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My Friday morning.

I’m off today for Veterans Day, and my Friday morning looks like this:

Good coffee in my cute new mug, my NaNoWriMo project in front of me. I’m nearly 15,000 words in, a little behind schedule, but I think I’ll get caught up today. This afternoon, I’m driving to see my best friend for a much-needed girls’ weekend. It’s a good day.

Do you get a long weekend, too? What are your plans?

(Full disclosure: my plans also include sending Leonardo DiCaprio happy birthday messages telepathically, which I’m pretty sure I’ve done every November 11th for the past thirteen years.)

Happy Veterans Day, and happy Friday!


Dress Your Best #1

I am participating in Dress Your Best 2011! I love the body-positive message this challenge sends, and I hope that by highlighting some of my favorite things about myself, I can boost my confidence a bit.

First up on my list is a feature that I have a dramatic relationship with: my hair. It’s been all shades of blonde, all shades of brown, and a few shades of red throughout the years. It’s been short, long, straight, curly, wavy, fringed, and fringeless. I joke that I have no trouble committing to a man, but can never commit to a hairstyle for long.  A few of my previous styles:

I’ve recently decided to ditch shampoo, in the hopes that I can rock my natural curls/waves more often, and that my hair will bounce back from some of the damage I’ve done to it with chemicals and heat. I’m also trying to grow it out. I’m still transitioning, but I have to say that I’m coming out of a long period of feeling  not so hot about my hair to feeling like it looks pretty good. Today, I dressed to highlight my locks.

All of the fiddling I’ve done with my hair for the past several years has resulted in my realizing that I feel the most “me” when I have longer, dark blonde, wavy locks. As weird as it may sound, I think a lot of my hair experiments have been the result of feeling less-than-good about myself, particularly my weight. I can’t drop 20 pounds instantly, but I can buy a box of hair color, or head to the salon, or hack into my own bangs and have a new look in 30 minutes. A part of me really loves being fearless with my hair – people are often shocked by how willing I am to change it. Another part of me, though, is ready to stop running from my insecurities and settle into a comfortable style for a bit.

I’m pretty close to my natural color at this point, with some highlights. I’ve always found that blue seems to work best with my natural coloring, and I felt bright and fresh today. I did not get any full-body pictures of this outfit, which I wore to Daniel’s ten-year class reunion (!), but just picture a denim skirt and cute sandals. It was perfect for the low-key festivities.

So what about you? Do you change your hair with your emotions, like me, or have you stuck with what works for you?

God has blessed me with amazing friends.


In my last few posts, I’ve mentioned vaguely that life is crazy and topsy-turvy lately. That’s part of the reason I went from posting on a pretty regular basis in the winter to barely posting at all recently. I just haven’t felt like I could talk about it, but now, I’m ready to share.

I mentioned a while back that my husband Daniel was losing his job. For the past two years, we have worked in our home community, Daniel as a teacher and me as a school counselor. This year, some budget cuts happened, and our school lost the math teacher with the least credentials: Daniel. (Backstory – Daniel has been working on permit these last two years because although he has a master’s and some PhD work in math, he does not have an education degree. If he tried to get another teaching job, he would always lose out over someone certified in education, and though he used to think he wanted to teach, the past couple of years have resulted in him becoming pretty jaded about it.) The past few months have been spent figuring out what our next move would be come June, when school ended. The idea of law school has been rolling around in Daniel’s head for several years now, so when his position was cut, he applied and got accepted. We found out last week that he has been awarded a FULL SCHOLARSHIP, which is way beyond amazing and just a tremendous blessing, since we will be a one-income household for the next few years.

While all of this stuff was happening with Daniel, I was becoming increasingly stressed out and unhappy with my job. For the past two years, I have been the only counselor in a school of nearly 500 students, and it’s been overwhelming, to say the least. I started looking for other opportunities, and I found a job that will give me two other counselors to work with and a smaller student-to-counselor ratio. This job seems completely ideal. The only problem? It’s the opposite direction of where Daniel’s going.

Beginning in August, Daniel and I will be living in different places and staying with relatives. The community we currently live in, where our parents and much of our family lives, will be middle ground, and we will meet up here on the weekends. We will still attend our current church. This plan will allow us to save money, since neither of us will be paying rent or utilities. (Don’t get me wrong; we will help the people we’re staying with, but it won’t be nearly as much as we’re paying now.) The long-term plan is to be able to save enough money to buy a house when Daniel is finished with school.

This whole situation is bittersweet. I know we’ll both be happier with our work/school situations, we’ll have none of the stress of keeping house (which doesn’t get done well when we’re as stressed as we’ve been), and we should still be able to see a lot of one another. I know we will be fine at a long-distance relationship. We are tremendously blessed to have people in our lives who care about us enough to let us stay with them. But obviously, the downside is that we won’t live together, we won’t have a home together, and we have to delay our plans to start a family for a while.

