California Adventures

I love California. I can say it definitively now although I always had a hunch I would enjoy it and I’ve technically only seen a small part of it. But still.

I was lucky enough to travel to Bakersfield with my grandma to visit my parents. It’s the first time I’ve seen them both since July, which is the longest I’ve ever gone without visiting with them. I’ve missed them a lot, so this was a treat.

It may have only been a four-day trip, but we made the absolute most of it, thanks to my parents being the best tour guides. In all, we traveled more than 1,500 miles, and we…

  • Traveled to Redondo Beach, where I got to put my toes in the sand and wade into the Pacific Ocean for the first time
  • Visited Griffith Observatory at night, where I saw the Hollywood sign, took in the views of LA at night, and got to see a breathtaking view of the moon (the GODDAMN moon, guys!)
  • Hiked around Lake Ming. It’s located in my parents’ town and is a beautiful place where my dad takes two of their dogs, Reilly and Lexy, to burn off some of their energy. So, we took two trips and it was just my dad and his three girls: me, Reilly, and Lexy!
  • Saw peacocks at Hart Park in Bakersfield. How is it possible that peacocks just hang out in the park? There were also dozens of kitties who were friends with the peacocks, which was extra cute.
  • Went shopping at Ross. My mom is the best because she fully understands and appreciates my obsession with Ross, which we don’t have on the East Coast. So, she took us shopping and I got plenty of new things that I can’t wait to wear and post about!
  • Ate delicious food. We tried Creamistry (where they make ice cream with liquid nitrogen); Blaze Pizza (where you can order delicious personalized pizzas); and In N Out (a staple that I’d been dying to try for years); and some Krispy Kreme; but nothing compared to my mom and dad’s home cooking!
  • Traveled to Las Vegas to see the Backstreet Boys. What an amazing concert! I’ve loved the Backstreet Boys since I was a kid and I hope I do forever. To me, there is nothing like being in the audience, singing along to my favorite songs, dancing with girls like me who grew up on their music. Where else can I show off the fact that I still remember the choreography from “Everybody”? I had so much fun and I loved going with my grandma and my mom like when I was younger. I think they enjoyed themselves, too, especially my grandma, who was excited to see her love, Brian. (Shout out to my dad for doing that eight-hour drive to Vegas and not even attending the show.)
  • Took my parents’ RV—with all four dogs—up to Port San Luis Boat Yard and Avila Beach. It was chilly, but so much fun. We saw seals and sea otters (real ones! in nature!) and visited with my mom’s cousin, Debbie, and her husband, who drove out to see us. The girls (Reilly and Lexy) got to play on the beach with other dogs, and the humans got to enjoy some delicious smoked chicken made by my dad and some incredible rice made by my mom.
  • Drove up to Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery near Hearst Castle. It was amazing to see those seals up close and in their natural habitat. They were so cute! The drive up there was magnificent, too. We traveled through wine country and experienced views I couldn’t even dream up. It was the perfect way to end our trip.

Can’t wait to go back in May with my husband and do it all again!

xo.

 

Outfits of February 2017

I’m convinced that February is the worst month of the year.

But this February had some good parts: a wonderful Galentine’s Day celebration with friends; a perfect Valentine’s Day with my husband; a few adventures (to breweries, museums, restaurants); lots of shopping (some might argue too much…); and some unseasonably beautiful weather (thanks, climate change!).

Here’s what I wore.

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(Clearly still working on that not-blurry picture thing.)

Outfit details

  • Dress: Forever 21
  • Scarf: A shop in Barcelona
  • Leggings: LulaRoe
  • Shoes: Payless

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Outfit details

  • Shirt: Out of Print Clothing
  • Blazer: Target
  • Leggings: LulaRoe
  • Boots: DSW

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Outfit details

  • Dress: LulaRoe
  • Tights: We Love Colors
  • Boots: Payless

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Outfit details

  • Sweater: Marshall’s
  • Leggings: LulaRoe
  • Scarf: Newbury Comics
  • Boots: DSW

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Outfit details

  • Dress: Aphratti Company via Amazon
  • Tights: WeLoveColors
  • Boots: Payless

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This was my favorite outfit of the month. I’d been saving it for literal weeks until I could wear it without tights and the first 60-degree day of the year.

