What I Wore : Grad-en Party

My littlest sibling-in-law graduated high school this year. I have seen her grow from a little 11-year old munchkin to this gorgeous young woman.

 To celebrate her graduation she had a open house grad party and my in laws have some lovely outdoor spaces they were able to use for the party. I went on a mini-shopping binge the morning of her party and scored some sweet deals. Including this lovely lace dress from Maurices.

Honestly, I would've preferred the next size up, but it was the last one left on the clearance rack. It its a little snug in some places, but was such a sweet dress that for $9, I pulled the trigger anyway. I also swear that I did wear those shoes at some point in the day, but by the time we thought to take photos, there was no way I was putting them back on!

Plus, I just love the keyhole in the back that shoes on my ink and lets me wear a real bra!
And then there is always the inspiration to keep my butt running so I can get rids of those little lumps this dress shows a bit! That's not my usual philosophy - I am more of a "dress the body you have" kinda girl - but hey, less than $10, it was worth it :)

Also, I love the photos from this shoot for a few reasons - 1. They aren't selfless! yay! My lovely hubs was sweet enough to take them for me. 2. My stylish, spunky other sis-in-law "directed" it and told me how to move, smile, and put my hair. It was great to have her voice on this shoot.

Linking up with:
Rachel The Hat
pleated poppy

Fashion & Faith

Wish List: A Professional Tote

You know that old expression "Quality over quantity"? Well, I have never been very good about following that with my clothes, bags, shoes, coats, etc. I love options. I change my mind a lot. My body has changed over the years too, so I haven't been able to keep clothes consistently from year to year. However, I am trying to change my ways and bags/purses seem to be a good place to really dig in and start living by Quality over Quantity.

I have hit this stage in my life where I am in need of more professional pieces. Well, since I just secured an intern position, I thought I should get a hey-I-just-got-an-internship-lets-celebrate bag. Ideally, I am looking for a roomy tote, that I can toss in a smaller purse, plus any things I may need for work; laptop, lunch, notepad, books, etc. Also on the wish-list is a classic, streamlined style with a color that will translate through the seasons.

I hopped on the ol' pinterest and found some options that fit the bill.

I love the sleek color blocking on this Marc Jacobs tote.

This Coach bag is simple, sleek, and timeless. 

Diane von Furstenberg's bag is a similar, but more budget-friendly, look to the Marc Jacobs bag  
Love the berry color on this bag - and bonus - it's vegan! 
This one might be my fav though - I am a sucker for shiny things.  And go figure - it was from modcloth.com (no longer available, bummer) 

I will be trolling ebay and amazon to find something that fits my bill and my budget (which I'd like to keep under $100). Feel free to throw any suggestions my way! 

Anything on your Quality Wish Lists? 

Let's Hear it for the Girls

Hello visitors from Not Dressed as a Lamb!

I was so excited to read Catherine's post about celebrating the things we love about our bodies and making the most of our best features instead of being so down on ourselves for the things we feel are imperfect. I commented on her post, emphatically supporting her message to be proud of the body you have and to not feel ashamed about it! Then she asked me and several other women to submit a photo for a project that shows off what we would consider to be our best asset with a short sentence explaining why we felt that way. If you are visiting from her blog, you know what I chose.

 As I thought about what I would consider my best features, two things instantly came to mind.

Yep. Those things.

It's almost embarrassing to be proud of one's rack, but then again, my mama always said "If you've got it, flaunt it" and well, I got it... er... them.

Ya know what - I think that everyone has some "it" that they can flaunt. When thinking about all of my beautiful girlfriends, several of their "its" came to mind. My friends are freaking gorgeous.
Some of them have legs that go on for days. Some have amazing muscle tone. A couple have that suddenly-a-thing thigh gap. Some have stellar hair. Others have movie star smiles and sexy bedroom eyes. And a few, yup - they've got a great rack too.

See how lovely my girlfriends are...

Anyway, I was self conscious for a good many years about the girls because I was an early bloomer and had all sorts of body-image issues, but then, in the past few years as I've had a boost in self-confidence, I have really embraced my body shape. It also didn't hurt that in recent years curvy, voluptuous women have become a more prominent symbol of beauty in pop culture. Woot woot!

So, let's take a minute to celebrate that classic hourglass figure that was the epitome of beauty back in the days of Marilyn Monroe and these modern day beauties with curves:
Christina Hendricks

Christina Hendricks 

Hannah Simone 

Hannah Simone 

Kat Dennings 

Sofia Vegara 

Sofia Vegara 
It goes without saying that I do not believe this is the only version of beauty or an ideal of beauty. Boobs don't make you beautiful. I am choosing to celebrate this body type today, because I find it to be feminine and sexy and feel like women should be able to be proud of their best bits - which is the sentiment behind this project that Catherine is launching.  Check out her facebook page too! It's called Accentuate the Positive! You can even get in on the fun and post of photo of yourself and YOUR best features!

