Beginning Runner

Dress: Old Navy Blazer: Old Navy Belt: Old Navy Tights: Target Boots: Target Necklace: F21

Oh holy head tilt.  That's all I have to say about this picture...

Today is a big day!  I'm meeting my supervisor for my school counseling internship today!  I'm actually really excited about it.  I have heard great things about my district and supervisor, so I'm hopeful that I'll learn a lot next school year when I'm there!

I recently began running.  Kevin and I joined a gym a few months ago, and I mostly stuck to cycling and the elliptical at the beginning.  I decided I wanted to give running a try.  I've never liked it, but I know how good it is for me, and I really want to work hard to get better at something.  Many things in my life come naturally to me, but running is not one of them.  I am currently using the Couch 2 5K app, and it has really eased me into running.  I am starting to kind of enjoy it, actually...what?!  Who am I?!  I want to sign up for a 5K race some time this spring or summer, I think.  Have any of you run any races (5K, 10K, half-marathon, full marathon, triathlon, etc.)?  I'm eager to hear about your experiences!


Popular Dress

Dress: Target (new from Goodwill) Cardigan: Target Leggings: Target Boots: Guess Belt: The Limited

I figured out how to make a header for my blog!  It's nothing special, but it is certainly an improvement.  I'm slowly trying to learn how to customize my blog.  As readers, is there anything specific you'd like to see in my blog design?  Any elements you love on other blogs that I've forgotten to add?  I'm always open to feedback :)

I love, love, love this dress.  I found it at Goodwill several years ago - a brand new Target dress (with tags) for only $4?  Yes please.  Shortly after purchasing this dress, I became interested in fashion and style blogs.  Since then, I can think of four bloggers (Kendi, WhitneyAudrey, and Liz) off the top of my head who have or had this dress and have styled it beautifully!  Is it just me, or does anyone else get super excited when they see items in their own closet that other bloggers have?

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Because Shanna Said So :)


Hard Candy = Grandma Candy?

Shirt: Old Navy Cardigan: Target Jeans: Old Navy Flats: Payless Necklace: F21

I drive about 20ish minutes to my school and work each day.  Rather than listening to the radio in the car on the way, I listen to podcasts.  I have several long-time favorites (Radiolab, Stuff You Should Know, Stuff Mom Never Told You), but one new-to-me podcast has been dominating my car rides lately.  It's called Spilled Milk.  The hosts of the show, Matthew and Molly, talk about various food items, try new recipes, and have a ton of fun.  I literally laugh out loud in my car listening to them (check out the episode about apples, which is one of my all-time favorites!).

This morning, I was listening to Spilled Milk, and they were talking about hard candies, but they kept referring to them as "Grandma candy," as the only people that buy those candies (butterscotch discs, Milk Maid caramels, Werther's Originals, etc.) are grandmas.  I laughed, because sitting in my desk at work is a bag of Werther's Originals...apparently, I'm a grandma.  Whatever, hard candy is delicious.

I do not know Matthew and Molly and have no affiliation with Spilled Milk, other than being an avid fan.  I just enjoy the show and want to spread the love.


Monday Legs

Cardigan: Target Tank: Target Skirt: Old Navy Tights: Target Boots: Bare Traps

Happy Monday!   I hope you all had a good weekend.  I went home to my parents' house for the weekend for the first time since Christmas!  We celebrated my brother's birthday on Saturday (and watched Pitch Perfect...again), and on Sunday, I had a 3-hour lunch with my best friend.  It was a great weekend, but now I have a ton of work to do for school.

I bought these purple tights at Target for a steal a while ago, but I haven't worn them until today.  I was going through my tights collection and found these, still in the packaging, in the bottom of my drawer.  Apparently, I really like to start my weeks with patterned or colorful tights (I've worn all these outfits on Mondays).  My coworkers always comment on my fun tights and say how excited they get to see them.  It's only natural I'd wear this purple pair this Monday.

