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Four Things Friday | 1

Sweater / Leggings / Vest: Old Navy | Boots: Target | Necklace: Blue Nile Designs

My blogging friend Valerie recently posted this little "4 Things" survey on her blog, and I thought it was such fun to learn more about her, so I borrowed the idea for my own blog!  However, instead of posting the entire survey in one post, I thought I'd answer one question each Friday.

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:
Brynny | This is a pretty standard nickname for me.  I always know when I've become friends with someone because they'll automatically just start calling me Brynny :)
Bun | When I was born, my brother was not quite 2 years old, and when he tried to say my name for the first time, it came out "Bun."  To this day, several people in my family call me Bun (I can't remember the last time my uncle actually called me Brynn...I'm always Bun to him!).
Brian | Apparently "Brynn" is a weird name for many people to pronounce (for the record, it rhymes with "win" and "grin").  In fact, when I was little, my doctor had a blue chart for me (instead of pink) because the clinic thought I was a boy... I still get called "Brian" at least 50% of the time at the doctor's office or on a class roster.  Awkward.
Ms. McConnell | Haha, this is kind of a dumb one, but yes, I am Ms. McConnell at school.  Some of my kids just call me "McConnell" sometimes, which always makes me smile.

What are some names that you get called other than your real name?


Speech Team

Shirt / Jeans: Old Navy | Shoes: Sanita | Scarf: Gift

I can't remember if I've mentioned this on the blog or not, but Kevin and I will be spending most of our Saturdays in February and March judging speech for my high school's team.  Kevin participated in speech when he was in high school and loved it, so he's really pumped to be back in that environment again.  I did a lot of theater when I was in school as well, so judging the more dramatic and theatrical speeches is so much fun.  We had a mock meet a couple of weekends ago to help the kiddos practice their speeches (and for us judges to practice judging and giving feedback).  I was shocked at how confident and talented some of our students are - I can't wait to watch them continue to improve over the course of the season!

And here's another Pippin photobomb...she just can't NOT get into my pictures sometimes!!


Gray + Gold?

Dress/ Cardigan: Old Navy | Tights: Target | Boots: Bare Traps | Necklace: J. Crew, gift

This gray sweatshirt dress is one of my new favorite things in my closet.  It is super comfortable ('s like a big sweatshirt...), very versatile, and I love the fit and flare silhouette.  I decided to go a little outside my comfort zone in accessorizing this dress by pairing it with gold jewelry (I typically stick to silver jewelry when I wear gray).  However, I quite liked how the gold and gray looked together here!  This adorable chevron necklace was a birthday gift from my best friend, and I absolutely love it!  I've been much more drawn to daintier jewelry these days instead of the huge statement necklaces that have been so popular over the past several years, and this necklace is a standout piece without being too in-your-face.  Plus, it goes with nearly everything in my closet!  I think it's time to slowly start adding some more long necklaces to my jewelry collection, what do you think??


Winter Capsule Showcase | 1

Here are my first 10 outfits of my winter capsule wardrobe!  Original posts can be seen here:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

We're almost a month into the whole capsule experience, and I've already been able to show you 10 of my outfits.  Most of these are outfits I have worn to work, but there are a couple of weekend outfits sprinkled in there as well (2, 3, 10).  Of these outfits, I think my favorites are 1, 4, and 9.  I clearly love this maroon + purple knit infinity scarf, because I can't seem to stop wearing it (you'll be seeing more of it in the coming weeks, too...), and it seems that having 7 dresses in my capsule isn't a bad idea, as I've already worn 4 of them in the first 10 outfits!  I feel happy that it's been relatively nice in Minnesota lately, because I haven't had to layer up too thick yet...thank goodness!

I'll be linking up with Anne and Jacquelyn - stop by one of their blogs and check out the other capsule wardrobe showcases!



Top: Target | Vest: Old Navy | Jeans: Lauren Conrad | Boots: Mukluks | Scarf: JCPenney

Just like adding a scarf can completely warm you up on a cold winter day, I find that adding a vest can have a similar effect.  While I enjoy wearing this olive cargo vest during the warmer months as a weather-appropriate layer, I do like how it looks over a plain long-sleeved tee as well.  It is what takes this outfit from plain and boring to polished.  (Speaking of, remember when I used to do a Plain to Polished feature on my blog?  Would you like to see this resurrected?  To be honest, I completely forgot about it until writing this post, haha...but I really liked doing it, so I'm thinking about starting it up again periodically!  It's only been 10 months since the last one, hahahahaha.  Bad blogger.)

