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10.31.2014

Pretty Dresses

Over the past couple of weekends, I've had things going on requiring me to dress up a little bit more than my usual weekend outfits of leggings and a sweatshirt.  I loved both of my outfits so much that I wanted to share them with you.  Without further ado, here are my pretty dresses:

Dress / Scarf: Old Navy | Tights / Boots: Target

I am so smitten with this dress, you guys.  The maroon color is rich and gorgeous, the ruched sides are so flattering, and it has long sleeves.  Could I ask for anything more in a dress?  I think not.  I was originally going to wear a pendant necklace with this outfit, but I chose to wear my leopard scarf instead.  It gives the outfit a little extra something, you know?

Dress: Cynthia Rowley | Tights: Target | Boots: Guess | Necklace: From my mom 

I'll admit that this outfit looks a little confused, with the pastel colors up top and the black and brown on the bottom, but I don't mind - I felt so good wearing this.  I've lost nearly 10 lbs now in the last several weeks, and I'm starting to feel it and see it when I look at photos of myself.  The day I wore this, I was feeling so confident and beautiful, so even if the colors on the bottom don't necessarily match the colors on the top, how I felt in the outfit is what I'm choosing to focus on :)  Plus, isn't this necklace so pretty? My mom ordered it online and when she got it in the mail, the colors were different than what she was expecting.  As someone who wears almost exclusively neutral colors and earth tones, this necklace wasn't going to get worn much had she kept it...and I am the lucky benefactor!  While I don't tend to wear a lot of color, I am a huge fan of mint and blush, so I know this necklace will get plenty of love in my hands :)
A little detail shot of the necklace.  And my differently-shaped eyes.

Also, happy Halloween!  Kevin and I aren't planning to do much - since this is the first time we've ever lived in a neighborhood, we're going to get some candy and cross our fingers that we get some trick-or-treaters to give it to!  If you have kids and Instagram, I'm going to be stalking all of your photos to see your kiddos' costumes :)  Have a safe and fun night!

10.30.2014

Bubble

Top: J.Jill | Pants: Kohls | Flats: Payless | Necklace: Forever 21

This tunic, y'all?  I love it.  It is so soft and cozy, and I love that I can wear it to work with my ponte pants and on weekends with leggings (yes, I shamelessly wear leggings on weekends alllll the time).  I can throw a cardigan or vest over it for additional warmth, or wear it with any necklace or scarf in my closet to spice it up.  Today, I decided to keep it simple with my blush bubble necklace.  I don't care if bubble necklaces are past their prime - I love the color of mine and I'll probably keep wearing it for a while.

[And I'm fully aware of how effing awkward my hair looks here.  I need a haircut sooo bad.]

10.29.2014

Awkward Photos, Decent Outfits

Dress / Cardigan / Scarf: Old Navy | Tights: Target | Boots: Guess

Here's an awkward photo of a cute outfit.  I kind of hate the way this photo turned out, but I loooved the outfit.  This gray dress is so comfortable and I don't think I'll ever run out of ways to style it!  I paired it with navy (because I can't seem to stop wearing gray + navy together), but I added this white and light gray scarf to lighten the outfit up a bit.

Top: Gift from my parents | Pants: Target | Flats: Kohls

This is a pretty plain outfit, but with a shirt as loud and borderline obnoxious as this one, I think it's okay.  I love the way this shirt fits me, and it's so thick and comfortable.  I still can't get over the purple cuffs either! :)  And like the above photo, I really dislike the photo itself - so sunny and squinty!!!

10.28.2014

Two Outfits + Capsule Collage | Part Two

Tank / Pants: Old Navy | Blazer: Calvin Klein, thrifted | Flats: Payless | Necklace: Forever 21

These pants (detail shot here) are so much fun, but I'm kind of a weenie about styling them.  They're technically denim, but the velvet design is blackish-gray.  This means that every time I've worn them up to this point, I've had black and/or gray on top.  In my head, I know that basically any color will work with them, but I have this very weird (and strong) mental block that's making me hesitant to pair them with anything but black or gray.  Maybe next time I wear them, I'll try wearing a colorful scarf or necklace with the inevitable black or gray top to bring some color into the outfit. 