I'm linking up with My Greatest Hits' My Style Monday!


February Spending

This is my first time linking up with Franish and the other Budgeting Bloggers.  I haven't really given myself a set budget for each month, although I'm trying to keep it to $50ish per month, or $600 per year.  Being in graduate school and working as a graduate assistant, I have a minuscule budget, and I need to be very careful with how I spend my money.

These are my February purchases:

Dexter Claire scrunch flat (black) - $24.99 + 20% off order = $20

Dexter Claire scrunch flat (nude) - $24.99 + BOGO + 20% off order = $10

I've had a new pair of black ballet flats and a pair of nude ballet flats on my shopping list for quite a while now.  I have a pair of these shoes already, in black and metallic brown (worn hereherehere, and here), and I love them.  They're comfortable to wear all day long, and they actually have held up quite well!  When I saw Payless was having a BOGO (buy one, get one) sale plus 20% off total orders, I jumped on the opportunity to add these shoes to my wardrobe.  I've worn the black pair a couple of times now, and am waiting to break the nude pair out until the weather is a little nicer.

I've just recently created a page of my closet wish list items.  Check it out!!  For this upcoming month, I'd really love to find a white button up, a couple of skirts, some sandals, and a scarf or two.


Happy Birthday, Brother Bear!

Cardigan: Target Shirt: Old Navy Jeans: NY&C Boots: Target

You guys!  I got Instagram!  Follow me @brynn_mcconnell for snippets of my life! [Probably lots of pictures of my dog...]

This cardigan is one of the busiest things I own.  Because of how bold it is, I've really only worn it with black or cream, and only with jeans.  I really like it, though, because it's comfortable and purple, and the pattern is intriguing.  How else would you style it??

I hope you all have great weekend plans!  Today is my brother's 27th birthday, so I'm going home to celebrate with my family tomorrow.  I'm so excited!!  Here are some of my favorite pictures of my brother, Ian, and me:

Ian and baby Brynn

Us about 5-6 years ago
Loving life...

Merry Christmas!

My high school graduation

Our wedding (Kevin and me...not my brother and me...)


My Polka Dots

Sweater dress: Old Navy Belt: Walmart Tights: Target Shoes: Target

My grandma passed away almost three years ago.  She was so sweet and loving and quintessential "Grandma."  Twice a year, for Easter and for the beginning of the school year, she would take my brother and me out shopping for a new outfit.  Whenever I would try on an Easter dress with polka dots, she would say, "Oh, you're wearing my polka dots!!"  They were her absolute favorite (along with the color yellow).  To this day, whenever I wear polka dots, I think of her and "her polka dots."

I'm linking up with Bri's Third Thursday Threads today.  Check out all the other fabulous bloggers showing off their polka dots!


Smoothie Queen

Dress: Old Navy Belt: Old Navy Tights: Target Boots: Target

I've been on a real smoothie kick for the last month.  I'm making a conscious effort to eat healthier, and making smoothies is a fantastic way to start my day.  I always start with an oatmeal base with vanilla protein powder.  I add vanilla yogurt, a banana, and 4-6 ice cubes.  To vary the flavor, I add a handful of either frozen blueberries or peaches, and then pour vanilla soy milk or orange juice over the top.  YUM.  I'm always so surprised at how full it keeps me throughout the morning, and it feels great to fuel my body with healthier foods.


Internships, Emojis, and Instagram

Cardigan: Target Tee: Hanes Trouser jeans: TJ Maxx Flats: Kohls Scarf: JCPenney

Sorry for my downer of a post yesterday!  I'm usually quite positive, but yesterday was simply overwhelming.  I have a huge sense of relief today, because I have been placed at my school counseling internship site!  Not knowing my internship site was a huge stressor for me, and I'm really excited about where I'll be interning next year.  Whew!!

