Friday, July 20, 2012

wear: boot-scootin'.

a month or so ago, a reader requested i do a post styling these boots for summer. 
i finally remembered to wear them today! 

tank//von maur
shorts//sanctuary via von maur
booties//active endeavors

i think boots in the summer can be tricky. it can be a really cute look, but you need to have the right style and wear them in the right situations. rule #1: no boots at the beach. 

i think moccasin style boots have a hippie vibe, cowboy boots are fun, wellies are cute when it's wet, and biker boots add some edge. avoid anything with fur or fuzz on the inside, no knee-highs, and anything with a stiletto heel seems like a bit much. 

here are some options you could rock this summer with skirts, shorts and dresses...
try rockin' some boots this summer!

Minnetonka, Mudd, AllSaints, Harley-Davidson

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

wear: raiders of the lost outfit.

not all outfit pictures are created equal. i get weird in front of the camera which makes it difficult to get a shot where my eyes aren't closed, my hands aren't in some strange position, or i don't look like a complete tool. 
(i'm not just being hard on myself. ask my friend meredith about the time she caught me humming nervously, without even realizing it, the entire time our picture was being taken.)

anyway, sometimes outfit pictures are taken but never posted on the blog. 
whether it's vanity or simply bad lighting, here are some of those never-before-seen outfits...

1. constipation kills.
for years i had pretty crooked teeth and was always pretty self-conscious about my smile. even though i've since had them straightened, thousands of dollars later i'm still weird about smiling. this often results in a squinty-eyed constipation face. plus, i just don't really like this outfit. 
driving mocs//steve madden
arrow necklace//stella & dot

2. dude, where's my body?
as a petite person, i try to avoid styles that accentuate my vertical handicap. i bought this maxi skirt thinking it would be a great alternative to wearing black pants all the time at work, but pairing it with this button-down was a bad choice. i'm drowning in a sea of fabric. and hair! blech. i've since worn it with a tank-top and that worked better, but i still think maxi skirts make me look like i'm playing dress-up in my mom's closet. 
shirt//old navy
belt//j.crew outlet
leopard flats//steve madden

3. stop looking at me, swan.
i get really awkward when someone else is behind the camera and especially awkward when trying to take pictures in public places. the day i wore this outfit, we were in the middle of downtown, a friend was trying to take my picture, and my kids were half-nekkid and screaming. (big surprise.) it was like a car accident. 
people were all, cantstopstaring
needless to say, this picture was the best of the bunch so the outfit never made its blog debut. and let's be honest, i felt kind of chunky in it anyway.
t-shirt//french connection
bracelets//vintage & j.crew 

 4. don't drink & drive pose.
the other night i wore this to karaoke.* after a couple drinks and a couple songs, we decided to take some outfit pictures outside in the worst lighting ever. i looked like an alien in every picture. and then we took this gem with the flash...
*we have a monthly karaoke night at our favorite dive bar. my songs of choice are 'son of a preacher man',  'mercy' by duffy, and anything by amy grant. fyi.
tank//american eagle
leather flip flops//j.crew
necklace//gift (von maur)

by my estimation, after four years of blogging, my outfit pictures have improved by 2%. progress, people. and something about "slow & steady wins the race." i'd hate to bombard you with photographic greatness too soon. 
hang in there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


do you ever play dress-up in your own closet? before i had kids i used to do it all the time. i'd spend an hour or so coming up with different combinations of things i already owned. i haven't done it as much in recent years, but i think it actually saves time to create a queue of outfits to pull from. so many times (or...everyday) i rush to get out the door and end up wasting a bunch of time (and making a huge mess) trying on 5 different things before i settle on something. way better to do the "work" when you're not rushed and when there's no pressure to come up with an outfit for that very moment. 

this week i have a few different things to get dressed for, so i spent a little time trying on outfits while simultaneously cleaning my closet. (my parents are coming this week-- time to clean.) now i have five different outfits hanging in my closet, ready to wear!

you should give it a try.
warning: the above picture contains not a strand of clean hair nor a stitch of makeup. woof.

Friday, July 13, 2012

wear: channeling the man repeller.

do y'all read man repeller? she's hilarious, gorgeous, and has amazing style. i may or may not have a mega girl-crush on her. i know she wouldn't actually consider this outfit legitimately man-repellant; but for des moines iowa, it's up there. not only do these pants make my tummy look bloated and my ass look huge, i'm not wearing a "real" bra, so i have kelly clarkson syndrome. (big butt, small boobs.)
all that to say--i got plenty of stares at our local, suburban shopping mall today.

i scored these pants for a great deal at aimee, my favorite place in des moines to find unique pieces that no one else is wearing. plus, lately i've noticed they are carrying a few lines with lower price points, which makes e'erbody happy.  
sandals//jeffrey campbell

 the man repeller also does weird poses. like this one:
you're welcome. 
'merica's next top model, here i come!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

wear: last-minute.

this past weekend, seth's cousin got married. (more on that in a later post...) we've known about their wedding for almost a year now but, for some reason, i waited until the day before to find something to wear. 

i had an errand to run in the east village, so i stopped by hill vintage to see if my friend jessica had anything i could wear. she pulled several dresses for me, but there was one that fit like a glove (albeit, a snug-fitting glove) & seemed like something i could wear on several different occasions. 

in my opinion, one of the best things about hill vintage is that they have an on-site seamstress who can alter your purchases. if you're familiar with vintage clothes, you know a lot of the gems you find need a little tweaking here & there. i needed about a foot taken off the hem and it was so convenient to not have to take it to a separate tailor. i walked around east village for less than an hour before jessica called to say my dress was ready!*
dress//hill vintage & knits
sandals//tj maxx
bracelets//j.crew & jessica fox

*note: the alterations were simple and they knew i needed the dress by the next day. please don't assume they do all alterations in under an hour, but they're still fast!

if you're not local, check out the hill vintage etsy shop!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

do: independence.

wow, feels like we just had a ten-day weekend. i'm exhausted (and way behind on "real" life), so here is a quick glimpse into our 3rd and 4th of july. 

des moines hosts its POPS! concert every year on the lawn of the capitol. the des moines symphony plays while fireworks are displayed. thousands of people attend and i believe it to be the most accessible, cultural event des moines has to offer. 
a close second would obviously be bacon fest. 

 on the fourth, we attended a bbq at our friends' place in sherman hill. it was fantastic. a fenced-in yard, a building full of tenants we know and love (seriously, they live in a magical building and i'm super jealous), tons of great food and hipsters galore. i wanted to take a huge group picture because everyone looked so adorable and festive. 

 i made the barefoot contessa's fresh corn salad. it's simple and delicious. 

 this picture (below) cracks me up because it looks so white trash. 
half-nekkid baby, boxer, and beer cans. 

we ended the night with a view of 9 different fireworks displays and homemade vanilla ice cream. 
it was a picturesque 4th.