(All photos were found on pinterest - except for those of my friends, those I creepily stole off Facebook) 

A Review of The Host - book and movie

Or a more apt title: A post in which I rant about the horrendous movie adaptation of a decent book.

You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.

My brother-in-law has a theory, and I hate to admit, but he’s totally right. He thinks that books should be made into mini-series instead of movies. Like a 10-episode series so that you are able to get in all of important character development and plot points. This option would’ve been so much better for this movie. It was like the story was on fast-forward with missing chunks!

I should’ve known better than to be excited over a Stephanie Meyer movie adaptation. Some books should just stay books. That said, I really loved the book The Host. It is far more quality reading than Twilight, which a richer back story than 2 boys loving the same girl with fantasy elements. Here is a synopsis if you are interested. The short version is that there has been a alien invasion on earth a la body snatchers or that one teen-alien-horror movie with Josh Hartnett from 15 years ago. Humans are implanted with a “soul” – a non-violent, loving, shiny bug-like being, who take over our bodies in order to ‘experience’ the planet. This story is centered on a small group of survivors, most notably a young girl named Melanie who resists her implantation and actually forms a relationship with her “soul”, Wanderer (and of course the 2 boys that are in/fall in love with her/them).

My dear friend Molly and I wondered how they were going to translate this book to the silver screen considering SO MUCH of the dialogue happens INTERNALLY for the main characters. Well kids, it did NOT translate well. It was actually laughable it was so bad. How did they cope with the internal dialogue? Why, cheesy voiceovers with the main character speaking OUT LOUD to respond, but no one else could hear her, of course! #fail.  #fail. #fail. Oh! And sometimes, but not all the time, the Mel-voice would have a deep-southern accent!

After one of the opening sequences to the movie, Molly and I gave up trying to take it seriously and just yelled at the television whenever obnoxious, ridiculous things would occur – which happened to be a good 80% of the movie.

For example:
They made up action scenes to make it more exciting and action-y. (it didn’t work)They scrapped major plot points and characters – Wes, Walter, Sharon, Sunny anyone?? Not like they were pertinent to the plot and character development.
They seriously missed the ball with casting and I could’ve acted this movie better.
The setting was so obviously paper mache caves that it was impossible to take seriously.
They made intelligent, savvy, survivalist characters idiotic, making the believability that they were the actual survivors of a hostile alien takeover completely null and void.
They removed all ethnic characters and then cast Doc as an Obama look alike (that was SO hilariously distracting)

They made a strong, independent, practical female lead into a heel and dress wearing ninny (albeit, there were such cute heels).
They made a terrifying book-character seem not even mildly threatening as she posed against her silver car in the dessert, looking far more like a model than a determined alien.

 Granted, taking all of that into account, I do have to say that this movie has provided Molly and I will many hours of entertainment in our rants and complete re-casting of the film. Here is a look at our choices for the cast of The Host. (movie cast on the left, Molly and my castings on the right) 

Melanie Stryder - A super tough girl who took care of herself and her kid brother on the run after her parents were killed. She’s described as strong, a long-distance runner, and basically kick-ass chick.
 Jared Howe –
Melanie’s survivalist loverboy. A tough, but tender, tall muscular man with a chiseled jaw and “sienna” eyes (really Stephanie Meyer? Really? Why don’t you go ahead and google the color “sienna” and see what ya come up with…).
 Ian O'Shea –Wanda’s love interest, who also happened to want to kill her in the beginning (In the movie, its like a 10 minute time-span, I-hate-you-want-to-strangle-you to I-love-you-and-will-protect-you). He’s described as another  burning hunk of man, with dark hair, light skin, and blue eyes.

Kyle O'Shea -
Ian’s meathead jerk of an older brother who really tries to kill Wanda. Described as a huge, muscley hunk of man who looks like his little bro, but with a crooked-because-previously-broken nose.

Wanda –
When she gets her own body at a later point it is described as a small, feminine, petite little blonde woman-child.

The Seeker –
Described as an almost ugly, small, intense dark-haired woman with dark, bulging eyes, who wears head-to-toe black.

After the ridiculousness of all of this, Molly and I took a little creative license as to how we would get some of our favorite stars into the movie: 
So, Johnny Depp could be Walter (since he wasn't even in the movie anyway!) 