I started this blog when we both got our jobs and moved back to our home community. My vision was to document my style evolution, and also to chronicle my life as a young wife with her first real job and the desire to make a cozy home. Well, the home-making part will be put on hold for a while, but I’m still excited about the opportunities that lay before me, and before us as a couple.

Life is crazy. Life is good. God is good.

House Tour, Part One

Daniel and I moved across the county back in October. If you read before my hiatus, you’ve probably noticed that all of my backgrounds for my outfit posts are different now. I love our little house, and I’d like to show it to you, a piece at a time. (You know, because that’s all I can keep clean at once. Not the best housekeeper, this girl.)

First up is the master bedroom!

It needs some more work (like some art on the walls!), but it’s cozy, and I have my clothes and accessories organized in a way that makes sense to me and helps me plan my outfits. Hope you enjoyed this peek into our home!

I think…I think…I think…I’m back.

I am jumping right back in from my self-imposed hiatus by joining Kendi Everyday’s 30 for 30 Remix.  I’ve been wanting to do it for a while now, but this time I finally signed up.  I’m a little scared.  Wish me luck!

I’ll be deciding which pieces to include in my 30 over the next couple of days (which means I’ll probably be doing lots of laundry).  When I’ve got everything picked out, I’ll show you!


Ode to My Navy Blazer

A few weeks ago, I woke up on a Saturday morning and decided I just could no longer handle the piles of laundry (dirty, and clean just needing to be put away) and the fact that half of our clothes were still in boxes from our move.  I love organization, and when I see photos of other girls’ perfectly coordinated closets, I drool, but I am SO NOT THAT GIRL.  My house is messy 98% of the time.  I’m trying to get better about cleaning and organization, but I really struggle with those things.    I have days when I just can’t take the mess anymore, and I somewhat violently clean whatever needs cleaning.  That’s what happened on this particular Saturday.  It became a day of separating clothes into piles (give away, throw away, and keep), doing an insane amount of laundry, and, most happily, rediscovering pieces I hadn’t seen in a while.

One of those rediscovered pieces is my navy blazer.  I’ve worn it at least once a week (and sometimes two or three times) since finding it in a box I hadn’t opened since August.  I’ve had this blazer pretty much my whole adult life, and I would probably consider it my first grown-up clothing purchase.  I bought it the first semester of my freshman year of college.  I remember that blazers were becoming popular, and I spotted this one at Rue 21 and debated its merits, before deciding to purchase (despite my limited finances) because I felt like it could work in basically any situation.  And it has.  It’s a neutral color, it has a flattering cut, and it works whether or I’m dressed up or dressed down.  It’s also one of those magical pieces of clothing that seems to fit no matter what size I am.  Of course, it looks better on me when I’m thin, but it’s never said “No!  You can’t wear me because your arms are too fat!”  It’s accepting of me no matter my size, and I love it for that.

I tried to find some pictures of me wearing the blazer in years past, but I don’t seem to have any.  Here’s how I’ve worn it in the past week, though.

This was for a date night (to go see the movie Date Night!) last Friday.  Also pictured is another old stand-by, my striped t-shirt from Old Navy circa 2006.

Yep, you saw this look in my last post, but here’s another view.

This was my work outfit on Thursday.  (Ugh, my skirt looks super wrinkled.  It did not look like that to me in real life.)  I love navy with yellow, and I love yellow with grey, and I love pink with all of the above, hence this outfit.  (Alas, despite the awesome colors, the fit of this ensemble is off.  The top is a bit too tight (boo!) and the skirt is a bit too big (yay!).)

I also wore this blazer shopping yesterday with a lavender tank, khaki shorts, and gold sandals.  No pictures, because I am getting lazy about taking pictures of my casual ensembles.  I’ve got to get better about that!

As you can tell, I love this blazer.  Not because it is so awesomely special, but because it’s nice to have never-fail basics that you feel comfortable wearing in any situation.

(On a side note, I am having a lot of trouble getting good pictures.  I use my Nikon Coolpix L20, which I got at Christmas, and I know it’s a pretty good camera, so the problem lies with the skills of the user.  I know next to nothing about photography, but I want to improve.  If anyone has any tips, I’d be glad to hear them!)

Checking In

No exciting pictures today, and sadly, it’s not because I went to exercise class.  No, I skipped the class and the pictures because I am just wiped out. Daniel and I got home from work, cuddled up, and slept for THREE HOURS.  I think it’s the combination of the cold I’ve been fighting all week and the time change.  In case you’re wondering, my outfit today consisted of a long, belted cardigan with black dresspants and very few accessories.  It was pretty, but mainly chosen for comfort and warmth.

Stay tuned!  I hope to be back tomorrow with something a bit more fabulous. 🙂