Outfit details

  • Shirt: Marshall’s
  • Dress: LulaRoe (my first Carly!)
  • Shoes: Marshall’s

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Outfit details

  • Top: Target
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Shoes: Payless

Here’s to SPRING and wearing dresses without tights/leggings!

xo.

Outfits of January 2017

Y’all, it’s been a month. This is me doing my best to keep living a good life despite being overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, and (quite frankly) scared at the America we’re living in right now.

But I digress.

In January, I read some books, saw some movies, shopped a lot, ate some delicious food, celebrated some friends at a baby shower, got back into cooking. I also set up a place to take better outfit photos. However, I haven’t used it yet because it’s in my sunroom and it’s cold in there. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This month, I also got into (and quickly became addicted to) LulaRoe. Like I needed another reason to spend money. But check out my first pair of leggings at the end of this post!

Here’s what I wore this month.

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Outfit details

  • Shirt: Target
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Scarf: Newbury Comics
  • Boots: DSW

A closer look at the scarf.

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Outfit details

  • Dress: Old Navy
  • Tights: We Love Colors
  • Boots: Payless

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Outfit details

  • Shirt: Marshall’s
  • Pants: Marshall’s
  • Shoes: Payless

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Outfit details

  • Dress: 25 Central (my new favorite store, located in Northampton, Mass.)
  • Leggings: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW

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Outfit details

  • Dress: Target
  • Tights: We Love Colors
  • Boots: Payless

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HOW CUTE IS THIS DRESS?! It’s an owl pattern and it has pockets!

Outfit details

  • Dress: 25 Central
  • Leggings: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW

Here’s a close-up of the pattern.

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Outfit details

  • Dress: Amazon.com (so cute I got it in two colors)
  • Tights: We Love Colors
  • Boots: Payless

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Outfit details

  • Sweater: Old Navy
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Shoes: DSW

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Outfit details

  • Dress: Fashion to Figure
  • Tights: We Love Colors (I have at least five pairs off these black tights)
  • Boots: Payless

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Outfit details

  • Shirt: Cracker Barrel (not joking)
  • Leggings: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW

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And here are my new LulaRoe leggings! They’re lipstick print and I love them.

Outfit details

  • Shirt: Old Navy
  • Leggings: LulaRoe (!!!)
  • Slippers: Payless

Here’s a close-up!

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And here’s a sassy selfie of me, just because.

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Hope you’re being kind to yourself in 2017. And dressing cute, too.

xo.

Farewell, 2016; Hello, 2017

The world has dubbed 2016 difficult and I can’t disagree—Brexit, Donald Trump, celebrities I admire passing away. Personally, however, 2016 was a pretty good year. My husband and I tried to make the most of every moment in 2016.

Here’s some stuff I did.

In 2017, I hope to exercise more, travel a little, and live in moments of anticipation. A coworker said that she does her best to try to make the anticipation leading up to something she’s excited about last because the things we look forward to are over so soon. I loved that thought and, in 2017, I’ll try to live it.

To 2017!

xo.

Outfits of December

Sadly, I didn’t take many outfit photos throughout December. After a rough few weeks at work, I wasn’t up to dressing very cute and opted instead for dressing simply. In the new year, hopefully that changes! Here are a few things I did wear.

What I wore while in New York City…

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This has quickly become one of my staple outfits. It’s simple but cute and very easy to wear.

While in New York, my grandma, husband, and cousin had a traditional tourist day, spending time in Times Square, stopping by the Disney and Hershey stores, and visiting Rockefeller Center to see the tree.