I also just got an iPhone this weekend, and I've been having a blast with it.  I've been annoying all my friends and family by sending them pictorial descriptions of my day using emojis instead of words.  I think it's funny, but I'm sure they'll all get sick of it soon.  I've also decided I might hop on the Instagram train.  I'm on the fence...someone convince me one way or the other!!  What are your thoughts on Instagram?



Top: Old Navy Cardigan: Target Skirt: Old Navy Tights: Target Flats: Payless Necklace: Gift from sister-in-law Belt: Came with a skirt from JCPenney

I am usually such a go-getter, but my energy is wearing thin right now.  I'm incredibly busy with school and work, but I'm still trying to carve out time to be with Kevin, keep in touch with friends and family, and volunteer at the animal shelter (OH! And blog!).  When life gets overwhelming, I like to just have a little time to sit, think, and debrief, and yet I'm not finding many minutes in the day to do so.  I'm a big list maker, so I spent some time this morning making a long list of all the things I need to do for each section of life.  It is a lot, but I like to see everything I have to do...plus, the satisfaction I feel after crossing things off my list is the best.

I took a better picture of my tights!  I wore these tights in this post, but didn't get a good shot of the leopard pattern.  I like how they add interest to an otherwise plain outfit.  Also, apparently, I don't wear these tights with anything other than black and green.  I'm going to have to branch out next time!



Tank: Old Navy Blazer: Target Pants: NY&C Necklace: F21 Boots: Target Wedges: Kohls

I'm posting two incredibly similar photos today.  In the first photo, I'm wearing my trusty black boots, and in the second photo, I'm wearing black wedges.  I just wanted to see how the outfit looked with each pair of shoes.  What do you prefer?  Boots or wedges?

I listen to music in the shower every morning.  I love the show Glee (even when it sucks), and I have a playlist of Glee songs on my iPod.  This morning, I turned on the music, put my Glee playlist on shuffle, and the first song that came up was the Glee version of Rebecca Black's "Friday."  Now, the song is stuck in my head.  I apologize to anyone I have to see today, because I'm probably going to be humming "Friday" all. day. long.  HAPPY FRIDAY.

[PS. Do you like how the sun is shining on my face this morning?  I feel like I'm an angel.  Or Jesus.]


Lovey Dovey

Cardigan: Eddie Bauer, thrifted Tank: Target Jeans: JCPenney Shoes: Born Necklace: From Mom

Valentine's kisses from Pippin!

Happy Valentine's Day!  I'm not a huge Valentine's Day celebrator, but I do enjoy the excuse to have a date with Kevin and wear pink, and the cheap candy tomorrow isn't all that bad either :)  I have class tonight, so we're going to have a late date and go get some frozen yogurt.

When I was taking pictures today, Pippin kept wanting to get in them.  She would sit at my feet and just stare at me.  I picked her up for one of the pictures, and right as the timer went off, she went in for a smooch!  Stinker.

What are you all doing for Valentine's Day?


Band Geek

Dress: Target (super old...) Tights: Target Wedges: Kohls Necklace: Gift from parents

I was a massive band geek in high school.  I mainly played flute and piccolo in band, but I also played clarinet, and have dabbled in trumpet and saxophone.  One semester in high school, I played in two different bands and was a teacher's assistant for a different band.  Yup, I was that kid.  I bought this dress in high school for band concerts, because we needed to wear all black.  When I went to college, I left this dress at my parents' house, and they just recently found it and gave it back to me.  I'm super happy about it, because I can throw it on in a pinch and look like I tried.

Linking up with Because Shanna Said So and The Pleated Poppy.



Top: Old Navy Blazer: Calvin Klein, thrifted Jeans: NY&C Shoes: TOMS Necklace: From Mom

The other day, I was talking to a friend about how much I love the combination of gray and navy, except it came out as "gravy."  Awkward.

Please excuse the tab hanging out of the sleeve of my shirt.  I thought I tucked those suckers in, but the right one kept coming out.

