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6.30.2014

20x30 | The Items

I mentioned last week that I'll be participating in Caitlin's 20x30 remix challenge in July.  I am starting out by showing you the pieces that I've selected to wear and remix over the course of the next 30 days.  Remember that accessories and shoes are not included in my total items!

Old Navy skinny jeans | Old Navy denim shorts | Old Navy black Pixie shorts | LOFT white skirt | Lucky Brand floral skirt 

Old Navy gray & white striped dress | Old Navy pink & white striped dress 

Levi's denim jacket | Old Navy cargo vest | Eddie Bauer pink cardigan | TJ Maxx coral cardigan

Gap white popover | Old Navy blue popover | Lucky Brand navy & white striped tee | Target black tee | Old Navy black & white striped tee | Target white lace shirt | Old Navy mint tee | H&M pink top | Old Navy white tank

So there you have it - my 20 items!  I am eager to get started with the challenge...outfit #1 will be up tomorrow!!

Linking up with Caitlin for the first day of the remix!

6.27.2014

Closet Inventory...3 Months Later

Back in the end of March, I posted a closet inventory of what was in my closet, after being inspired by two bloggers in my reader who had taken on the task previously.  I was pretty overwhelmed by my 400 items and felt really materialistic and gross about having that much stuff in my closet.  My goal was to cut my clothing down by half...so I'm reporting back three months later with updated figures.

Again, as a reminder, the only things I am not counting are loungewear, swimwear, and undergarments, but I am including accessories.  I only am specifying this because I know many of us can easily start to hoard accessories, and in order to be fully transparent, I wanted to include them in my count.

Tops
Camisoles: 21 - 16
Sleeveless/tank tops: 13 - 2
Short-sleeve: 8 - 11
3/4 or long-sleeve: 14 - 8
Button ups/popovers: 18 - 10
Pullover sweaters: 11 - 5
Total tops: 85 - 52

Bottoms
Denim jeans (black/blue): 9 - 5
Colored/patterned jeans: 4 - 3
Pants: 13 - 10
Leggings: 10 - 5
Shorts: 5 - 3
Skirts: 10 - 8
Total bottoms: 51 - 34

Dresses
Sleeveless dresses: 7 - 6
Short sleeved dresses: 9 - 6
3/4 or long-sleeved dresses: 11 - 5
Total dresses: 27 - 17

Jackets/Layers
Vests: 5 - 1
Cardigans: 17 - 12
Blazers: 6 - 4
Light jackets: 7 - 2
Winter coats: 1 - 1
Total jackets/layers: 36 - 20

Shoes
Flats: 13 - 6
Wedges: 4 - 2
Flat sandals: 7 - 5
Sneakers/TOMS: 7 - 10
Boots: 11 - 6
Total shoes: 42 - 29

Accessories
Scarves: 28 - 17
Necklaces: 43 - 18
Headbands: 14 - 16
Earrings (not including studs): 33 - 19
Bracelets: 4 - 2
Tights: 23 - 8
Belts: 14 - 11
Total accessories: 159 - 91

Total items: 400 - 243
Total items (excluding accessories): 151

So, there you have it!  I've purged 157 items from my closet, and I have to say, it feels amazing.  I know that I still have pieces that I'm going to get rid of, but since I'm not shopping for a year, I'm hanging onto them at this point, just so I still have clothes to wear.  My wardrobe is so much more navigable now, and it's less overwhelming for me to get dressed, put laundry away, etc.  I'm still nowhere near being a minimalist, but I'm definitely closer than I was, and I like it.

Stay tuned on Monday for the 20 items I'll be wearing for the month of July!  I am eager to share them with you!

6.26.2014

Summer Reading

Tank: Calvin Klein, thrifted | Cardigan / Shorts: Old Navy | Sandals: Target

I've been a reading machine so far this summer!  I've been trying to read between 40-50 pages a day, and while I have days that aren't as productive, I have also had days in which I've read several hundred pages.  As a result, I've plowed through 8 books in a month!  I'll share a couple of my favorites with you here:

The Almost Moon, by Alice Sebold | This book is about a woman, Helen, who kills her elderly mother, Clair, in the first chapter.  The rest of the book is told in alternating flashbacks about Helen and Clair's relationship and the immediate days after Helen killed her mother.  I thought the book was fascinating, and although hardly any of the characters were likable and the book did not follow the typical reader's desire to have a happy ending, I really enjoyed it.  It was incredibly thought-provoking, which is what I look for in a book.

Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult | My mother-in-law gave me this book about two years ago after she had finished reading it.  It is hardcover but the slipcover wasn't on it, so I had absolutely no idea what it was about, other than the fact that my mother-in-law thought I would like it.  I went in cold, and was shocked to find out that the book is actually about a school shooting.  Like The Almost Moon, the book mainly takes place in flashbacks leading up to the school shooting and in the subsequent trial afterwards.  It follows several people who are affected by and involved in the shooting and court case, and shows how the characters are woven together.  I loved this book and couldn't get enough of it.  In my school counseling graduate program, we studied school shootings in-depth, and I could tell that the author of this book had done her research - it was all very believable.  This is a topic that absolutely breaks my heart and terrifies me, but one that I really need to be informed about in my work as a high school counselor (especially since there was an attempted mass school shooting in a town less than 15 miles from me this spring).  I enjoy Jodi Picoult's books, and if you're a fan of hers and haven't read this yet, I definitely recommend it.

Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell | As much as I like fiction books, I've been trying to force myself to read some non-fiction as well this summer.  I've heard great things about Malcolm Gladwell's books for years, but had never read one until now.  Blink is all about those snap decisions we make ("thinking without thinking").  It goes through all kinds of studies and situations of snap judgments and decisions and explains the science behind it all.  I found it so interesting - there are some awesome sections about crime, food testing, and facial expressions that I especially loved.  If you're looking for an interesting non-fiction book that can apply to your life, check this one out!

6.25.2014

Not a Bumblebee + A Challenge for July

Tee / Shorts: Old Navy | Sandals: Target

I used to avoid wearing black and yellow together for fear of looking like a bee...but I've since gotten over that weird aversion and realized that black and yellow together can look quite nice!  I wore this on a hot, humid day last week and didn't want to bother with any necklaces or scarves, so I kept the outfit simple.  It's definitely not my favorite outfit by any means, but I was comfortable and it helped me stay cool in the heat, so I'll take it!

Caitlin from Greater Than Rubies is hosting a 20x30 remix challenge on her blog for the month of July.  Last July, I did a 30x30 remix and really enjoyed it.  I'm eager to up the ante and go through this challenge of wearing 20 articles of clothing for 30 days.  Shoes and accessories are not counted, FYI.  I've already selected my 30 items - I'll show them off on the blog on Monday, so stay tuned!

6.23.2014

Unexpectedly Fun Weekend

 Shirt: H&M | Vest: Old Navy | Jeans: Gap | Sandals: Target

This was one of those weekends I wasn't particularly excited for.  Kevin went to Chicago with some buddies this weekend, so I was home alone.  Sometimes I really enjoy a free weekend at home, but this time around, I was super sad that he was going to be gone, and since I don't know anyone in our new town yet, I thought I would be super lonely all weekend.

My Friday quickly filled up, though!  My best friend from grad school hadn't been to our new house yet, so she came over Friday morning for coffee, catching up, playing with the dogs, etc.  That afternoon, another of my good friends from grad school asked if she could come over and watch Harry Potter movies with me (I did a Harry Potter movie marathon this weekend, because I'm 12-years-old and obsessed with HP).  Afterwards, Kevin's parents came over for dinner.  We grilled chicken bacon swiss burgers and asparagus, and I gave them a driving tour of our new town, and then we got custard from Culver's.  YUM.  The rest of the weekend consisted of more Harry Potter movies (I have two to go!), taking the dogs for nice, long walks, and reading a lot.  This week, I'll give you all a recap of what books I've read so far this summer - I'm eager to share!

What did your weekend look like?

Linking up with Marissa for Sunday Best!

6.20.2014

Bottoms Swap



 Tank / Shorts / Jeans: Old Navy | Sandals: Target | Cardigan: TJ Maxx | Necklace: From my mom

I plan my outfits a week in advance in my spreadsheets according to the weather forecast for the week as well as what I have on my schedule for the day.  I started out this day wearing jeans, but after about 2 hours, I noticed it was much hotter outside than I had anticipated.  It turns out that I had gotten two days confused and wound up wearing the jeans-outfit on a day where the temps reached 80+ instead of the 65 degree day I was expecting.  I changed into the shorts (which used to be skinny jeans that I shrunk...so my mom chopped off the legs and hemmed them into the perfect pair of shorts for me) and was wayyy more comfortable for the rest of the day.  Does anyone else rely on the forecast to get dressed, or am I way too anal about that??

6.19.2014

Summer Essentials!