I mentioned last week that my dog Pippin likes to come outside with Kevin and me when we do my outfit photos.  During this particular photo session, Pippin decided to photobomb the heck out of my post by popping a squat in the background and dropping a fresh poo...she really is the classiest dog.
So proud.


Button Ups + Cardigans...Over It, or No?

Top: Gap | Cardigan: Old Navy | Jeans: Lauren Conrad | Boots: Bare Traps | Scarf: Gift

Last fall/winter, I wore tons of button up shirts and popovers like this one...especially layered underneath a cardigan.  I've always liked the way it looks, but lately, I've been feeling like it's a little bit fussy to actually wear.  Thus, I've not been thinking to pair the two together recently.  However, I decided to give it a try again, and I actually really liked the way it turned out.  This swiss dot popover has been one of the most often-worn tops in my closet over the past couple of years, and although you can't see it here, the texture it brings to any outfit is quite fun.  I really liked this outfit because it was simple, but the textured shirt and pretty scarf kept it from being boring.  And it was another great way for me to be able to wear my jeans to work!


The Best Shirt

Top / Jeans: Old Navy | Boots: Target | Necklace: Eclectic Wendy Designs

This adorable tunic is quickly becoming one of my favorite things - it's really quite thick for a tee-type shirt, and I love the marled texture.  The length is perfect for wearing with any kind of bottom, and it goes with so many things!  Because I can't stop pairing black + maroon lately, this outfit felt like a no-brainer to me.

Also, the coloring on this photo is quite different from some of my previous posts.  I've mentioned before that my laptop (which is over 6 years old!!) is kind of on its last legs...which honestly, is a huge reason why my blogging has slowed way down.  It's just kind of hard to comment on blogs, edit photos, and write posts when it takes ages for a simple webpage to load.  So, instead of just quitting the blog, I've been using Kevin's Chromebook to blog lately.  Because it basically runs off of WiFi, I haven't had my trusty iPhoto to do simple edits to my photos and have been using PicMonkey instead.  Which, coupled with the crappy, gray skies that we've been having lately (resulting in very dark photos), has led to a different "look" to some of my photos.  You'll be seeing some other photos that will look similar to this one in the future on the blog too...


Swap the Scarves

Dress: Old Navy | Tights: Target | Scarf: Gift | Boots: Bare Traps

Really, I can't stop wearing this dress!  It is just so dang comfortable, and I love how it looks on me!  So far, I haven't been too adventurous at styling it at all...but instead have just been pairing it with different scarves.  To be quite honest, the neckline is a little low on this dress, so I feel uncomfortable wearing it at work without a scarf to cover up my chest.  Scarves: not only are they super cute, but they are also so very functional ;)


Suck It, Winter.

Top: Target | Cardigan: Old Navy | Pants: Daisy Fuentes | Shoes: Sanita | Scarf: Gift

Winter weather can suck it.  Last week (when I wore this outfit), we had a two-hour delay due to -40 degree windchills one day, followed by a one-hour early release due to a blizzard.  The winds from the blizzard blew the snow into huge drifts all over our town, which resulted in me getting super stuck in a drift for a very, very long time on Friday morning.  Gross.  Why do I live here again?!

Despite needing to dress in layers for the extreme cold, I always strive to add some flair to my outfits so that I don't just look like a super bundled-up, miserably cold person, haha.  I really liked wearing this outfit - the long-sleeved shirt + cardigan kept my torso warm, and this awesome gray knit infinity scarf kept my neck toasty as well. [Is it just me, or do you find your body temperature much more toasty when you're wearing a scarf?  They're the best thing about winter!!]



Sweatshirt: Old Navy | Pants: Simply Vera | Boots: Fergalicious | Necklace: Forever 21

Now that Kevin has been helping me take pictures for my blog, Pippin keeps thinking that she needs to come outside with us as well.  Usually, she'll dink around the yard when we take photos, but this day, she wanted to stay close to here you have a super derpy picture of me with my dog rubbing against my legs like a cat.