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What I wore while having drinks with friends…

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I wore this outfit not once but twice to meet up with friends and drink.

From event one:

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And event two:

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Aren’t we cute? I love these ladies!

I also wore my Forever 21 red wrap dress to meet up with my bestie, Steph, but I forgot to snap a photo. 😦 Here we are being adorable with Santa, though.

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What I wore to my office holiday party…

img_4833I’m living for these news booties I got from Payless as well as this gorgeous sweater dress my grandma surprised me with!

Outfit details

  • Dress: Old Navy
  • Tights: We Love Colors
  • Booties: Payless

What I wore to celebrate Christmas…

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It’s my first-ever ugly sweater!

Outfit details

  • Ugly sweater: Walmart
  • Leggings: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW

In case you were wondering what my Christmas tree looked like this year.

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And, my incredible gifts from my incredible husband. (Not pictured: a trip to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, coming in spring, and a bracelet!)

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HOW AMAZING IS THAT GILMORE GIRLS SHIRT?

What I wore while admiring art at the Clark Institute…

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Outfit details

  • T-shirt: Urban Tee Farm
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW

Hope your December was fab and fashionable.

xo.

Things I Bought That I Love: Winky Lux Flower Balm

Sometimes I just like to treat myself to something pretty. The Winky Lux Flower Balm is exactly that—a lovely lipstick that’s also fun.

It’s coconut scented (which is one of my favorites), and the clear balm reacts with your skin’s pH levels “uniquely creating the perfect shade of pink lips just for you,”, according to the website. If that’s not enough, there’s also a flower (chrysanthemum) in each.

The packaging is fun and I love that the lipstick looks like a pill. The $12 lipstick comes in pink, green, and yellow; I opted for pink.

Get yours here.

xo.

Things I Bought That I Love: Lillian Crystal Necklace

For a little more than a year now, I’ve been following Yasi, the fashion blogger Hello Gorgeous on Instagram. She’s definitely been a style inspiration to me and I’ve always been especially obsessed with her necklaces.

Recently, Yasi announced the opening of her store, Hello Gorgeous Boutique—which sells the iconic necklaces she wears!

I snatched up the Lillian Crystal Necklace, available for $28, from Hello Gorgeous Boutique. Get yours here.

xo.

Outfits of November

November was a trying month. It started with the election of Donald Trump, which I am still stunned by, and it ended with some messy, difficult work stuff that really impacted my morale.

But there were some bright spots: a friend who made me a gift to cheer me up; a fun Thanksgiving featuring Cards Against Humanity; the return of “Gilmore Girls”; good friends and coworkers and family; a perfect dog and husband; an invitation back to my alma mater to speak to a class about journalism; the Christmas season.

Here’s what I wore (clearly jeans + boots were my thang).

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Outfit details

  • Dandelion Shirt: Marshall’s
  • Pants: Marshall’s
  • Shoes: Payless

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Outfit details

  • Dress: Target
  • Necklace: Hello Gorgeous Boutique (post coming soon with further details!)
  • Cardigan: Old Navy
  • Tights: We Love Colors
  • Boots: Payless

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Outfit details

  • Shirt: Old Navy
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Tank: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW

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Outfit details

  • Cardigan: Old Navy
  • Polka dot tank: Target
  • Tank: Old Navy
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW

scarf

Outfit details

  • Black shirt: Target
  • Scarf: Unknown shop in Rome, Italy
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW


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Outfit details

  • Tan shirt: Amazon
  • Tank: Old Navy
  • Jeans: Marshall’s
  • Shoes: Payless

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Outfit details

  • Sweater: Old Navy
  • Jeans: Marshall’s
  • Boots: DSW

Things I Did

xo.

 

Friday Favorites: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

It’s been a while since I did a Friday Favorites—but I need to talk about one of my all-time favorites, “Gilmore Girls.” The revival just came out today and I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS.

Spoilers ahead!

