Monday, October 31, 2011

wear: halloween style.

i just realized it has been five years since i've dressed up for halloween! (i remember the last time i dressed up i was pregnant with piper!) i'm not sure why it's been so long; but this year i did double duty and had two different costumes, two nights in a row. friends of ours hosted a great party one night and the next night we were out & about downtown.

i didn't start thinking about costumes until about a week before which didn't leave a whole lot of time for creativity. i was trying to come up with some couple that mr.a & i could be together. my bright idea was rachel zoe and rodger, but mr.a didn't think anyone would get it. so, it was back to the drawing board until my friend ann suggested katy perry and russell brand! totally perfect. i have a minor ok, major crush on russel brand, so i was happy to play katy for one night.
we were trying to keep things cheap (it's amazing how expensive costumes can get), so i bought us a couple of cheap wigs and we were determined to make it work. i'm not sure we actually succeeded in representing them (we got asked, "who are you supposed to be?" a lot), but it's always fun to rock a different look. 

it was hard to find decent wigs without spending an arm & a leg. i just couldn't stand to spend more than $20 on something we would maybe wear a couple times. i went to three different halloween stores and finally just bought some. none of the stores let you actually open the package and certainly not try anything on, plus there are no returns or exchanges; so you kind of just have to bite the bullet. apparently i bit the wrong bullet because both our wigs were pretty awful. especially mr.a's. it was, honestly, kind of gross. we decided it was a bit more howard stern than russell brand, but we decided to just go with it. the rest of our "costumes" were just clothes we already had...
we did a little research and every picture we saw of russel brand he looked disheveled and slightly confused. mr.a already rocks the disheveled look on a regular basis, but he's rarely confused. (unless i start talking about something like how amazing the olsen twins are.) 
on the mr.
: alternative apparel
t-shirt: mine ha! from j.crew
jeans: gap
boots: vintage
wig: halloween express
beanie: old
sunglasses: borrowed from joseph  

as for me, i'm certainly no katie perry, but it was fun having black hair for the evening. i don't own any diamond-encrusted bustiers, so i did the best with what i had in my closet.
on me
jacket: forever 21
tank: back country
pants: gap
booties: aldo via plato's closet
necklace: diy
sunglasses: borrowed from sarah
wig: nobbies

the real mr. & mrs. brand:

my other costume was a bit more believable. just the other day someone had asked me who my favorite movie character is and penny lane from almost famous immediately came to mind.
that conversation paid off later when this outfit was thrown together, completely last minute, from my own closet.  unfortunately i don't have great pictures of it, but here's what i do have. penny lane meets nicki minaj:
i wore...
vest: bcbg, thrifted
top: vintage
tank: forever21
jeans: gap
tons of bangles: miscellaneous
ring: forever21
wedges: fossil
sunglasses: costume shop/diy
and here i am with waldo!
though, i think i may be channeling marykate a lil bit.

what did you wear this weekend?
i'm already thinking of ideas for next year!
(which i will surely forget by next week.)

happy halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

think. i don't know.

1. i'm tired.
2. a little grouchy.
3. and kind of stressed out.

thankfully, these feelings are all relative and have fairly simple solutions.

1: go to bed earlier.
2: get over it.
3: take a deep breath.

sorry it's been a little quiet 'round here. the past couple of weeks mr.a has been working 12-14 hour days. he leaves before i'm awake and returns when i'm a zombie (awake but basically worthless). luckily this won't continue for much longer, but it's made for some long days (obviously much longer for him than me) and today i'm a little (see above) grouchy. by the way: how did i go most of a year without him ever coming home from work? sheesh! i'm a wimp now.

but here are a couple pictures from one night he didn't work late. this was the night we went to look at the brownstones. we had a little family meeting at raccoon river to discuss the selling/buying/moving options. quinn was wearing this crazy hand-me-down furry vest that she calls her chihuahua. no lie. "where my chihuahua? i want to wear my chihuahua!" hilarious. 