You can't really tell from the photos here, but my pants are gray.  Therefore, I'm wearing almost an entirely gray outfit...a groutfit.  One of my best friends (since we were babies!!), Andria, and I used to hang out on Thursday nights last school year while I stayed at my mom and dad's house for my internship.  We usually would just hang out at one of our houses (okay, our parent's houses, as she was living at home at the time and I was staying at my mom and dad's) and watch TV or play games or chat, but we never felt the need to dress up for each other.  Andria came over one night wearing gray sweatpants and a gray sweatshirt with gray fuzzy socks, and said, "This is my groutfit, and it's the most comfortable thing ever."  And ever since, whenever I see or wear a primarily gray outfit, all I can think of is the word "groutfit."


Pink + Black + A Weekend Recap

Dress / Cardigan: Old Navy | Leggings / Boots: Target | Scarf: Gift

What a weekend!  I wound up working three shifts at my second job, which made the weekend as a whole just blow by.  I was able to get some reading, cleaning, and baking done, however, as well as watch another half of a season of Parenthood.  I can't stop, y''s a problem!  I just really love this show, haha!  One thing I didn't do a lot of?  Sitting on my computer, which means I'm still behind on commenting on blogs.  Oh well, I'll get caught up someday, right??

I completely adore today's outfit, by the way.  I wore it last Monday (I'm about a week behind on posting outfits, by the way...) for my first day back to school after winter break.  I love black and pink together, and when I got this dress, I immediately thought about pairing it with my black + pink patterned leggings.  For an additional layer of warmth, I wrapped this incredibly warm and cozy scarf (made by my coworker and given to me for Christmas) around my neck.  I just really like how everything in this outfit ties together - so cozy and comfortable!!  [I'm also really loving how long my hair looks here - grow, hair, grow!!]


January | Monthly Goals

My blogging friend Nicole has been setting 5 monthly goals for herself for three years now, and tracking it all on her blog.  I've been quite interested in doing the same thing on my blog as well, a) because I looove setting and working towards goals, and b) because I have a sweet 30 before 30 bucket list that I'm trying to continuously make improvements towards.  I'll probably wind up posting my monthly goals here, and doing a recap of them the next month when I post the new goals (so yes, just like Nicole does it...).

1. Do something active at least 2x each week | My weight loss has plateaued over the past several weeks (darn you, holidays!), and a lot of it is because I've been spending a lot of time watching Netflix (and eating chocolate chips).  I want to move my body more.  I don't want to state any specific activities or duration of said activities, because I really need baby steps in order to make lasting changes, but I just want to start getting into the habit of moving my body more.  For instance, I had a solo dance party after work yesterday as I listened to the Guys and Dolls was so much fun to just rock out, still in my work clothes, with my dogs just staring at me from bed.  [My life is really exciting, right?]
2. Finish reading Wallbanger | My coworker spent her winter break in Arizona, and most of her days were next to the pool with a book in her hand (jealous).  She read Wallbanger, by Alice Clayton, and said it was hilarious!  The next day, she brought it into my office and told me to enjoy it.  I started reading it two days ago, and my coworker was right - this book is funny!  It's also pretty don't judge me, haha.  But seriously, it feels so good to be reading a book I'm actually excited about again after a long period of reading nothing (which bummed me out since I read a ton over the summer!).
3. Put thank you notes in the mail | I'm the worst at getting things in the mail.  Like, I've had thank you notes for my birthday and the holidays written for a couple of weeks now, and I just haven't sent them out.  Talk about embarrassing, right?!  I need to run to the post office and pick up some more stamps and get them in the mail!!
4. Have a game night with a friend/friends | Because I picked up another part-time job and am judging the speech team at my high school (which takes up many of my Saturdays from now until March), life's about to get super busy for me.  I tend to get into the habit of staying in and cooped up this time of year, and with my upcoming busy schedule, I need to socialize with friends more.  I've become better friends with some of my coworkers lately, and I'd like to invite some of them over for a fun, casual game night.  Kevin's going to be out of town at the end of January, so it might be a great time to have a girl's night :)
5. Take a day off work | Again, with this crazy schedule I've got coming up, I'll be working 6-7 days a week pretty soon.  I'd love to take a random day off from my school counseling job and spend it with my cousin and her new son, Nolan, who was born in mid-November.  I think snuggling with a sweet little baby and spending good quality time with my dear cousin sounds like the greatest day off ever!