Tee / Sandals: Target | Jeans: Old Navy | Necklace: oNecklace

I'm taking a teeny break from Dress Week to participate in Third Thursday Threads over on Bri's blog.  This month, she asked people to link up with their summer essentials!  While I do wear a ton of dresses and skirts in the summer, I wanted to highlight a couple of other pieces that I find to be crucial in the summer!

Neutral v-neck tee | I love a good v-neck tee (today's is a v-neck but I'm wearing a black tank underneath to minimize cleavage, so it looks odd, haha).  I bought a bunch of those "dressy tees" from Target last summer, and this black one is the only one that has held up.  A plain v-neck like this is perfect for summer because it can be dressed up or down, worn with shorts, pants, and skirts, and lends itself to accessorizing nicely.

Patterned bottoms | Because a large portion of my tee collection is solid (I only have two striped tees but everything else is solid), I like to have plenty of patterned bottoms (skirts, shorts, pants, etc.) to bring some interest to my outfits.  Also, while it may seem weird to be wearing long pants during the summer, I actually really like having jeans on hand.  I spend a lot of time indoors, where the AC is always cranked.  And since I'm a freeze baby, I like having my legs covered so that I don't need to curl up in a blanket all summer, haha.  Plus, this way I don't need to shave as often ;)

Flat sandals | We all know that I almost exclusively wear flats all year round, so a comfortable pair of flat sandals like this black strappy pair is a necessity for me!  I like that I can slip them on and off easily, they keep me cool, and they are comfortable enough for me to take the dogs for a nice, long walk without getting blisters.

Simple necklace | I love a good, chunky necklace, but in the summer when I'm sweatier, they're just too sticky and heavy for me.  Instead, I wear my more delicate necklaces more often during the summer.

Painted toenails | I have this weird aversion to having my toenails unpainted.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that my toenails remain unpainted for a grand total of about 5 days per year.  While I tend to wear darker colors on my nails during the colder months, I tend to wear bright pinks and corals (like the coral I have on my toes now) when it's sandal season.

So there you have it - some of my summer essentials, all wrapped into one outfit!

Also, the picture below is the exact reason why I don't usually let Kevin take my outfit photos...he told me to choose a different pose and I went all awkward.  You're welcome.


6.18.2014

4

Dress: Old Navy | Belt: Target | Shoes: Converse | Necklace: Eclectic Wendy Designs

I had this necklace made shortly after Kevin and I were married.  One charm has a tree, one says "B&K," and the last one has our wedding date.

Happy anniversary to us!  Kevin and I got married four years ago, and what a journey it has been!!  Last year, I wrote about our wedding if you're interested in reading more about it.

As a tradition, I am wearing my wedding shoes today!  I rarely base an outfit around my shoes, but today I started from the ground up.  It also happens to be hot and grossly muggy where I live right now and it's Dress Week, so I decided to wear this sleeveless chambray dress and accessorize it with a navy belt, necklace, and headband.  For an outfit that kind of came together quickly and without much thought other than the shoes, I quite like it!!

Also, I made this little collage with some of my favorite pictures of Kevin and I.  We like to have fun together, and I think this picture does a great job of showing the dynamics of our relationship :)


I'm linking up with Andi and Heidi for Dress Week!

6.17.2014

Summer Storms

Dress: Target, thrifted | Belt / Sandals: Target

Yikes!  Last night, we had massive storms in southern Minnesota where I live.  It was ridiculous - streets were flooded, we had a river going through our backyard, we had threats of tornadoes and high winds...crazy stuff!  Luckily, today, the water in our yard has absorbed into the ground and the sky is blue again (although I think we're in for more storms tonight...).  It's that time of year, I guess!!

I'm linking up with Andi and Heidi again for Dress Week, and I decided to pull out this casual black dress that I thrifted from Target awhile back.  This dress is super comfortable and I really like how it can be accessorized with all kinds of different colors and neutrals.  I also did my hair differently today, although you can't really tell in the photo.  My hair is actually pretty wavy (especially when it is long), and I decided today that I wanted to see what would happen if I let it air dry.  The top has some great wave to it, and I have little curly-cues near my temples (again, that you can't see at all in the photo - whoops).  I think it looks pretty good, and I love that I didn't have to dry or style it, haha!  Oh, and I'm totally wearing my old glasses today as well...my current ones need to be adjusted really badly, and contacts have been making my eyes burn lately, so my old glasses will have to suffice for now.  Luckily, I still really love them!!

6.16.2014

Weekend Recap + Dress Week!

