What I Wore Wednesday - Fall clothes!

I finally got my act together enough to document my outfits! It's been a whirlwind around here lately with a bedroom re-do and lots of end-of-summer stuff! Anyway, here is my first (and a little preemptive) batch of fall attire. Lots of sweaters, jewel tones, and scarves are making their colder-weather debuts! 

Outfit #1
 I was so excited to break out the tights! I also felt a little like a bumblebee on this day with all the black and yellow! 
Dress: Target
Cardi: Maurices
Necklace: Accessory Dash 
Shoes: Mod Cloth

Outfit #2
Excited about boots too!!
Dress: Target
Belt: stolen off a new skirt
Boots: JC Penny
Outfit #3
This was a super-early church morning and the air was definitely crisp! And Sophie was giving her approval on the leopard print shoes. :)
Cardi: Maurices
Scarf: Target
Shoes: ModCloth
Outfit #4
I am kicking myself for not taking a close-up of my shoes - they were glittery purple beauties that were on clearance at DSW. And that furry blur is Miss Sophie getting in on the photo action :)
Shirt, Pants, and Cardi: Maurices
Outfit #5
I can't remember what I was doing, but it was clearly something casual. I was over the moon about getting to wear a scarf AND boots AND a sweater on the same day!!
Leggings, Tank, Cardi - Target
Scarf - Christmas gift from my little sis-in-law
Boots: DSW
Outfit #6
I think I am wearing the heck out of these leopard flats. I can't get enough of them!
And I tried to be fancy and give myself a braided headband. I give it a 7/10. 
Cardi: Old Navy
Tank and Belt: Target
Pants: Maurices
Shoes: ModCloth
Outfit #7
Oh hey - new hair!! 
Dress: Kohls
Belt: from a new skirt (love this belt!)
Boots: JC Penny 

Outfit #8
I love a good classic combo of black and white and red!
Skirt: ModCloth
Shoes: Aldo
Top: Target 

Whew - I have to admit, I was a little toasty a couple of the days since it got warmer than I thought it would... *sigh* I was always like this as a kid too - I was desperate to wear my new "back to school" clothes, even though its always still like 80 degrees in September. Anyone else overly excited for Fall? Get any new cold weather clothes??
pleated poppy

Fun in the Fall!

As I have said, and will continue to say the rest of the season, Fall is my favorite!! I cannot get enough of this season and all that comes with it; crisp air, changing leaves, Halloween, football, sweaters, boots, and so much more! I do though, think that I too often let this season fly right on by without truly taking the chance to enjoy it and soak it all up.
I found this free printable on pinterest and love the idea of a Fall Checklist:
I definitely want to do all of these things - but might have to edit a few of them. I plan to update the blog throughout the season as I check these off (hopefully with lots of fabulous fall pictures!). I'd also like to add to the list:
- Attend a barn dance
- Get a new fall hair-do
- Make my own Halloween costume (and win work costume contest!)
- Go running regularly in the crisp air
- Bake pumpkin muffins
- Bake eyeball cupcakes (it's kinda my Halloween special)

So, lots of things to do in the next 2 and a half months!! Wish me luck!

What are your favorite fall activities? Any yearly traditions?

Insta Friday

Back again for a week in Instagrams! 

life rearranged
This is from last Friday night. Alli tagged me in a #WIDN post (which for those of you like me who had no idea what that means is: What I'm Doing Now). I happened to be hanging with Mama Derry, watching Project Runway and Fashion Police with a particularly adorable dog on my lap.

Heading to church Sunday morning - excited it was cool enough for my scarf!

Sunday afternoon I was rooting for Da Bears (last night though, 100% Packer Fan!). I like that you can see Miss Sophie peeking over my shoulder wanting to get into the front seat. :)

Wistfully wishing to go back to Italia.

I feel like this is a "quarter life crisis" type dilemma. I still have acne issues, but I know I need to be preventing wrinkles. Why can't one lotion just do both!? Garh!! Clearly, I was very frustrated with my moisturizer options. Any one have feedback on that?

My #throwbackthursday pic. My mom doing my hair. We were in FL in late 1996. My mom had finished up chemo treatments and the entire family went on vacation together. I always think about her when the seasons change - I think the cooler weather just makes me more reflective for some reason. Or maybe the coziness of the season makes me miss her more. Either way, I was thinking about her and miss her. 