I can't wait to tackle these goals!  Are any of you working on anything specific for the month of January?


Nerdy Games + Home Videos

 Shirt / Cardigan: Old Navy | Jeans: Lauren Conrad | Boots: Fergalicious | Scarf: Gift from a friend

I wore this outfit on Saturday, after I worked a 4-hour shift at my part-time job.  I believe I've mentioned before that Kevin is a pretty nerdy guy.  Like, as in, his favorite hobby is playing Warhammer and painting all the little miniatures.  [Let's be real, though - I'm super nerdy in my own way as well.]  I also believe I have mentioned that Kevin is the oldest of four boys, ranging in age from 27 to 20.  Because his youngest brother is in college out-of-state, Kevin is in grad school, and his other brothers are juggling other adult responsibilities (full-time jobs, part-time school, marriage/relationships, etc.) it's not too often that all four brothers are together.  We did have a little bit of time together over the holidays, but because we were at all kinds of extended family gatherings, there was little time for everyone to just hang out and enjoy each other's company...something that all four boys (and Kevin's parents, and me, and my sister-in-law) really enjoy.

Kevin's two youngest brothers recently got back into playing Magic: The Gathering (which Kevin also plays), so we decided to head up to his parents' house on Saturday after my shift to hang out with all the brothers (aka play Magic) before his youngest brother went back to college the next day.  Now, I gave Magic a try a couple of years ago, and didn't really like it (I also happened to smoke Kevin on my very first game and decided to just end my Magic career on a high note), so I wasn't playing with the brothers.  Instead, I sat at the table with the brothers and entertained them with all of my weird side comments and impromptu song-and-dance performances (seriously, making people laugh is my favorite thing ever, and all three of Kevin's brothers think I'm pretty funny).  Kevin's parents were out for much of the evening, but when they were home, we all played Pandemic together, and then his parents showed me and my sister-in-law home videos of the boys when they were little.  Cutest. Thing. Ever.  Does anyone else out there love watching home videos (either of yourself or of your significant other or close friends)?  I love seeing what people were like when they were little kids!!

 Pippin, one of my dogs, came out to take photos with us, and she was scratching in the snow off to my side.  This face + hand gesture combo says, "Pippin, WTF mate?"



It's time for another installment of the Currently linkup with Anne and Jenna!

Planning | Last January, I went out to visit my best friend Casey, who lives in Charlotte, NC.  Now that I've started my little part-time job for some extra cash, I'm finally able to visit her again!  I'm planning a trip for over my spring break to visit Casey, her husband Chris, and their 3-month-old son Lennon.  I cannot wait to snuggle that baby after seeing pictures and videos of him over the past three months!

Hoping | Kevin has started to apply for some full-time positions (he graduates with his Master's degree in May and wants to get a jump start on the job search process), and I am crossing my fingers that he finds the perfect job for him soon!  It will be so great when we both are working full-time!

Baking | I haven't been doing a ton of baking lately (too many baked goods over the holidays!), but Kevin has been making scones for us over the past couple of months.  He found a great recipe that we've been using as a base, but tailoring to try out different flavor combinations.  So far, we've really liked the apple cinnamon, blueberry, and raspberry white chocolate varieties!

Wearing | I'm not quite a week into my capsule wardrobe yet, but I'm already really enjoying wearing my capsule outfits!  I feel so much better about the pieces I chose this time around than during my first capsule, and I'm really eager to jazz up my outfits with the new accessories I got for my birthday and Christmas.

Resolving | I'm not much of a New Year's Resolution kind-of-girl...but I guess you could say that I'm resolving to make progress on my bucket list this year.  I've already started to pull out my old Spanish books to relearn the language, and I just started reading a new book to make progress on my want to read 12 books a year.

How about you all?  What are you currently planning, hoping, baking, wearing, and resolving?


Sometimes I don't get dressed until the afternoon...