I really love how these skinny jeans feel on me, but they are too baggy from the knees down.  I wonder if I can get that fixed...looking at this picture, the bunching at the knees is driving me nuts.

I got this beautiful, soft, structured gray blazer at Goodwill several weeks ago.  I went to put it on last week one day, and noticed there was a hole in the seam of one of the sleeves.   Thank goodness for my mom's sewing skills - I brought it home to her over the weekend and she stitched it right up!!  Thanks, Mom :)


Oh, this old thing?

Shirt: Old Navy Cardigan: Target Skirt: Target, thrifted Tights: Target Boots: Bare Traps Scarf: Old Navy

I'm linking up with Blue Paper Lanterns today, with the "Oh, this old thing?" link up.  The idea is to find something old in your closet and wear it with pride!

As I looked through my closet, I noticed that most of my shirts, pants, skirts, and dresses are fairly new (within the last 2 years or so).  The older things I own are accessories and shoes.  I believe this scarf is the oldest thing I have in my closet.  I got it when I was a junior in high school (2004-2005).  I bought it with two henleys, one pink and one magenta, and only wore this scarf with one of those two shirts.  I definitely was more of a "uniform" dresser back in high school.  Top X only went with Cardigan Y, which perfectly matched my embroidered jeans...that kind of thing.

Here is a super close-up selfie of me, as a junior in high school, wearing the same scarf with the magenta shirt:



Family Reunion

On Saturday, Kevin, my grandma, my cousin Katie, and I drove up to northern Minnesota for a family reunion with all the relatives on my maternal grandfather's side of the family.  It was a blast.  Unfortunately, my mom is super sick with the crud that's going around, so she and my dad weren't able to attend, and my brother was in class on Saturday, so this was the first family gathering I've attended without any of my immediate family members.  Even though we were missing my immediate family, it was a blast to spend time with the extended family.  We ate lots of food, told jokes, looked at old family photos, heard amazing and funny stories, and laughed sooo much.  It was a wonderful Saturday.

This is a picture of my cousins Ali and Sam, me, my cousin Katie, and Kevin.  This picture is only missing my brother and Katie's brother (who were both at school), and we'd have a picture of all of us cousins (plus Kevin).


Warped Colors

Shirt: Hanes Skirt: Old Navy Leggings: Target Scarf: Hand-me-down from Mom Belt: Goodwill Knee highs: Target Boots: Bare Traps

My camera is the weirdest.  Sometimes it picks up colors and textures very well, but other times, it pretty much sucks.  For instance, this skirt is a true navy, not black like the camera shows.  The knee highs I'm wearing?  Dark purple, not black.  The shirt?  Deep magenta.  I'm kind of dumb with cameras (and mine is ridiculously old, too) and I need to figure out the best way to edit my photos, but I wish it was easier.

I'm so glad it's Friday.  We're spending Saturday in northern Minnesota with extended family, and I'm very excited!  They're some of my favorite people, and we don't get to see them often enough.  What are you all up to this weekend?



Shirt: Old Navy Black pants: NY&C Flats: Payless Scarf: JCPenney

Today's look is inspired by Audrey at Putting Me Together!  I love the simplicity of black skinny jeans with a chambray shirt.  Plus, it's ridiculously comfortable.

At the gym this morning, I decided to switch the channel of the TV in front of me from a news station covering gun control and national debt to ABC Family.  Yup, I watched Boy Meets World this morning.  And let me tell you, it was the best way to start my day.  The bromance between Shawn and Cory?  Love it.  Topanga's awesome hair?  Love it.  Eric's quirky self-absorbed personality? Love it.  And Feeny in general?  LOVE IT.


Stealthy Leopard

Tank: Old Navy Skirt: Target Blazer: Old Navy Tights: Target Boots: Target Necklace: Gift from Mom

Today, I'm rocking leopard print tights.  Whenever I wear these tights, I feel powerful and confident.  I'm not sure what it is about them, but I'm bound to have a good day whenever these I'm wearing these tights.  What piece of clothing in your closet makes you feel good all day long?

