Wednesday, February 29, 2012

drumroll please...

so sorry to make you wait for the results of the knot your granny's knits giveaway! with the birth of my nephew, mr. channing jude, my parents came up from tennessee to stay with us so i was scrambling yesterday to get the house ready to host!
isn't he handsome?
 it's been so fun having my parents here, even if it is just for a quick trip.

but back to the giveaway...
the winner of the scarf is sarah! 
(sarah, i'll send you an e-mail & get your shipping info.)

but wait! there's more!
caitlin also sent these adorable hair clips to give away. 
and the winner of the hair clips is charissa
(charissa, i'll send you an e-mail & get your shipping info.)

congratulations ladies!

don't be too bummed if you didn't win because caitlin is offering 15% off of everything in her shop for the daily be readers! just enter the code THEDAILYBE at checkout!

thanks so much to knot your granny's knits for sponsoring this great giveaway!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


hey there! 
sorry it's been a little quiet around here. we had a really busy weekend--piper and i got to do a photoshoot for lowe's creative ideas magazine on friday, we had friends over on saturday, we hosted an oscar party on sunday, and then i had a job interview on monday. (eeek!)  plus, my older sister is having a baby today!!!! 

i'm sure you're all anxiously awaiting the big reveal of the giveaway! buuuut, you'll have to wait until this afternoon. i need to head down to the hospital to wait for that baby to arrive! to tide you over, check out my guest-post over at rose a la mode

Thursday, February 23, 2012


are y'all watching american idol? 
now that we finally have dvr (after years of harassment from our friends), we've had fun watching all the episodes with the girls. 
after hearing deandre's final solo (which was amazing, by the way), i couldn't help but think he looked a little familiar...

*i was actually torn between kenny g and milli vanilli for this little math equation, but i reasoned that deandre's voice was a little more like kenny g's sax than milli vanilli's lip-synching. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

sometimes depression looks like a b*tch.

i go through these things. these phases. sometimes they're momentary, sometimes they last a day, or a week, or a whole season. they seem to come with the weather. or hormones. or maybe they are the result of nothing at all. just part of who i am.

i get restless. unhappy. dissatisfied. i analyze my self and my life. i question the value of who i am and what i've done. i get extremely critical. i often do something drastic to try and soothe the symptoms. i'll chop my hair, quit my job, sign up for a class (in this case, kosama). 

last year at this time, i got myself off of antidepressants. i quit cold turkey. it was one of the hardest things i've ever done. you're really not supposed to just quit that stuff. it's weird when i think back... i used to take a little white pill every night before bed. it made me feel better. it made me more tolerant. less anxious. for a long time i thought, wow, this is how normal people feel! but then i started feeling bad again. i was irritable again. anxious. plus i'd gained 20 pounds. i told my doctor i wanted to wean myself off of the little white pill. she said i just needed more. and added another pill just in case. i smiled and listened and thanked her as i held out my hand for the prescription that i knew i'd never fill. 

this morning i was lying in bed, staring at the wall, thinking about the things i need to do and the worries i have and the stress i'm feeling. mr.a asked what i was thinking about so obviously i said, "nothing." 
i immediately flashed back to the early days of 'us,' when i was young and immature and didn't know how to communicate. i didn't trust boys enough to be completely honest with my feelings, so even though mr.a had already been my friend for years, i would stare out the window and say, "nothing" if he asked what was wrong. (classic chick move.) 

i'm not that young anymore and, most of the time, i'm not that immature. i know how to communicate. and i know it's important. saying "nothing" when your loved one asks you what is wrong is a slap in the face. it's saying, "i don't trust you/love you/care about you enough to let you in on this." i know that's not right. and it's not healthy. so after a moment of prodding, i opened my mouth and told him what i was thinking and how i was feeling. there's not really a happy ending to this story because it didn't immediately make me feel better. we didn't turn to each other with tears in our eyes, kiss passionately while begging for forgiveness and end up making love in the rain. in fact, if i'm going to be honest, his response offended me. but the truth is often offensive, don't you think? he basically said: 
it's a lot easier to change your perspective than to change your whole life. whether it's a job or school, your family or your friends; nothing can make you happy unless you are happy.
he's smart, huh? he's also patient. and kind. even when i'm moody, overly-sensitive and likely a pain in his butt.

