Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Best: Better Shape Up

dress: DownEast, sweater: Buckle, tights: vintage, boots: Old Navy, hat: Bella Me, necklace: Old Navy

You know you better shape up, because tomorrow is the first day of December. That means Santa Claus is coming to town. You don't want to be on the naughty list, do you?

In all reality, I chose my title because I've been on this kick of adding basic geometric shapes to my outfits (although, I'm stoked out of my mind for Saint Nick). So I was super excited when I snagged this necklace along with triangle earrings at the Old Navy Black Friday Sale. That's about all the shopping I could handle on Black Friday . . . and that was at 6 pm. Yep, not much of a Black Friday shopper here because: 

A) I hate big crowds of people crammed in small areas. 
B) I'm basically useless after midnight. A girl needs her beauty sleep. 
C) I shop deals all year long. Why go on the day that everyone else does?

Well, it's time to go decorate our Christmas tree and deck our halls. It's tradition the Sunday after Thanksgiving . . . at least around these parts. I know some of you have had your tree up since Halloween ;). I won't judge you. I'll probably leave mine up past Valentine's Day. I constantly live in denial.   

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Best: The Food Baby Sweater

sweater: Adornit, jeans: Delia's, socks: TJ Maxx, oxfords: Fashion Box

I've been on a sweater buying frenzy. It's a slight problem. Each time I say it's going to be the last time, but deep down I know I'm always lying to myself. I need to go to sweater shopping rehab. But sweaters are just so darn cozy. It's like wearing a blanket to work and no one asks questions. 

I like my sweaters big. Like, if three of me can fit inside then I know it's about the right size. And I like them soft. This one from Adornit is a winner. Plus, those whimsical colors and that big blue pocket just had me at hello. It's a sweater like this one that you want to wear to your Thanksgiving feast. It will hide all evidence of the food baby. This Thursday I'm planning on having food baby triplets, so there's that. 

And this is why I'm not a fashion blogger. I plan my outfits around the amount of food I consume.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Changing of the Seasons

Yesterday morning marked the first snowfall of the season. There is something that excites me down to my bones about waking up to snowflakes sticking to the bedroom window. It's that same feeling we all get as little children, but I think many of us outgrow it when we become adults. We go from seeing the magic in everyday occurrences to finding the nuisance in everything we can. And I understand that snow can be a pain. It creates dangerous driving, it leaves sidewalks to shovel and roads to plow. I get it. But I still choose to see the magic in snow. Because if I can't do that then I feel as if life would be incredibly mundane. So yes, I hopped out of bed yesterday and ran to the window. There wasn't snow sticking to the ground yet but the snowflakes were beginning to fall. So I squealed, hopped up and down and yelled to Brian (who was already in the shower), "Brian, it's snoooooowing!"

A friend of mine posted a quote on Instagram yesterday and I totally relate.

"To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring." -George Santayana

I've never been able to peg what my favorite season is. I think my favorite is whichever one is beginning. I'm completely okay with that. I see people who absolutely love summer . . . and it's kind of heartbreaking to see them mope around the rest of the year. So yes, I'm a fan of the changing seasons. I'm looking forward to wearing mittens and going skiing. Speaking of going skiing, Brian and I went to a ski swap yesterday and left with skis, poles and boots. So I guess we better go skiing a few times this winter.

Now let's talk for a minute about how beautiful this autumn was. Warm temps the whole time through. I was hiking in tank tops in October. That never happens.

I love that I'm writing a blog post about the weather. Wow. Isn't that a thing you do when there's nothing better to talk about?

". . . . nice weather we're having."

Well, we also took some super amateur family photos this fall. One day I'll plan ahead (and also dish out the money) and schedule for an actual real photographer to take our photos. But for now, I think I can live with the tripod and remote approach.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Never Grow Up

I've been on a Taylor Swift kick lately . . . like the rest of the world. I've loved Taylor though from day one. I remember the first time I heard her. My friend had just bought her first album. I was in high school. We were cruising down the highway in her jeep, wind snaking through our hair, when she cranked up the volume. Young Taylor crooned "Tim Mcgraw" and I was instantly in love.