Shirt: J.Jill | Pants: Kohls | Scarf: JCPenney | Flats: Payless

You can't tell from the photos, but these pants are dark gray, and I love them.  I wrote a couple of posts ago that I'm kind of over jeans, but give me a pair of ponte pants and I'll be happy forever.  Seriously, these pants could not be any more comfortable - they're so soft and structured, but they're stretchy so I never feel constricted in them.  Plus, they go with everything and I can wear them with flats or boots.  I also love this silky cream blouse (that I also have in black and blue).  It's so flowy and works perfectly with skinny pants.  It's a little longer in the back than it is in the front, so it covers my butt nicely too.  And can we talk about this scarf?  I used to be a pink fanatic (I had a serious, serious obsession with pink), but I burned myself out on the color for a while.  Now, I'm very much drawn to lighter pinks (blush, rosy pinks, peach), and the color of this scarf is no exception.  It's just so feminine and pretty!


And here is a collage of my next round of capsule wardrobe outfits.  Do you have any favorites?  I really like both of the outfits with the dresses (and camel cardigan).  Many of the other outfits are fairly unmemorable, but that's just fine.  I've been really enjoying the simpler outfits over the past several months (which I've kind of talked about ad nauseam), so even though none of these are especially groundbreaking, they still all feel very "me."

Also, when I look back at my list of capsule items, I'm kind of surprised that there are things I haven't worn at all yet.  I have yet to wear:
  • Black/white striped tee (which is weird, since it's been a staple in my previous 30x30 and 20x30 remixes)
  • Striped oxford
  • Navy/white striped long-sleeved tee
  • Camel/white striped long-sleeved tee
  • Gray/white striped long-sleeved tee
  • Camel sweater
I better start wearing these tops soon!  Most of these tops are long-sleeved shirts, so now that it's starting to get cooler, I'm sure they'll start getting worn.

I'm linking up today with Anne and Jacquelyn for the capsule wardrobe and Laura for Confident Twosday!

10.27.2014

Blogging Mojo

Dress: Old Navy | Cardigan / Tights: Target | Boots: Guess | Necklace: From my mom

I'm not going to lie to you - I lost my blogging mojo for a little bit.  I still love blogging, reading blogs, putting posts together, interacting with everyone, etc., but I was starting to feel a little burned out for a bit.  It's been hard for me to take pictures for my blog lately because of the lighting before/after work, so I had hardly taken any photos for my blog in like 3 weeks, and was just using a few photos that I had randomly taken over the past month or so...hence the sporadic posting.  I finally figured out a way to take photos inside, which makes me feel optimistic about blogging as the weather gets colder.  [Welcome to the entryway of our house, by the way...]  So, this past weekend, I went back to my handy dandy spreadsheet and put on all the outfits that I had worn since the beginning of October and not photographed so that I'd actually have photos to blog!  This is probably a huge blogging faux pas, but I honestly don't really care, haha.  I'm just glad to be back in the saddle again :)

Anywayyyy...here's an outfit I wore to work a while back!  I've been nervous about how to wear this dress in colder weather because I wasn't sure if I could wear it with tights.  I decided to just give it a try, and I actually liked the outfit!  You can't tell in this photo, but my tights are black and my boots are brown, which kind of ties in the camel cardigan.  I added a gold necklace and jewelry (which you can't see since my hair is finally long enough that it's covering my ears!) as well.  One of my students, who is super into fashion, came into my office this day and said, "OH MY GOSH MS. MCCONNELL.  You look so cute!!!  I want your whole outfit!"  It was pretty cute :)

Shirt / Cardigan: Old Navy | Skirt / Tights: Target | Boots: Guess

This is another outfit I wore to work a couple of weeks ago.  I liked the navy and white color scheme, and I was pleasantly surprised how the skirt and boyfriend cardigan looked together.  I was worried that the proportions would be off, but I kind of liked it, actually!

Also, you'll notice that I'm not wearing my glasses in either of these pictures.  I have no idea what happened, but the lenses on my glasses got super scratched, and I don't have the money to buy new lenses right now...so, contacts it is!  It's been funny wearing my contacts at work, because until a few weeks ago when I stopped wearing my glasses, nobody had ever seen me without glasses before.  One of the teachers I have worked with quite a bit had no idea who I was when I came into a meeting one day...it was pretty funny.

I'm linking up with Molly for Let it Shine and Marissa for Sunday Best!

10.22.2014

Book Report! (and a bonus throwback photo)

Two posts in one day?  It's your lucky day!! ;)

Here's an irrelevant picture of my brother and me in Duluth, MN.  Clearly, I was not all about the hat I was wearing... (Also, have you seen a more early-90s picture?!  This is why I'm not into the resurfacing of all the 90s fashion, haha!!)