i have to remind myself--i'm prone to these feelings. this...depression. 
this happens every year, B. that feeling in your chest? that tight little knot that makes you feel like you can't get a deep breath in? you've had that before. you know this. and you know it passes. don't take it out on your family. don't avoid the people who love you. exercise. breathe deeply. eat clean. get outside. and whatever you do, do NOT cut your hair.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

love: a giveaway!

did you see that cute scarf i wore yesterday? it was sent to me last week by the super-cute and super-talented caitlin, of knot your granny's knits, and i've worn it almost every day since. 

here's a little background...
Hello, my name is Caitlin! I am a stay-at-home-mom first and foremost, but enjoy the heck out of beautiful fiber yarns. I'm a self-taught knitter and have been knitting for 6 years! I love interesting textures and design. Nothing too busy. Just great color, great texture and great designs. You know those pieces in your wardrobe that you can wear with anything? Those pieces that are so simple and easy to wear, that you can throw on in a rush but still look stinkin' cute at the same time? That's what I like to make. That's what I'm about. 

I'm inspired by nature, fashion trends, interesting textures and fibers, culture, practicality, and sustainability. I value the environment and care about using natural fibers but understand that sometimes allergies and personal convictions (hello my vegan friends!) occasionally call for artificial fiber. 

My attention span and my two babies don't allow me to knit any large projects. Instead, I knit and crochet contemporary and stylish accessories that are nothing like what my grandma used to knit! (Hence my shop name!) I hope you enjoy my store as much as I enjoy making things for it.

i'm so excited because caitlin is giving away one of these gorgeous triangle scarves to you! 
if you can't wait to win, she's also providing 15% off of anything in her store for the daily be readers! (i need, this slouchy hat.)
just enter the code: THEDAILYBE at checkout.

to enter the giveaway, visit caitlin's shop and leave a comment below with your e-mail address. for extra entries, you can mention this giveaway on twitter or facebook. just leave a separate comment linking to your tweet/status. 

*giveaway will close sunday 2/26 with the winner announced monday 2/27.*

Monday, February 20, 2012

wear: brighten up.

winter finally settled into des moines last week with several inches of snow, wicked winds and some sketchy roads. we were all beginning to resign to the fact that even la nina can't cheat old man winter; but a few days later, the sun came out and temps shot back up near 50. i celebrated the parting of the clouds by wearing this sunny (and punny) yellow cardigan and light layers. 
isn't this scarf beautiful? i just love the color and drape. i was so excited when i received it in the mail from the cute etsy shop: knot your granny's knits
the best part? she sent one for you guys, too! 
check back later for details on how to score your own!
cardigan: j.crew (old)
 blouse: anthropologie
scarf: c/o knot your granny's knits
jeans: paige
f21, vintage, target (watch), j.crew (wrap), anthropologie (beads), j.crew

some people have been disappointed in our lack of snow this year, but i'd be just fine if a scarf and cardigan were the only layers i needed for the rest of this wimpy winter. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

think: a question.

photo: google images

almost every morning before i get out of bed i look through my instagram feed for a few minutes while my brain and body slowly wake up. they are mostly pictures of people's breakfasts, morning commutes and bed-heads. one picture this morning was labeled, "5 am." it was a view from the stair-master and i immediately felt guilty.* 5 am and she was already logging time at the gym! at 5 am in my world, i was just settling into my rem sleep. 
*it takes next to nothing to make me feel guilty about something. in fact, if i'm not feeling guilty about something i make sure to find something to feel guilty about. and then i feel better. guilty, but better. 

i think i've always been a night person. some of my earliest memories are of sharing a double bed with my older sister. we were probably 4 (me) and 6 (her), and every morning my mom would come in to wake us up for school. she'd sing this little song as she flickered the lights and opened the blinds, 

oh, how i hate to get up in the morning! 
oh how i hate to get out of bed!
but the hardest part of all,
is to hear the bugle call,
yougottagetup, yougottagetup, yougottagetup in the morning!