Things I Loved

  • Lorelai and Luke finally (!) get (!) married (!). Teenage me is squealing. Almost-thirty me is also squealing.
  • That “it’s-always-been-you” moment between Luke and Lorelai. Because to Luke, Lorelai is the only person who’s ever mattered.
  • Lorelai’s favorite Richard moment. It was a good story. I’m glad she shared it with her mother.
  • Rory’s struggling career. When the original show aired, I related to Rory so much—a not-so-popular bookworm who yearned to be a journalist. I loved seeing someone I connected with on television. I loved seeing her chase after her dreams. In the revival, though, I liked seeing her struggle a little. She accomplished a lot, yet still felt she hadn’t accomplished enough. I liked seeing that. It’s hard out there. I liked that it was hard for her, too. I liked that she was flailing, insecure, and unsure of herself. I like that her life wasn’t what she had imagined. I liked that she felt she deserved better—because I get it.
  • The wedding. I wish we’d gotten to see the full thing (more on that below), but what we got was beautiful and perfect and made me real emotional. It was so incredible finally seeing two characters I’ve rooted for for years finally get their happily-ever-after.
  • Emily. Her grief was so palpable. Watching her go through the stages of grief felt natural. I keep thinking back to that scene where Richard’s in the hospital and Emily demands that he let her die first. It makes sense that, after 50 years of marriage, she would be devastated by his loss and that devastation would manifest itself in a multitude of ways—trying to purge, trying to start over, lashing out at people she cares about, starting fresh. She has to learn to live again, on her own. I enjoyed her arc (and that larger-than-life painting of Richard).
  • Richard. The entire storyline revolving around the loss of Richard was emotional and handled so well. I loved when Rory kissed Richard’s portrait with her hand and said hello. I loved the references to him and his drink carts. I thought the show honored Richard well.
  • The flashbacks. I thought they might be a little heavy-handed, but I loved the way they wove some of the older scenes into the show. I was touched when Rory returned to her grandparents’ empty home and could see them sitting at the table, and a scene later, watching him typing at his desk in the study. Talk about a punch in the gut.
  • Paris. I’ve always loved Paris (as infuriating as she could be at times) and I loved seeing her on my screen again. I only wish there had been more.
  • Emily yelling “BULLSHIT.” In the middle of a DAR meeting. And then quitting the DAR. And moving to Nantucket. And becoming a museum docent. And learning to be on her own.
  • The confirmation that Christopher is a terrible father. I already knew that, but I’m glad everyone else knows it, too.
  • Lane has a dad!
  • Hep Alien. Still doing their thing forever, please.
  • Lane and Zach performing at a secret bar. And THE SECRET BAR.
  • Townie stuff. I always love townie hijinx, so I enjoyed the town meetings, the town square festivals, and the Kirk endeavors (especially the movie and the Ooober).
  • A return to comfort. I’ve described this show to others as being like wearing a warm blanket. The revival was no different. And, after a not-so-great few weeks, I was grateful for the return to Stars Hollow.

