel like I know these amazing women who make me laugh on a daily basis, and also offer up some pretty fantastic style inspiration.  

Phew!  Was that post wordy enough for everyone?   

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Review - Landline

Landline is the newest book by Rainbow Rowell.  I'm a big fan of hers, as I've mentioned before (here, here and here).  For her previous books, she's done the release and book signing in Omaha, so I hadn't read the book before going to the event.  But this time, she's a bit more famous, so she did her release party in NYC, and had the Omaha signing event about a month later.  So I had already read this book before the signing.  I don't know if that is relevant, but I just share potentially pointless facts sometimes.  It's my way!  Another random fact is that I read the ebook on my iphone kindle app while John was driving us home after our summer trip to Indy.  I have previously not been able to read in the car, but for Rainbow Rowell's new book, I tried and succeeded!

Anyway, this is my least favorite of her books.  But that's kind of like saying Snickerdoodles are my least favorite cookie.  I still really like them.  It's just that I really loved Rowell's other books, and this one wasn't quite as magical for me.  Which is weird, because there is literally a magic phone in it.

Basically, a woman (Georgie) who is having problems with her husband ends up finding a magic phone and can call the past to talk to him.  And she wonders what she should do with this great opportunity and what changes it might make in their lives.

I love Rowell's writing style and she just makes me laugh.  I think my problem with this book was that I just didn't like the characters as much as I wanted to.  And maybe a reader doesn't have to like the characters, but for this book, I wanted to be rooting for them.  I honestly didn't care that much if they ended up getting back together or if her meddling in the past would erase her present (a la Back to the Future).

In conclusion, I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars, so you know, it's not like I hated it.  If you've liked Rowell's other books, you'll probably like this one.  If you haven't read her books - I'd recommend picking up one of the others first.  I think Attachments is my favorite, but it's a very close race.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Little Bit Country

Something about a tied shirt just makes me feel like a country girl.  I'm actually the opposite.  But I did read a lot of books when I was a kid about growing up on the prairie, so I am pretty good at playing Little House with my nieces.  It's just like when I was a kid - they make me be Pa, because I'm the tallest.  Totally unfair.  And it's pretty boring until tigers attack, and then things get crazy.  Imagination games are dangerous business.

Anyway, I'm linking up with Laura for Confident Twosday!

Top: F21 (similar)
Skirt: Macy's (exact)
Shoes: Old Navy (optionoption)

Monday, September 8, 2014

So Nice, I Bought it Twice

Meet another new skirt.  I loved this style at Gap Factory so much, I had to buy it in both color/pattern options.  Plus, they ended up being $12 each during friends and family weekend, so I couldn't resist.  I should have taken a close up picture, but the stripes are chevron -  blue and a coral/orange/pink color.  Basically, the stripes will look like they go with most colors of tops.  But I went with the easy option of my trusty chambray popover.  Again, I like it so much that I bought a second one in the exact same color/style.

For the record, I only bought these sandals in navy, although I was very tempted to buy mint or black as well.  And it might still happen if they get even cheaper at Target.

Top: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Skirt: Gap factory
Sandals: Target (similar)