we would whine and complain and hide under the covers. at that age, my sister was much worse about responding to the "bugle call," but as we got older, into high school, i was the one being dragged out of bed each day. i'd hit snooze an average of 6 times until my sister finally came into my room and yelled at me to get in the shower. oftentimes, she would come back to my room, only to find me post-shower, wrapped in a towel, asleep in my bed. needless to say, we were consistently late to school. we perfected the art of doing our makeup in the car and, to this day, i can apply perfect eyeliner while driving. (i could write another post entirely on my lack of punctuality, but i'll try to stick to the topic at hand...)

anyway, seeing that instagram picture this morning reminded me once again of how much i wish i were a morning person. i'm envious of those who are content to call it a day at 9 pm, get a full night's rest, and wake up to the glorious, early dawn. ever since piper started school, i've had trouble finding a workout schedule that works for me and it's driving me crazy. i have to figure out a plan. at this point, an early morning workout is the only thing i can come up with but since i'm not a morning person, i'm nervous to even try. 

so, my question is: is this something you can even change about yourself? how engrained is it within us? (i know this probably sounds a bit melodramatic, clearly this is not some deeper philosophical or spiritual issue, but humor me...) is it simply a matter of self-discipline or will it be a constant battle for me if i try to change? one of my favorite teachers, mentors and dearest friends always said, "twenty-eight days makes a habit." do you think that's true in this case? honestly, there's no way i could commit to going to bed at 10 pm for 28 days in a row, i'm way too social for that. but maybe i could commit to going to bed at 10 pm like, 5 days a week? 

i guess i'm just curious--have any of you "changed" yourself in this way? 
do you think it's worth a shot? 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

wear: comfortably under-dressed.

in the weeks leading up to the dine-out i was really stressed about what to wear. i had heard a lot of women would be wearing floor-length gowns (of which i own none) or otherwise very fancy dresses (of which i also own none). apparently some people re-use bridesmaids dresses, but the last time i wore a fancy bridesmaid dress i was 17 years old. no idea where that dress even is and lawd knows i wouldn't fit into it today. i went to a couple stores to search for something dressy yet affordable, but didn't have much luck. one day i was running errands with quinn and i popped into my favorite local boutique, aimee
i tried on a few dresses and ended up buying one that i really loved. i didn't know for sure if it would be dressy enough, but it was the only one in my size so i figured i ought to take it home with me just in case i couldn't find anything else. my younger sister has a couple of gowns that she uses for formal singing performances, so i tried those on one day. they are beautiful dresses but i just felt so weird with them on! totally not "me." i gave up looking for another dress and ended up wearing (and loving) the dress from aimee. 
i was probably one of the more under-dressed ladies there, and may have gotten a few up-down looks (you know the ones...) but i felt great in the dress and i'm honestly really glad i wore it. i didn't have to tug on a hemline or a strapless bra, i was warm (as one could be) in the 5-degree weather, and i will definitely get a lot more wear out of this dress than i would have anything dressier.

aren't you glad i took a picture of my shoes so you could see the beautiful carpet?

dress: aimee, $75
necklace: charlotte russe, $3
belt: j.crew, $10
tights: target, $13
heels: target, $12
ring: j.crew, $13
bracelet: j.crew, $8
watch: target, $20

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

do: denison dine out.

i guess something they do in the military is have these formal dinner/ball-things called "dine outs." they're kinda like an army prom. there are awards and toasts and strange traditions. (grog anyone?!) mr.a and i had never been to one, but this past weekend we fixed that. 
it was in the small town of denison, ia which is a couple hours away from us. we got there just in time for dinner and, i have to be honest, i was really nervous. i didn't see any of our friends when we first walked in, we didn't know where we were supposed to sit or what we were supposed to do, it kind of felt like we were crashing someone else's party. plus, i felt groggy after napping during the 2-hour drive. so, i did what any woman would--made a beeline for the bathroom to check my hair. 

luckily, our friends tracked us down before too long and we ended up having a fun night with lots of laughs and shenanigans.

 mr.a received an award for winning the battalion soldier of the year competition! woot! 
 my friend emily saved the day because, sadly, i had slipped out to use the bathroom about 30 seconds before mr.a was called up to receive said award. so, yeah. i missed the whole thing. #fail.