Things I Didn’t Love

  • Not seeing the full wedding. Logistically, I get why they couldn’t film it. But after all these years, I think we deserved both weddings: the elopement and the full, big wedding, with all of the incredible townies we’ve grown to love. I at least wanted Sookie there for the elopement. And Jess. I also wanted to see Lorelai’s wedding dress and I wanted the satisfaction of seeing Emily see Lorelai get married.
  • Not enough Sookie. There’s never enough Sookie, and I couldn’t be more disappointed that Sookie was only in one scene. It was a nice scene, sure, but I found Sookie’s disappearance and new job a bit unbelievable. SOOKIE ST. JAMES, one of the greatest chefs of all time, LEAVES COOKING BEHIND? And her best friend? And her business? And her goddamn husband and her family (maybe, since they don’t really explain how that all works)? It doesn’t feel right.
  • Not enough Paris. Mostly because there’s never enough Paris. But I really wanted more to her story. I didn’t love her freakout over Tristan (who was RECAST and also who never graduated from Chilton so never should have been invited to an alumni event). I wish the freakout had merely been about the being-back-in-high-school-and-having-old-feelings-resurface because that I can understand. But Tristan wasn’t even that big of a deal outside of season one and early season two. I also wanted more from her storyline with Doyle. Like, is Doyle just going to be a douche pandering to Michael Bay forever?
  • Not enough on Lorelai and Emily’s relationship. Although we got a decent amount of screen time on it—through therapy and the fights at the house—I didn’t feel satiated. I liked the authenticity in the sense that tense mother/daughter relationships are not ever really “fixed.” However, one thing I loved about the season seven finale was the moment when Richard, Emily, and Lorelai are saying farewell at Rory’s graduation party. Lorelai says she wants to continue with the Friday night dinners, even sans Rory. It warmed my little heart. But, in the new series, all of that’s disappeared. I know it’s because season seven wasn’t part of ASP’s vision, but I liked the progress of Lorelai’s relationship with her parents. So, I’m a little disappointed that the series had to end with Lorelai asking for money—again. And that it leads to a visitation arrangement—again. I get that it was supposed to mirror the first episode, but given all that’s happened over the years, I didn’t love it.
  • Not enough of Lane and Mrs. Kim. I really wanted to know more about what she was up to. How did her kids grow up? Were she and Zach doing well? (It seemed like yes, but a bit more would have been nice.) I liked to imagine her eventually running the music shop. I don’t know. I wanted something. I also wanted to see Mrs. Kim with her grandkids. There weren’t nearly enough Lane and Mrs. Kim moments. Justice for Lane, guys.
  • Not enough Jess. I’m not even a huge Rory/Jess shipper, but JESUS CHRIST. He’s doing so well and he’s all cleaned up and he looks so good and he’s clearly still into Rory.
  • Logan’s existence. FUCK YOU, LOGAN.
  • The cheating. What the fuck, Rory? I mean, yeah, OK, Rory cheats; it’s kind of her thing. But she didn’t even feel a little bad. Love yourself, Rory!
  • The Life and Death Brigade. I am full of so much hate for how much of the episode this shit took up.
  • That MUSICAL. It was 7,000 minutes too long.
  • ASP’s personal feelings inserted wherever possible. We get it, ASP. You hate technology and social media and millennials and fat people. But you love hats. Horrible, ugly hats.
  • Not enough, period. Goddamnit, guys, four episodes was not enough.

Questions I Had

  • Where was the beloved introduction? I wanted to sing along to that Carole King theme song I’ve heard a zillion times.
  • Is Rory kind of a bad person?
  • Is Paris also pregnant? (She says she missed a period!)
  • Did we really need that Jack Smith storyline?
  • Did Sookie move out of Stars Hollow?
  • Why did Emily say to Lorelai that she’d see her the following Tuesday for therapy in the winter episode, but then we don’t see them in therapy until the spring episode when flowers have already bloomed?
  • Who wrote the letter?
  • How is it possible that ASP intended for Rory to end up pregnant at the conclusion of the original series? Pregnant at 21? What? Why? And, how dare you?
  • Those were the final four words? (I preferred my husband’s prediction, which was, “Let’s get some coffee.”)
  • Will we get a season two? Please say yes. Because I’ve never had enough “Gilmore Girls” in my life.

I just really love this show and I’m happy it came back.

xo.

Things I Bought That I Love: Luke’s Diner Pin

What better way to celebrate the return of “Gilmore Girls” than with a Luke’s diner pin?

Well, you could also celebrate it with a Luke’s diner mug (for your husband); a Dragonfly Inn mug (for yourself); some coffee and Pop Tarts; and a marathon of the show with friends. (Check, check, check, and check.)

But the pin is pretty great, too.

It comes from You Silly Duffer on Etsy and is currently on pre-order for $8. The packaging it comes in is cute and the pin is even cuter. Get yours here.

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