this week has been crazy busy and i feel like we've accomplished nothing towards our goal of getting our house on the market. i'm overwhelmed by all the little things we need to do and i'm not sure where the extra time to do them will come from. can you just tell that friend of yours who wants a cute little starter home to come buy this biz? you know they want it.

on a completely different subject... how good was x-factor this week? i only watched maybe one of the audition shows, but that first live show was pretty awesome. i'm also loving that next great artist show.'s totally not called that. work of art? whatever, it's that art show on bravo. and i love it. a little sad rachel zoe is over for the year but, honestly, this season was a little uneventful. though i did develop an itsy bitsy crush on jeremiah and i totally cried when they had that barbecue. i'm disappointed 'cause i watched the first two episodes of the new girl and have since forgotten about it every week. (yeah, i'll be the last person in america to get dvr, but i'm always completely behind the technological times. my little sister just taught me how to make a playlist on itunes.) in other tv news: i'm watching the project runway finale right now!!! who do you think will win? i'm thinking maybe viktor? who knows... i wouldn't really call myself a big tv-watcher but this last paragraph seems to prove otherwise. :/

on friday night (or was it saturday? i think it was saturday) a friend of a friend rented out this great blues bar for his birthday. i'm not sure how one goes about renting an entire bar, but we were happy to celebrate with him! and, we got our picture taken for metromix. i'm not really sure what metromix is, but our faces were on the internets. #wefamous.

my mom always raves about carolyn's answers in the newspaper. she's a straight-shooter and always seems to give great advice. we don't get the paper anymore but i saw this floating around facebook and it's totally worth reading if you're a mom. or, if you're not a mom but have mom friends. (if it's not legible here, click the link for the full thing.)

and, this is what i wore today.

sweater: j.crew outlet
t-shirt: j.crew
leopard belt: target
jeans: joe's, thrifted
shoes: vintage
yes, i'm wearing that sweater again. but this is not an outfit post (technically).
i just wanted you to have a picture of the stressed, tired, kinda grouchy person telling you all this random stuff.
so this is how i look right now. as i type...

and now i should go to bed.

Monday, October 24, 2011

do: historic halloween.

on sunday mr.a's parents invited us to meet them at living history farms for their annual trick-or-treating event. i had never actually been to living history farms, but it's an "interactive outdoor museum" (as described on their website) that portrays life in historic iowa. sunday was just gorgeous. warm, but not hot. a slight breeze, but not windy. there were lots of people there, but it wasn't crowded. it was just a perfect afternoon.
we attempted a few family pictures...
and finally got one right.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


the weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend.
since our nice days are surely numbered, we spent most of our time outside; 
the back yard, the park, living history farms and even the zoo. it was wonderful!

scarf: anthropologie
top: j.crew
pants: gap
flats: dsw
sunglasses: fossil 
watch: la mer

Saturday, October 22, 2011

wear: rusted root.

i've been wearing these pants non-stop lately. when i bought them i was nervous they would be hard to pair with anything, but it seems they pair well with lots of things! so far i've worn them with my game-day shirt, this floral t-shirt and this color-blocked shirt. 
and i'm wearing them again as we speak. (errrr...type?)
anyway, they're likely due for a bath.
i suppose i'll have to figure out something else to wear tonight.

sweater: j.crew outlet, $20
flannel: j.crew outlet, $35
necklace: gift
pants: heritage, $22
boots: old navy, $7

 (i know i've been inconsistent with putting prices in the details. it's just laziness and i have no legit excuse for that. bad.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

think: ch-ch-ch-changes.

we're gearing up for some big changes 'round here.
 not like, on the blog. like, life changes.
and it's scary.
and as i type i think of this post.
(are we jumping the gun? is this a good thing? can we do this with grace and purpose?)

for at least a few years we've talked about moving. sometimes we would talk about moving back to colorado (we lived there when piper was born), sometimes we would talk about moving out to the country (mr.a's parents live on an acreage a half an hour west), sometimes we would talk about moving to a quaint community nearby (where everyone seems pleasant and the homes are all adorable), and sometimes we would talk about moving to a unique neighborhood where we have lots of friends and all the homes are restored beauties (or in need of restoration). but, what we always came back to was our desire to be closer to downtown.