 hey guess what? my hair is darker!

there are some pretty funny stories behind these pictures but i think there's some kind of don't ask, don't tell policy when it comes to dine-outs.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

love: happy love day!

here are some things i've been loving lately...

looking through old family photos.
 quiet afternoons at our favorite cafe.
a pretty scent from a sweet friend's shop.
the silliest girlfriends in the world. 
mischievous sisters.

piper's first bff.
sweet nothings from mr. a.

hope you have a lovely day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

see: style challenge, epilogue

remember when i did that blogger style challenge series for abc family's television show, jane by design? well, i'm pretty sure i didn't win (though i'm not sure they've actually announced the winner yet...) but everyone who participated had the chance to ask one of the cast members a question. i was paired up with erica dasher who plays the title role of jane quimby. i had read that erica served as a producer on a documentary so i asked her about her interest there. specifically, whether she planned to focus more on the production side of the industry or if her passion was for acting. 
here is her response...

it's pretty cool to hear directly from her! we've been watching the show since it premiered and have enjoyed the fun fashions and light-hearted story lines. 

in case you missed the style challenges, here they are again!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

no animals were harmed in the making of this outfit.

this is what i was wearing during our awkward target trip. (you know, the one where piper got all peta on my ass?) 
when we escaped got back into the car we had a little discussion about the word "faux". 
"you know how your stuffed animals are soft & furry like real animals?"


"but they're not real animals?"


"well that's like momma's vest. it's soft and fuzzy and feels like a real animal, but it's just pretend."

good. glad we had this conversation.
vest: bcbg, thrifted
shirt: old navy, $16
top necklace: etsy, christmas gift from my momma
bottom necklace: patina, gift from e.e.
cords: younkers, $17
shoes: vintage, $35

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

do: surviving awkward target moments.

today we made a target run and it was exceptionally awkward.
as follows...

1. getting distracted by a 70% off clearance sign and literally running my cart into someone. like, an actual person. sadly, no amount of smiling, rambling, or cuteness from my kids could appease the victim. 
(a lawsuit may be in the works. let me know if you'd like to donate to my plight.

2. feeling like hot stuff (cause, duh, i showered today) only to discover that i looked a lot more like a hot mess. bummer.

3. trying on clothes in the fitting room and the person in the room next to me is listening to music on their phone. out loud. for everyone in the fitting room to hear. i have nothing against nicki minaj, but can you seriously not try on clothes without a freaking soundtrack? 
(okay, i may or may not have danced a little bit, but i was mostly annoyed.)

4. having a britney spears "imnotagirlnotyetawoman" moment in the fitting room when i realized i'm too big to fit into juniors' pants but not big enough to wear ladies' pants. not really sure where to go from here. maybe the gap...

5. thinking i'd spend about $50 and spending 3 times that. (TARGET!WHYMUSTYOUTORTUREME?!)

6. overhearing piper tell the person behind us in the checkout line, 
"my mommy killed an animal so she could make that vest." 
talking about the faux fur vest i was wearing. #mortified.

7. having my first target man (opposed to target lady) at check-out. after discussing 13 out of 17 products i was purchasing, he proceeded to tell me that he knew my driver's license was an old one "because pretty smiles like that aren't allowed on the new ones." seriously?! unless you're my grandpa's age that's not ok. (however, in his defense: apparently now in iowa, you're not allowed to smile when you get your driver's license picture taken. for real.)

8. realizing, as i finally left the store, that my fly had been down the entire time. cherry on top.

any good target moments for me?

Monday, February 06, 2012


on a dreary day i occasionally try to counteract the grey skies and bland surroundings with ridiculously bright clothing.*  
friday was one of those days. 
i recently used some store credit to buy these brilliant oxfords and it seemed like a good day to break them in. 
i was hoping that staring down at these bright pink beauties might make everything a little bit better and a little bit brighter. 
not sure that actually worked but they're still pretty cute.

sweater vest: j.crew, $15
shirt: gap, $6
jeans: joe's, thrifted $25
belt: forever21, $3  
oxfords: gap, store credit
watch: target, $20
bracelet: forever 21, $4

*i'm having blog de ja vu, remember this post?