Wednesday, December 17, 2014


My parents, and particularly my dad, love Christmas. Growing up, one or both of them would dutifully eat the cookies my brother and I laid out and often times left a handwritten note from S.C. (not Scott Calvin) himself. They played the part quite tastefully, really.

I was 7 years old in 1992 and the only thing on my list was a Barbie Dream House with working elevator. Ever the planner, I did not want to leave my fate to chance. I not-so-subtly hinted while rifling through my grandma’s Sears catalog, created an expertly crafted letter to Santa, and even visited him during his month long stint at Southridge Mall. I must have made a lasting impression because Santa (later identified as my grandpa) called to speak with me. I mean, I knew I had been nice that year in an attempt to butter him up, but I had no idea my sweetness warranted a personal phone call. The words barely made it out my mouth as I nervously paced down hallway. After handing the phone over to my little brother, I remember wondering how to disguise knowing Santa was bringing me a Barbie Dream House with working elevator because I didn’t want to ruin the surprise for my parents. I was that confident.

Come Christmas morning, I woke up before everyone to stalk the gifts under the tree. It took all of .183429 seconds to identify the largest package, my Barbie Dream House with working elevator. When my brother and parents awoke nearly years later (a period of time which I also credit for the premature graying of my hair), I speedily divvied up the presents. I organized my own pile by size, saving the you-know-what with working elevator for last. My brother was young enough to sometimes require adult assistance when opening his packages, which tested my patience by gift number four. 

Hours, and possibly even days, later there was one present remaining. I collected myself and attempted to hide my knowing smile as I carefully tore back the wrapping paper. What I uncovered was a nondescript cardboard box. Huh. Now, I had seen the Barbie Dream House with working elevator in stores enough times to know what the box should look like, but I gave St. Nick the benefit of the doubt. He probably just assembled the house so it’s ready for me to play with, I reasoned to myself and pressed onward. Once I pulled open the corners of the box, it took a few seconds to process what was inside.

Wait… what… this isn’t… but…


A coat.

I struggled to collect my thoughts and fight back tears. I scoured my brain to access what little knowledge I had of acting and turned my mouth up in a pathetic U shape. Words escaped me as I lifted the winter coat from its bed and slipped it on my heartbroken body.  My parents Ooh-ed and Aah-ed with satisfied expressions drawn on their faces.

I spent the next few hours in disbelief almost assuming that, at some point during the day, my parents would sneak away and return with my coveted Barbie Dream House with working elevator. They’d revel in a brief moment of GOTCHA! while I re-created the scene from A Christmas Story when Ralphie finally receives his Red Ryder BB gun (minus any loss of eyes).

The event really shook my faith in Santa Claus, though I continued believing in him until fourth grade (thanks a lot, Amy and Amanda). 

As an adult, I think back to that Christmas with nothing but fondness. I've often asked my parents how they missed the multitude of clues I dropped or why they decided to let me open a coat at the grand finale gift. They don't know.

Perhaps most amusing in my decision to share this story now, I asked for a new winter coat this Christmas. 

Are you reading this, mom? 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Have you been waiting with baited breath to find out whether or not you won the J. LoVan dripping bow headband? 


You're about to find out... (insert dramatic Ryan Seacrest pause)

Dramatic pauses are really hard to execute via text. 

Anyway, congratulations Molly! You're going to look ultra cute wearing it, I'm just positive. 

Thanks to all the pretty ladies who entered!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I was initially drawn to this location due to its isolated-ness. However, the moment Zach and I started snapping photos, every single mosquito in the Des Moines metro came swarming. Zach was all like, "Oh, they're getting me!" and he came away with what he thought was a bug bite (unconfirmed). I was all like, "Oh, they're getting me!" and came away with four confirmed bug bites.

Guess that means I'm sweeter or something...

These photos are from my second style challenge for J. LoVan. I'm sporting the dripping bow headband which you (yes, YOU) can win by following the two easiest steps ever. First, follow J. LoVan on Facebook or Instagram (still superspecialdoublebonusentry if you do both). Second, shoot me a quick lil comment below so I know you've complied with the first direction. This contest ends at 11:59 PM on October 5. 

As of now, you're odds of winning are pretty good, but who knows things change and maybe you'll miss out because you never tried and then your life will spiral out of control and you'll wish you could go back in time and take 30 seconds out of your busy schedule to enter this contest but you can't because you don't have a Tardis. 

Sweet Doctor Who reference, AMIRIGHT?

And just to prove that an outdoorsman I am not...

sweater | jcp last year // denim jacket | mng by mango (similar) // skirt | express (similar) // mostly un-pictured boots | tj maxx (similar)

Monday, September 22, 2014


Call this my 'season premiere'. 

Summer kept me occupied with pretty much everything except writing. And that's ok, because, like I said way back in April (when Summer (that saucy minx) was just starting to tease us with her lingering sun and above freezing temperatures): MY BLOG. MY RULES.

A few weeks ago, I was approached by Julia LoVan, designer/creator/mastermind of J. LoVan. She happened upon my blog and asked if I would be willing to style a few headbands from her current collection. Now, I have never done anything like this before, so I was both petrified and excited (a feelings combo I am well versed in). 

Julia and I met up for coffee and spent over two hours talking all things style, celebrities, and her many creative endeavors. Rarely one to just sit on ideas, Julia has dabbled in just about everything including working in the demanding L.A. fashion scene. She now specializes in accessories for men and women, home goods, and homemade body butter (which I didn't even know was possible, because the only thing my KitchenAid whips up is frosting). 

As the title of this post suggests, Julia is offering one lucky guy (no gender discrimination here) or gal a dripping bow turban headband, which I will be styling later this week. Entering to win this prize is easy-peasy, just follow J. Lovan on Facebook or Instagram (bonus entry if you do both!) and let me know in the comments section. This contest will be open for entry until 11:59 PM on October 5. Go out there and win something pretty!
button-up | ny&co. // sweater | i don't know // pants | ny&co. // boots | dsw forever ago // headband | c/o j. lovan designs

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


My work week breakfast habits are woefully repetitive. Greek yogurt, berries, honey, granola. Every. Single. Day.

But that's how I like it. 

However, this morning was a bit different. 

As I opened a new quart of yogurt, both my eyes and stomach churned with disappointment. What was inside the container resembled something akin to melted ice cream versus that thick, sour cream-like consistency I know and love. Vowing to give it a chance, I constructed my breakfast. 

It was at that same time that I saw a day old, half eaten maple long john out the corner of my right eye. He (yes, he) sat alone in the pastry box which once contained twelve of his homies. Had it not been for my hovering boss, I would have taken that stale donut on the ride of his life. But I'm a professional, so instead I simply nodded at my future lover, promising to return, and walked away. 

Now I don't know if it was the texture of the yogurt or the promise of maple glaze in my mouth, but the breakfast I had assembled was even more vomitous than originally anticipated. But that's ok, because donut.

I heard footsteps in the kitchen and knew it just had to be my boss heading to his office. My time was about to come, you guys. Finally, after waiting literally four minutes, I could casually, yet swiftly, make my way back to my fried friend. Gospel choirs would clap and shout, the sky would fill with heart-shaped fireworks, we would both receive the final rose...

The face I saw approaching was not that of my boss, it was, for the sake of this story, a smug sun of a gun called Kent*. And in his grubby hand was something I loved. It was my donut. Kent's pace slowed (probably) as he passed my desk and took a clumsy bite out of my future. 

In a matter of seconds, my day old dream had disappeared.

*Real name