From yesterday - my first entry for a $100 ModCloth gift card. I will spare you the rest of my entries from today :)

Tuesday Shoesday - Fabulous Fall

Fall is my favorite season, hands down. I cannot get enough of scarves, sweaters, boots, leaves, pumpkins, apples, crisp weather, and jackets. Oh my! For today though, here are some fabulous fall fashions for your feet!

 Love these distressed, lace-up booties for fall
 Love the wedge oxford with a fun peep-toe surprise! :)
 A menswear for women oxford look
 A more feminine twist on the oxford
 Another distressed bootie - love this look!!
 A tough, but rich-looking shoe
A sexy twist on a loafer

Now, if only I had an unlimited budget for shoes... I'd be all over all of these babies. What's your favorite? I think that the distressed, lace-up booties are my fave right now. If you had unlimited shoe funding, which pair (or two) would you snatch up?

Insta-Friday!!! I'm baaaaaack!

Well, after a much-needed bloggy-break I am back. My Insta's from this week were just way too good to not post! I spent Labor Day weekend back in my little hometown and went through a ton of old stuff from my high-school and elementary days, including oodles of old photos, back from the days of film! It was a sentimental, bittersweet, emotion-filled task to do and I think it has taken me all week to recover, but I'm very grateful that I did it. So, without further ado, a mostly throw-back version of InstaFriday! 

Ok these first few are from last week - 
Really excited about my new polka dot dress!

Loving my new yellow necklace

Hawaiian Day! (I really love dress-up days at work)

Me and Jun-Jun (my fellow Activity Director) at Family Night!
 And now we have a little old-school!
Me @ 18 months or so... Nautical is so on trend right now :)

Me and a bunch of good friends the beginning of my senior year

I think I was 7 here...

Wonder who I look like? That's my Nana on the left. :)

Me and my college roomie Janna, from when we were in high school!

Me and Janna at my senior prom coronation - I like this photo despite the pink hand coming out of the top of my head.

My mom's family pre-Ashlea. I may have been a bun in the oven here, so this is summer of 1986. My mom is the not-so-natural blonde in the back

I think I was 4 or 5 here. Oh the accessorizing had already begun...

Me today - rocking some vintage orange earrings for 'Bears Day'

The Loom - A Review

Lydia knew her fate. Like every other slave on the Maryland plantation, her life would end at the loom...
Throughout the pre­-Civil War South, older slaves too worn out for anything else worked daily in the plantation¹s loom room, weaving and creating cloth for their families. Tucked away out of sight and forgotten by most everyone, the wisdom and hard-won experience of these slaves were often overlooked. But Lydia, a light-skinned house slave, listens to their words and dreams of a better life.

When running away leads to her recapture, Lydia discovers that with her pale skin, the right clothing, and pretense, she can walk into a world of freedom and wealth she has only dreamed of.

But Lydia struggles to leave behind the man she loves and the culture of world in which she belongs. Drawing on the wise community in the plantation¹s loom room, Lydia chases freedom in a way no one ever expected and finds that she ultimately must choose between the love she has and the life she doesn't.

The Loom is a colorful tale of love linked to a lie and the discovery that life is not always black or white.

This book is really different from something I would normally pick up and reminded me a little bit of an Oprah’s Book Club choice, only I didn’t hate it. (I have a long history of hating Queen Oprah’s taste in literature) The main character, Lydia, is totally infuriating at times and I could not possibly understand why she would make some of the choices she did, but then again I have always had the freedom to make my own choices. I’ve never felt anything even marginally comparable to being owned by someone, so perhaps that’s why she makes some crazy decisions that I don’t get.

It took me a little while to get on board with the writing style. I felt like many of the chapters started in the middle of thought or memory, which wasn’t very palatable to me. I got over it though because this story is rich. Rich in culture, chaos, sadness, and depth. It is uplifting in the end too – which is ultimately what saved it for me – because I hate books that don’t end well.  This books goes to a lot of dark places, but I still really enjoyed the story.

I also really enjoyed reading the authors thoughts at the end, which is something I never do. I loved the Biblical parallels should put into the story and also enjoyed the storyline involving the elderly slaves, probably because of my love of old people.  I’d say this was a wholesome read for adults and would recommend it to others.