My blogging friend Anne is co-hosting a linkup about books, and since I've started reading again, I wanted to make sure I linked up as well.

Best book you've read this year: I think it's a tie between Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn, and Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult.  Both books were incredibly gripping, and I loved the character development in each story.

Last book you finished: It only took about two months, but I finally finished The Lost World, by Michael Crichton.  I devoured Jurassic Park in a matter of days, but The Lost World wasn't quite as good.  And yes, I'm a nerd and I really like dinosaurs.

Up next on your reading pile: Last week I started reading On the Road, by Jack Kerouac.  I have only gotten about 30 pages in so far, but it's interesting.  I am eager to sit down this weekend and read for a few hours straight!

Favorite book as a kid (around age 9-10): Oh gosh, this is such a hard question.  I read constantly as a kiddo.  I adored the Babysitter's Club: Little Sister series, by Ann M. Martin, but I also loved reading Dear America books, The Giver, by Lois Lowry, and anything by Beverly Cleary or Judy Blume.

Book you'd want with you if stuck on a deserted island: I wish I could say the whole Harry Potter series, but I'll go with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling, because, really, it's where the magic began (pun fully intended).  I read it first when I was about 10 years old and wasn't really "a thing" in the United States yet, and it literally changed my life.  I just have so many memories of reading that book.  I've already read it about 15 times, but I get warm fuzzies every single time I read it.

I'm linking up with Anne today!

Jeans Suck.

Jeans: Jessica Simpson | Sweater: Old Navy | Boots: Bare Traps | Scarf: Target

What you see this this outfit are the only pair of jeans I like wearing.  See, jeans, in my life, kind of suck.  I can't ever find any that fit me - if they fit my waist, they're massive in the butt and thighs.  If they fit my legs, I can't get them closed.  They're often too short for me, and I'm kind of a mom and like a higher rise (keeps my gut sucked in, haha).  And these jeans are kind of a cheater pair, too, because my mom took in the legs and hips significantly so that they would fit me better and not get so baggy by the end of the day.

I went shopping this past week with my sister-in-law.  My mission was to find a pair of black boots (which is something I've been allowed to spend my money on during my year-of-no-shopping) and I also wanted to find a pair of jeans, since I basically only wear these jeans nowadays.  I tried on over 20 pairs of jeans in all different styles, sizes, cuts, from different stores, etc.  LITERALLY NOTHING WORKED.  So, I've decided to swear off jeans for the meantime.  I will not buy any more jeans, and I'll feel content with just this pair for now.  I'll plan to keep wearing my ponte pants, leggings, ankle pants, dresses, and skirts most of the time, because they don't usually make me feel bad about myself, haha.

Anyone else feel like they just want to swear off a particular clothing item/category of clothing every once in a while??

10.17.2014

400 + 1

Top: Old Navy | Skirt: Target | Boots: Baretraps

How the heck did I miss the fact that yesterday was my 400th blog post?!  WHAT?!  That's nuts!  I can't believe I've been doing this for almost two years and have put together 400 posts.  It's a goofy little hobby, but I totally love it.  And you all are fantastic as well.  Thank you so much for reading along!  [Also, I am at 99 followers on Bloglovin.  WHAT again?!]

And today's outfit is reminiscent of a cowgirl and I don't care at all.

10.16.2014

Meh.

Sweater: Old Navy | Pants: Kohls | Boots: Target | Necklace: From my mom

This outfit was super cute in my head when I first dreamed it up, but in actuality, I am not the biggest fan of how it looks.  Really, I think the whole thing is just fine until I get to the boots.  These boots are pretty cute on their own, but I've found them to be SO hard to style.  I just haven't loved any of the outfits I have worn with them.  I think I may be putting them into the donation/sell pile because I'm still so much on the fence with them.  Had I worn a pair of flats or a different pair of boots with this outfit, I might have liked it better.

[Also, can we just ignore the fact that my sweater is kind of tucked under my boobs in this picture? K, thanks.]

10.15.2014

Small Town

Dress: Old Navy | Cardigan + Belt: Target | Boots: Guess

This outfit is hands down one of my favorite outfits in recent months.  I adore the gray dress with all the browns, and I felt so comfortable and fall-like in it.  I got some pretty solid compliments from students and coworkers about this outfit as well, which made me pretty happy.