Tunic: From my mom | Leggings / Scarf: Old Navy | Boots: Fergalicious

I'm not even going to really talk about this outfit today, because it's yet another tunic + leggings + boots + scarf outfit, and I've talked about this combo to death.  All I'll say is that it was the perfect outfit for a lazy, winter break day.  The day I wore this outfit, Kevin and I stayed in bed until about 12:00, just chatting and enjoying each other's company.  We decided to take a walk in the woods near our house (we just discovered a beautiful trail there, complete with a river and plenty of fresh deer tracks) that afternoon, so by the time we got back home and showered, it was around 3:00.  The rest of the day was spent watching copious amounts of Parenthood on Netflix.  I love this show, and I can't believe I haven't been watching it all along!  I want to catch up to the current (and last!) season so that I can finish it without having to hear spoilers about the end of the series.

And yet again, Kevin has been taking my photos, so we always wind up with some weird ones:
This face is disturbing.

I look like have a broken leg and arm/hand/finger...

I hope you all are having a wonderful week so far!  Thank you for reading :)


New: Year, Capsule, Scarf, Photographer, Side Job

Dress / Leggings: Old Navy | Boots / Belt: Target | Scarf: Birthday gift

Woo!  My first outfit of my winter capsule!  I feel like I started the capsule experience strong with this outfit.  I love this dress because it's great on its own, but if you add some colorful accessories, it looks even better!  I received this gorgeous scarf from one of my coworkers for my birthday, and I absolutely love it.  The colors are stunning and fit so nicely into my closet (black, tan, maroon, rust, purple), and I've been wanting some cozier, winter-appropriate scarves for awhile now (most of the scarves I currently have are lighter and flowier, and thus much more appropriate for spring and summer).

The belt was a last-minute addition to my outfit.  I started an additional part-time job at a clothing store over my winter break to give us some extra "fun money," and we have to wear a headset.  I was going to wear this outfit sans belt, but realized I had nothing to clip my headset to, so that's where the belt came into play.  In addition to being functional, I loved how the belt tied the maroon from my leggings and scarf together.

I mentioned in my last post that I was having trouble taking photos in our entryway due to the absence of sunshine, so I asked Kevin to take my photos for me this day.  As usual, when he takes my photos, I get goofy in front of the camera, which, coupled with the wind, made for some funny bloopers:
 All I can think of when I see this face is the 40-Year-Old Virgin movie poster.
 This is so awkward, I can't stand it, haha!  I look like I'm trying to pass off a fart as dainty.
I talk with my hands a ton...I also have crazy hair.
Last time I wore this dress, many of you requested a detail shot of the fabric on my dress.  I attempted to get a good picture of it this time, but with the dark fabric, it was kind of hard to do.  You can sort of see up by my shoulder the jacquard pattern, though...right?


The Last of 2014

Tunic: J. Jill | Leggings: Old Navy | Boots: Guess | Scarf: Gift

Happy 2015, friends!  I hope you all had a safe, happy New Year's Eve, and that the beginning of your new year has been good so far (you know, all two days of it...).  Kevin and I spent the evening watching That 70s Show (can't stop won't stop watching it).  We're not really party animals at all, and we don't really have any friends in the town we live in (it's fine...), so we decided to take it easy as we rang in the new year.  Did any of you do anything fun and exciting for NYE?

Before I begin showing my winter capsule outfits on the blog, I have one last outfit from 2014 that I wanted to post.  Surprise, surprise - another tunic + leggings + boots + scarf outfit!  I can't help it that I love this formula so much, haha.  It just works for me.  I'm trying to branch out in my winter capsule outfits, however, which is why I only included one tunic in my items.  This outfit was a nice, sunny option for the cold, dreary weather we have been having in Minnesota over the past month or so.

I still feel like I need to come up with a much better way to photograph my outfits and get blogging again.  I've been in a weird blogging funk for several months - like, it comes and goes in waves.  I think having a geriatric computer (it's 6+ years old) certainly doesn't help, as it's incredibly slow and crashes all the time.  I still love blogging, but it gets really hard to do on my crappy old computer, haha.  Plus, with the lack of sunshine lately, I haven't had great lighting in our entryway to take my pictures.  I may be recruiting Kevin to take a few outfits photos for me in the coming months (at least until I can start taking my own outdoors again in the mornings as the days get longer...), but who knows.  Please bear with me as I (still) figure out the best way to photograph my outfits!