 But then we rationalized that if Johnny Depp was in it, then Helena Bonham Carter HAS to have a part, so allow me to introduce you to Aunt Maggie:

Then for some (more) man candy:

Random Meathead: 

Then, we figured the chick who actually played Melanie can be Sharon
And this kid can be Jamie (although, the kid in the movie actually did the best acting job of all of them!)

OH and a very close runner-up for Ian and Kyle: 

This was way to much fun! 
What do you think about our Fancast of the Host? 
Have you ever been seriously disappointed by a book-to-movie adaptation?

Fashion Friday

Guys, its been HOT this week.

Walking out the door feels like walking into a wall of hot jello the hair is so thick and heavy with humidity. I am looking forward to the storms this afternoon that will hopefully break the heatwave. I also had 2 interviews this week for an upcoming internship position I have to have for my graduate program, so I tried to be a little subdued in some of my outfit choices.

I  think I have an obsession with yellow these days. 
Dress: Target Shoes: ModCloth.com Necklace: Accessory Dash Belt: from another dress

Top and skirt: Target, Shoes: Modcloth.com Earrings: Accessory Dash Belt: from another dress

Capris: Loft, Top and hat: Target Sandals: Shoe Carnival

Dress: Modcloth.com, Shoes: Target, Neckalce: Kohls, Belt: from another dress

I had a lot of fun rocking the faux-bob this week. Some people freaked and others sent sweet compliments my way. Either way, it was fun to work a new (but temporary) style for a day.

Guys, I think I am in a rut. A matchy-matchy rut. I keep gravitating towards accessories of all the SAME color. Shoes, belt, necklace, earrings - all of it the same color. As you can see, I have been walking around in some variation of solid color dress + multiple accessories of the same color = outfit for days. Hopefully next week I can challenge myself to get out of this pattern! Anyone else ever experience fashion ruts? Tell me about it in the comments!

Linking up with Rachel the Hat for her Passion for Fashion posts! 

Rachel The Hat

A Fine Line

Similarly to droves of women, I have often struggled with my self confidence. Once I hit my pre-teen, awkward stage that almost everyone goes through, I became acutely aware of how I looked in comparison to the women around me. I've never really outgrown that - as a woman, do we ever? 

However, as I've gotten older, my confidence has grown. I feel like now, in my (gulp) late twenties, I've finally come into my own. Part of that is finding my footing and knowing what I want in life - sorting out priorities. Part of it has been marrying an incredibly loving, supportive man who makes me feel beautiful on my worst days. And part of it is finally being comfortable in my own skin. 

Now, something I struggle with is not letting self confidence slip into vanity. One of the reasons I had such a confidence issue as a kid is because I was frequently put down for caring about my appearance, like it was a shameful thing to care how I looked. I never want to be a vapid, self-absorbed, conceited woman, but I do want to be a confident woman. I feel like I sometimes skirt that fine line and posting photos of myself sometimes makes me feel like I am going to be perceived as that self-absorbed girl I never want to become.  

Exhibit A from my Instagram page. 

I was thrilled when I found this online community of women last year who crazily post photos of themselves and their outfits. This group of blogging and instagramming ladies who fearlessly take pictures of themselves every day and put themselves out there. I jumped in with gusto! It has been such a safe place for me - thankfully I haven't been the victim of anonymous hate, yet - and I've grown even more in my confidence in the past year. It has been amazing. I hope to be as supportive and uplifting to the other women as they've been to me. I also hope to keep myself in check and not slip into a fugue of self-abosrbstion and if I do - I expect my dear friends to lovingly slap me upside my head and bring me back down to earth. 
Funny Apology Ecard: Sorry your therapist has made you aware of what a self- absorbed know-it-all you are.

What I've Been Wearing: Wedding, Work, Weekend

So I said I wanted to write more fashion posts on the ol' bloggy, so I should probably get to it right?

Here are some of my favorite looks from the past few weeks:

Wedding Outfit 
 I attended the wedding of a childhood-family friend 2 weeks ago and got to take this little number on her maiden voyage. I felt adorable and very pin-up working that cherry print and peep toes.

Dress: Modcloth.com
Cardi: Target 
Shoes: Old- maybe Target.

 I loved this work-look. The peplum top is a little tough to style because the proportions are a little off on me in this particular top, but I love it anyway. I felt a little spunky, a little punky in this look.

Top: Modcloth.com
Skirt: Target
Shoes: Aldo 

I broke out my new favorite maxi dress for a hot weekend day of running errands. I literally did not remove those sunglasses from my face all day, so I thought it was appropriate they made the photo :)

Dress: Kohls
Belt: Snatched from another dress
Sunnies: Francesca's