as much as i love having a big fenced-in yard and quiet neighbors, we spend the majority of our free-time in the city. most of our friends live near (or in) downtown and we're often there a few times a week. we love the farmer's market, the festivals, the restaurants. we love the idea of our girls growing up with an exposure to all types of people and music and food and art. honestly? we just feel ready for a change.

we had often checked out different lofts and apartments, wishing it was feasible; but it never seemed to be. even one bedroom lofts seemed out of our budget.
just recently i had seen a sign for a new group of lofts on the west end of downtown. it sparked my interest again so i started looking through the downtown living options. the sign i saw led me to an advertisement for a small community of brownstones on the east side of downtown. i have driven by these brownstones a thousand times but always assumed they would be way out of our budget so i never even considered them. when i came upon the listing, i realized they were actually a lot more affordable than i thought. plus, they each have a two-car garage, which is unheard of in downtown living. aside from being in the national guard, mr.a's "civilian" job is residential remodeling. because of that, he needs a place to store tools and possibly do some work. aka: a garage. we always thought it would be impossible to find a place downtown that allowed for that, but this place actually would.

on wednesday we went to see the place with our realtor and we felt really excited about it. we're now in the process of trying to get our house ready to put on the market. we live in an older home that we've done a lot of work to, but there are still some little things that need to be done. my main job is to DE-CLUTTER. not only just for selling purposes, but we'll need to minimize if we're going to live downtown.

so! if you live in the area and you want to come buy (or just take) some of our stuff, please send me an e-mail. we're having a casual garage sale this weekend. (by casual i mean i probably won't get it in the paper and i probably won't put price tags on everything and there might be a sign in the yard. but that's it.) i have a ton of baby/kids stuff (toys/clothing/etc.) to get rid of and lots of furniture/decor items.

 i generally give everyone the benefit of the doubt which gets me in trouble. (i'll get stuck talking to a homeless person for an hour after i gave him like eight dollars in change just cause i'm too nice to walk away.) BUT, because this is a little different, i won't just put my address out there. if you're in the area and are actually interested in buying some of our awesome stuff, just e-mail me and i can send you our address. prices will be cheap/free and we'll probably even give you a beer if you buy something. ;)

love you guys. hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

wear: sometimes.

sometimes you come home at 8:30 having been gone all day and your kids are overtired and you're overtired (but your dog is not) and it's dark already and everyone's cranky and needy and want-y,
 but you decide to take outfit pictures.

and sometimes when you take outfit pictures at 8:30 when your kids are overtired and you're overtired and your dog is not overtired and it's dark outside and every is cranky and needy and want-y, your attempt at outfit pictures is highly unsuccessful.

and sometimes, after all that, you're not sure if you even like the outfit to begin with.

vest: j.crew
flannel: heritage
t-shirt: j.crew
jeans: paige
boots: dsw
watch: timex

i guess there's always next time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

do: black 'n yellow.

on saturday we drove to iowa city for a little tailgating fun for the iowa/northwestern game.

aaaannnnd, we had a lot of fun.

which is pretty much a given with this crowd.

it was such a gorgeous day to be outside.

we thought we were going to get tickets, but it fell through and even after trying to scalp some ($140 a piece? no way), we ended up watching the game at a local bar.

after the game (which was great and we won!), nay-nay (the man on the right) took us to this fantastic restaurant in downtown iowa city.

i had the best scallops ever. i'm still dreaming of them.
(mr.a, we have to go back there.)

our waitress was sweet and put up with all our shenanigans.
(especially after nay-nay told her she was going to be featured on a famous blog. he miiiiight've stretched the truth a lil bit.)

at dinner we ran into a buddy of ours from des moines.
he acquired a bar in downtown iowa city (which is right next door to the restaurant), so we went to check it out.

and that's where our night ended.
(okay, plus a stop at panchero's on the way home.)