Dress: Old Navy | Jacket: Levi's | Sandals: Target | Necklace: Maurices

I had such a great weekend!  One of my good friends from grad school came to our new house on Saturday for dinner and Orange Is the New Black (she got me hooked...).  It felt so great to have a guest over and do a little entertaining, now that we have the space and time!  Yesterday, my mom's side of the family went over to my grandpa's house to do some big lawn/garden/house projects for Father's Day.  We ate lots of food and got dirty laying sod, weeding his huge garden, and powerwashing his house.  It was also super fun to hang out with some of my cousins.  I have a cousin who is two years younger than me, and we're super close...she is pregnant and due in November, so it was so cute to see her little belly popping out!  I'm so excited to be an "auntie" to their baby!!

Also, this week, Andi and Heidi are hosting Dress Week, so I'm excited to link up a couple times this week with some of my summer dresses.  I haven't been wearing them a ton lately since I've basically just been reading a ton at home, so I'm glad to have a reason to wear some dresses now!

I am also linking up with Marissa for Sunday Best!

6.12.2014

The Great Outdoors

Tee: Hanes | Jeans: Jessica Simpson via TJ Maxx | Shoes: TOMS | Scarf: Target

My first outfit photos at our new house!  I used to take outfit photos by setting up my iPhone on a bookshelf/half wall thing in our living room and standing near our dining room table, and it worked pretty well (as long as the lighting was okay).  I haven't been able to find a good indoor location for outfit photos at our new place, but by setting my phone on our patio table, I can get my whole body in the shot and still take outfit photos on my own!  It's pretty exciting, because I haven't taken outdoor photos for my blog in about a year, haha.  I tried to have Kevin take some photos of me as well, but he always teases me about posing which leads to me being super embarrassed and awkward...and every photo turns out suuuper gross and unflattering, haha.  Patio table with the self-timer it is!!

I've been wearing a lot of plain outfits like this lately, since all we've done lately is move, get internet set up, make Target runs, and explore our new town.  I start my nannying gig today (!!), and I'm sure that my outfits will continue to look like this! :)

Thanks for reading!!

6.11.2014

A Leopard Dress

Dress: Target, thrifted new | Sandals: Target

I wore this outfit about a week before Kevin and I moved to our new house.  I've been teaching an ACT prep class at the high school I completed my school counseling internship, and I wore this to the last session.  I love printed dresses like this because you basically need to just throw on a pair of shoes, and you're dressed...no accessories needed, really!  I did put on some dangly black earrings and a black flower headband (you can kind of see it in the photo), but it was one of the easier outfits I've worn lately.

6.10.2014

I'm Still Here!

After a long week of packing, moving, and getting settled, Kevin and I are happily in our new house!  The move went pretty well (considering that we moved up our moving date by four days so were scrambling to get things packed and loaded in the U-Haul in one afternoon/evening), and we love our new house.  It is spacious, sunny, and quiet - most of our neighbors are our grandparents' age, which is a wonderful shift from our previous neighbors, which have always been college kids (aka loud, messy, destructive...).  Plus, it's a 7-minute drive to the school I'll be working in, which is way better than the 30+ minute commute I've always had to work.

We finally got our internet installed today as well, so it feels great to be blogging again.  I really, really missed blogging while we were in the throes of moving and getting settled!  I'm still trying to figure out the best location for outfit photos, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to take them outside on our new patio, at least while it's nice outside!

I have a few outfit photos from the week or two before we moved that I'll be sharing soon, so stay tuned!  I wanted to make sure and check in and let you all know that I haven't forgotten about you all or my blog.

6.03.2014

BRB!

Tee / Jeans: Old Navy | Sandals: Target | Scarf: Gift from friend

Happy Tuesday, y'all!  Kevin and I are moving on Monday, so we're in the middle of packing, purging, and cleaning.  Consequently, I've been wearing lots of leggings and tees...aka nothing for the blog.  Until we get settled in our new house, I'm not going to be able to take photos either, because most of my clothes are packed and the space I usually take photos in is filled with boxes and furniture now.  So, things will be a little quiet here for the next week and a half or so, but I'm super excited to get dressed, take photos, and blog again!  Bear with me :)

Today's outfit was worn on a cooler day a couple weeks ago.  Simple outfits such as these are great for my life right now: nannying, running errands, cleaning, etc.  And the little addition of a printed scarf keeps it from being super boring (not that this outfit is anything special at all, but it would be completely plain without the scarf...).  Plus, this scarf is light enough that I can wear it in the spring and summer without getting too hot!