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday and Because Shanna Said So for Random Wednesday :)


Improving My Closet: Part Two

Last week, I posted Part One of my Improving My Closet series.  This is based off of Putting Me Together's series, Wardrobe From Scratch.  Today, I'll be focusing on Part Two: choosing wardrobe colors.

The idea behind choosing colors is so that the items in your closet can all go together in a cohesive manner, which will also help you make the most of your clothing.

Audrey uses this color wheel from Academichic to illustrate some points on color theory.  Check out Academichic and Audrey's blog for more information about color theory.

Audrey suggests choosing 1-2 neutrals as a base for your wardrobe along with 2-3 accent colors.

Choose 1-2 neutrals for basics: Choosing just one or two neutrals for basics is really hard for me.  I love neutral colors, and am very drawn to them.  I can definitely say, however, that my primary neutral is black.  I find black easy to work with, and I like the striking contrast it makes against so many other colors.  I'm also, however, drawn to some browns (camel and cognac) and gray as well.

Choosing a color palette: As for colors, I'm definitely drawn to blues (navy blue, teal, cobalt), purples (particularly plums and dusty purples), and greens (olive, lime).  These hues are rich and cool at the same time, and I love how all of them pair with my beloved neutrals.  I tend to like jewel tones.  As an accent, I also like coral and pink!

via Pinterest (I can't find the original source...)

There you have my favorite color combinations and the palette I try to stick to as I shop.  I do have warm colors (both dark and deep reds) in my closet as well, but the colors I tend to be drawn to are shown above.

What colors are most prevalent in your closet?


Summer Skirt? Winter Skirt?

Turtleneck: Target Skirt: Talbots Tights: Target Flats: Payless Necklace: F21

This skirt really is more of a spring and summer skirt, as it is unlined and fairly thin.  I've been drawn to black lately (but am trying hard not to limit myself to monochrome black ensembles), and I thought this skirt would be the perfect way to inject a little interest and sunshine into my otherwise plain, black outfit.  I've never worn this skirt with black before - only gray and white in the past - and it's amazing how different the skirt looks with a darker, more wintery palette.  How do you winterize a summer skirt?


Lazy Sunday

Chambray tunic: NY&C Vest: Old Navy Leggings: Victoria's Secret Scarf: Old Navy Boots: Target

I found these boots at Target for $10 when I was looking for a different pair of shoes.  I have never had short boots like these, and the style is a lot edgier than boots I've had before.  I really liked the style, fit, dark brown color (and the price), so I decided to get them.  What do you all think about them?

It's been a day of heavy reading.  Kevin and I are diving into our respective graduate programs, and trying to get lots of homework done.  I wanted an outfit that was comfortable but still socially acceptable, as we ventured to a new-to-us coffee shop in town to do homework.  I think this fits the bill!


Wedding Shoes

Sweater: Old Navy Jeans: JCPenney Shoes: Converse Scarf: Gift from my parents

I recently posted about being quite picky about the shades of purple that I wear.  While I usually prefer deeper shades, I really liked this pretty lavender sweater (yup, I have this sweater in three colors).

My scarf and shoes have some personal significance, as well.  My parents gave me this scarf for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I really like it.  It's super soft, and the little pompoms dangling from it are fun.  Pippin also likes them and thinks they're a toy :)

The shoes I'm wearing were actually the shoes I wore at our wedding.  When Kevin and I first started dating, we both discovered that we wanted to get married in Chuck Taylors (both of us wore these shoes constantly in college).  Neither of us had any idea that people had ever done this, and thought we were super unique.  Two years later, when we were planning our wedding, we actually started the planning process with the shoes in mind.  I realize now that we aren't the only people who have had this idea, but it was very "Brynn and Kevin," and really fit in with our very personalized and very fun wedding.