Fast forward to her "Speak Now" album and I was in even more love. I listened to that album over and over again. I was now a student at Utah State University. I listened to Taylor on my way to classes, while I did homework, while I did laundry, while I cooked. You name it, I was probably listening to T-Swift.

Believe it or not, this post isn't actually about Taylor Swift at all (even though I'm obsessed). This post is about my little sisters.

One day when I was driving home from campus, I had Taylor's "Speak Now" album playing in my van (yes, this was back before my beloved van broke down). I think I was already in a melancholy mood, thinking about how much homework I had and how much I wished I could be five again. That's when the song "Never Grow Up" came on.

The lyrics hit home for me. I felt like it was me speaking to my two little sisters. The first verse reminded me of my baby sister, Chloe. She was little and goofy, and I never wanted that to change. The second verse talked about wanting to grow up and call your own shots, and I instantly thought of my sister, Lexi. She was, at the time, barely a teenager (and developing the attitude of one). She had always been Miss Independent. The third verse was about me. Imagining my dad getting home from work and playing with my little brother, and wishing I could go back to those simpler times. Everyone always claims they relate to Taylor's songs, right? Usually it's a song about heartbreak or love. For me, in that moment of driving home alone, "Never Grow Up" was my song. I didn't want my siblings to grow up. I wanted them to stay young and innocent. I didn't want to watch my parents grow older. I didn't want to grow older either.

As I got lost in the lyrics, I realized I was crying. What the? I pulled in my parking spot at our townhouse and just had a good pathetic sob over my steering wheel. Growing up can be tough stuff sometimes.

Well, since that day, I still haven't figured out how to keep my sisters little. Chloe is now 12 and Lexi is 16. Sometimes it's still weird to think they're that old and sometimes I still get sad about it. Sometimes I get lost in memories of holding them when they were babies, rubbing my cheek against their fuzzy and small heads. But now they're big. No longer babies. Lexi is dating boys now. She recently went to her first Homecoming dance. She looked gorgeous and grown up in her dress, with her hair all curled and pinned up. She let me do her makeup. Chloe is in middle school now, and she's going through that weird stage of not being a little girl anymore and trying to figure out how to be a young woman. Sometimes I catch her talking about boys. One day she was bragging to me about how an 8th grader asked her, a 6th grader, to wear his football jersey. Then she quickly wiped the grin off her face and said, "I don't care though. I don't like boys." Yeah, we'll see about that.

And even though I sometimes still get sad that my little sisters aren't so little anymore, I have to admit that they're in super fun stages right now. Now that they are getting older and more mature, we act less like siblings and more like friends. I mean, Lexi is basically the only person I ever Snap Chat.
These photos are from the summer when my sisters slept over at my house. We set up a projector and played "Just Dance" outside. We also had a fire and stuffed ourselves with chips, hot dogs, and s'mores. Then we fell asleep in the tent. It was the absolute best night, one of those that leaves you feeling good for weeks.

Growing up is not always fun, but I think there's definitely more good than bad. I'm learning that there is beauty to each stage of life . . . and I really love the stage I'm at right now (and the people who are around to enjoy it with me). 

Never Grow Up - Taylor Swift 

Your little hands wrapped around my finger
And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter 'cause you're dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you, everything's funny
You got nothing to regret
I'd give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that
Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
It could stay this simple
I won't let nobody hurt you
Won't let no one break your heart
No, no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up
You're in the car on the way to the movies
And you're mortified your mom's dropping you off
At 14, there's just so much you can't do
And you can't wait to move out someday and call your own shots
But don't make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she's getting older, too
And don't lose the way that you dance around
In your PJs getting ready for school
Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
It could stay this simple
No one's ever burned you
Nothing's ever left you scarred
And even though you want to
Just try to never grow up
Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother's favorite songs
I just realized everything I have
Is someday gonna be gone
So here I am in my new apartment
In a big city, they just dropped me off
It's so much colder than I thought it would be
So I tuck myself in and turn my night light on
Wish I'd never grown up
I wish I'd never grown up
Oh, I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
Could still be little
Oh, I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
It could still be simple
Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
It could stay this simple
Won't let nobody hurt you
Won't let no one break your heart
And even though you want to
Please try to never grow up
Don't you ever grow up
(Never grow up)
Just never grow up

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Haters Gonna Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate on Halloween

Halloween might be my favorite holiday. It's in a close running with Christmas.