The day I wore this outfit, I realized just how small our new community is.  There are about 25,000 people in the town I live in, but it definitely has a small town vibe.  I wore this outfit to a doctor's appointment in the morning in which I needed to get blood drawn and a flu shot.  Now, I have a horrible fear of needles...like, to the point that I used to have to be strapped onto a stretcher to get a simple shot, and I also pass out whenever I get pricked with anything needle-like. [I've also passed out just listening to someone talking about getting a shot.  It's bad.]  I had my appointment with my new doctor, and afterwards, her nurse came into the room to give me my flu shot.  Lo and behold, the nurse who walked in was the mother of two of my students.  Because I'm new, I literally only have met about 20-30 parents of my 400 kiddos so far, so the fact that the nurse was one that I knew and have actually spent a good chunk of time talking to was kind of crazy.  I tried to keep conversation on topics other than her children as I tried very hard not to pass out.  Talk about awkward!!!

10.14.2014

The Voice


Top: J.Jill | Pants + Flats: Kohls

Whoops, crappy lighting again!  These pictures were taken almost a month ago, before I started taking my photos on the weekends, so you get a very dark, shadowy look at this outfit.  I'm absolutely loving these simple outfits lately.  Extremely comfortable ponte pants?  Check.  A silky, gorgeous blue blouse?  Check.  Comfortable flats?  Check.  Minimal jewelry?  Check.  I've worn different iterations of this outfit multiple times, and I fully intend on continuing on with the formula.

Also, can we just talk about The Voice really quickly?  I have never watched the show until this season, which is kind of shocking since I am a sucker for reality TV and I loooove music.  But seriously?  I love this show.  I'm a huge fan of every one of the judges (Adam is super attractive and I love his tattoos, Gwen has been a favorite of mine for years, Pharrell is so supportive of all of the contestants, and Blake cracks me up), and there is a solid talent base as well.  Kevin and I don't have TV, so I either watch the show at my friend Sydney's house (which I did last night) or I catch up on my computer later.  I just love it, though!!  Anyone else a fan of The Voice?  I want to know who your favorites are!!

10.13.2014

Life Is Good.

Tank / Cardigan: Old Navy | Pants: Target | Flats: Kohls | Necklace: Forever 21

Do you ever feel really sick of technology?  That's what happened to me over the past two weeks.  I've gotten really behind on reading and commenting on blogs, I haven't written a blog post in almost two weeks (I pre-scheduled last week's posts...such a cheater!!), and until yesterday, I hadn't taken blog photos in two weeks either.  Perhaps it was a little bit of blogging burnout?  I also haven't been as active as I usually am on social media either, so I think it might have been a technology burnout as well.  All I know is that I've been really enjoying the past couple of weeks.

I'm still absolutely loving my job.  I work with great students, I enjoy our administrators and the teachers I have had the chance to meet so far, and my fellow counselors are some of the greatest people I've ever known.  As someone who has struggled deeply with friendships and relationships for years, I finally feel like I'm surrounded by amazing people who I care about and who care about me in return.  It's seriously the best feeling ever.  Kevin and I are happier than we've ever been before, which is another phenomenal feeling.  I'm finally in a good place with eating and exercising, and I've even lost 6+ lbs in the past three weeks.  Things are looking up!

10.02.2014

Butthole.

Shirt / Pants: Old Navy | Flats: Payless

Dang it.  These are some of my favorite pants, and after I washed them this day, I realized there's a hole in the butt.  It's on the seam, so I'm going to try and stitch them back up so I can wear them again...but for now, you can call me "butthole."

10.01.2014

Wear Your Aware(ness)

Tank / Cardigan / Scarf: Old Navy | Pants: Kohls | Boots: Fergalicious

Okay, so it's harder and harder for me to be taking pictures in the mornings and after school these days. I leave for work between 7:00-7:15, and the sun hasn't really been out that early (noooo!!), and when I get home from school between 3:15-4:00, there's a huge shadow on our patio.  Both situations lead to crappy lighting.  Since I plan all my outfits for the week a week in advance, I'm thinking about maybe taking my photos on the weekend during the days so I can get nice lighting.  We'll see :)

Today's outfit was worn a few weeks ago on a Trendy Tuesday (as hosted by Danielle).  The prompt for that particular week was to Wear Your Aware(ness).  I chose to wear purple for pancreatic cancer (which my grandma died of four years ago), animal abuse, domestic violence, and Alzheimer's (which my grandpa is living with right now).  Although purple is my favorite color, I only own a tank top (this one) and a couple pieces of jewelry that are purple.  Luckily, I included my purple tank top in my capsule...so, that was convenient.