And every year during this wonderful and magical season, I have to deal with the haters.

I hate Halloween. 
Halloween is satanic. 
Halloween is gross. 
Dressing up is lame. 
I hate scary movies. 
I hate the gore of Halloween. 
I just want Halloween to be over. 

You've heard the complaints. Maybe you've even used one of the above complaints. That doesn't mean I despise your existence. If you hate scary movies, I won't think of you any different. But let me love my scary movies in peace. Don't judge me when I fill my flowerbeds with headstones and deck my halls with skulls and crows.

Maybe Halloween isn't your cup of tea. Maybe you don't believe in ghosts and you aren't a fan of slasher movies. That's okay. I truly believe there is a place for everyone in this most great holiday.

My biggest reason for loving Halloween is because it is such a magical holiday. Maybe a little dark . . . but magical. It's a day to believe in mystical creatures and the one day a year you can dress up as anything you can imagine without looking like an idiot.

Dressing up is one of my very favorite things about Halloween. It's a life-altering decision each year to ask, "Who will I pretend to be for the night this year?" I brainstorm the possibilities months in advance. This year I decided that since I'm an adult and I do what I want, why limit myself to just one costume? That's why this year I had THREE costumes.

The day before Halloween, we had a community trunk-or-treat. Brian and I took this very seriously and constructed a lab for our trunk. It took an entire Saturday to build. Brian dressed as Frankenstein's Monster and I was a mad scientist. We strapped Brian to a table we made with chains and I lured children to him and handed them candy. We completed the scene with flashing strobe lights and a fog machine. I don't want to brag but our whole display was pretty awesome. We earned brownie points from children and adults alike.

On the day of Halloween, I decided to dress as Rosie the Riveter for work. It's a costume I've wanted to do the past couple years, so I was excited to finally rock it. I even did pin curls and tied my bandanna the legitimate way Rosie has hers tied. I had to watch a YouTube video and everything. Luckily the video I chose had the cutest British lady narrating, so it was easy to listen and apply myself to the business of bandanna tying.

On the night of Halloween, we had our big party. This is the fourth year we've held the Weller Halloween Party and each year it grows in popularity. With that being said, each year we put more and more pressure on ourselves to make it better than the previous year. After preparing all month, we were able to pull off our best party yet. It's pretty easy to throw a fun party though when you have fun friends. We had 20 amazing people gathered in our bungalow that night.
 We played some hilarious games and I wish I would have taken better photos. If you're a fan of Jimmy Fallon and the Tonight Show, perhaps you've seen him play Box of Lies. We came up with a Halloween rendition---Jack-O-Lantern of Lies. We were able to find those jack-o-lantern candy buckets for a dollar each at Target, so we purchased ten of them for the game. We then made a trip to the dollar store and came up with the most ridiculous things to put in the buckets. Some of my personal favorites: a toy dinosaur wearing a cape, a banana with army men glued to it, and an action figure stabbing a stuffed dragon. We also played a Battle of the Sexes game with several fun rounds we put together. Girls won. I was proud.

Our friends also pitched in by bringing treats which was so kind of them. We decided to make taco soup this year to give our pals some sustenance. I also made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (complete with knives stabbing the cupcakes) and I created shish-kabobs out of some fun candy (frog gummies, eyeball gummies, gummy worms).

We (of course) had a costume contest. Everyone looked soooooo good. What was I, you ask? My third and final costume of Halloween 2014 was a troll doll. I wore a nude-colored bodysuit and hot glued a thousand sequins to it for a jewel bellybutton. Then I put way too many disgusting products in my hair to make it stick up and finished the look by spraying my locks pink. Several people didn't know what I was and asked if I was an exotic dancer. My friends probably feel loads closer to me now since I practically looked naked. Let's not even talk about how awkward it was to answer the door for trick-or-treaters. Brian was a Beanie Baby . . . and can we just talk about how cute he was in his leopard suit? I'm hoping I can get him to wear that bad boy again in the future.
Everyone in attendance looked completely rad. I love any excuse to celebrate, especially when there are great people to celebrate with. Thanks to all our friends who came to the party! Until next year . .