Grandpa Sparkles

Dress: Old Navy Sandals: Target Necklace: F21

I was in my brother-in-law's wedding last summer, and all of the women needed to wear silver shoes.  Since I'm not a heels kind of lady, I decided to look for a pair of silver flat sandals with a little sparkle.  I searched high and low for the perfect pair, and wound up ordering this pair from Target online.  They were only about $20, which was ideal for my itty bitty budget, and they are SO comfortable.

I wore them once before the wedding, at my other brother-in-law's high school graduation open house, and Kevin's grandpa (who is usually super serious and stoic) really liked them.  I was sitting with Kevin in the yard, and Grandpa Mac came up to me and looked at my shoes...and we had the following conversation:

Mac: "So, you like sparkles?"
Me: "Yeah, I do!"
Mac: "Me too...how long do you think you've liked sparkles?  Since you were a little girl?  Maybe, like, two?"
Me: "Oh yes, I definitely liked sparkles when I was little!!"
Mac: [nods head...walks away...]

It was pretty funny, and to this day, we all call him Grandpa Sparkles when referring to him :)

I'm linking up with Heidi at Literate & Stylish for today's We Love Target challenge!


100% Target

Tee: Target Skirt: Thrifted, Target Scarf: Target Sandals: Target

Hmm, seems fitting that during the We Love Target challenge I would be wearing a 100% Target outfit...

Today's challenge item is an accessory!  I recently bought this scarf since I needed some fun, colorful, lightweight scarves for the summer.  I love wearing light scarves in warmer weather because they don't make me too hot outside (and if I do get too hot, they can fold up nice and small in my purse), and they add a little extra warmth in the air conditioning.  I love the bright colors in this scarf - I'm usually drawn to neutrals and more muted, cool colors, but I love red, pink, and coral (especially to spice up a neutral outfit!) and this scarf has it all!!

I know that denim skirts are not the most fashionable, but I really love this one.  Since I dislike wearing shorts, this skirt acts as a shorts substitute of sorts (say that 5x fast...) during the summer months.  I feel most comfortable and confident in a skirt or dress, so this is a pretty standard outfit for me.

I'm linking up with Along the Lines of Style today for the We Love Target challenge hosted by her and Literate & Stylish.

(Excuse my hair today...it is especially voluminous today...)


Polka Dotted Skirt

Tee: Target Skirt: Target Denim jacket: Levi's Sandals: Target Belt: Thrifted Necklace: Old, no idea...

I've had this skirt for a few months now, but haven't worn it yet.  I really like the length, the flowy material, and the almost-polka dots.  I decided to keep it simple for the first time I wear it, with just a plain white tee and necklace.  Since it's a bit chilly today, I also wanted to wear my denim jacket.

I had to wake up at 4:30 this morning to take our foster pup up to Minneapolis to get spayed.  Needless to say, I'm feeling a little draggy today.  I'll be heading back up to Minneapolis this afternoon to pick her up, too...so I'll need some good tunes on my iPod to keep me awake!! :)

I'm linking up with Along the Lines of Style for the Target Challenge today!!


Lace and Flowers

Shirt: Target Skirt: Talbot's via TJ Maxx Sandals: Target Necklace: From Mom

All my pictures were pretty terrible today, and believe it or not, this was the best of the bunch.  I really didn't feel like posting any of them, but I figured a) I haven't posted in forever and I feel pretty bad about it, b) I'd rather be real than only try to choose photos that flattered me, and c) it is the first day of the We Love Target link up, hosted by the wonderful Whitney from Along the Lines of Style and Heidi from Literate & Stylish.   You all know how much I love Target, so I had to post today!!

I knew that Heidi and Whitney were both going to be featuring their lace tops, so I figured I'd showcase how I wear mine as well!  I really love this shirt - it is so comfortable and pretty, and I've worn it so many different ways already.  [You can see the ways I've worn it on the blog here and here.]

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!


Send Some Love...

Hello all!  Today, I'm guest posting for my dear blogging friend, Kristina from Kristina in Retroworter!  She just got married and is enjoying a Caribbean cruise honeymoon with her new husband.  Come check the post out here and see how I've worn my lace dresses!



Sweater: Target Jeans: NY&C Scarf: Target Sandals: Target

  • I've been so tired lately (training is exhausting for an introvert like me!!) that I hopped into the shower this morning with my tank top on, and didn't realize I was still wearing it until after I had washed my hair.
  • I believe that guacamole and chips create the perfect "main course" of a lunch.
  • I realize that it's a little strange that I'm wearing a sweater and scarf with sandals.  I'm over it.
  • I accidentally bought a frozen sausage pizza instead of cheese at the grocery store last night, and since Kevin's a vegetarian, I made it for myself to eat for dinner (and leftovers for lunch and dinner tomorrow...).
  • I checked the timer for said pizza when there was one second left...I am a genius.
  • Pippin ate half a bar of soap and threw up the frothiest, bubbliest, cleanest-smelling wad of dog food I've ever seen.  Gross AND impressive.
  • I can't watch the Moore, Oklahoma tornado footage without feeling sick or terrified, so I am trying to distract myself by snuggling with dogs and watching Boy Meets World.


The Best Floral Skirt EVER.

Tee: Old Navy Skirt: Target Necklace: F21 Sandals: Target

So I was really stressed out the other day and instead of choosing to stress-eat, I decided to go to Target and look at the clearance racks.  This floral skirt was on the 30% off rack and only set me back $15, and I totally love it.  The colors are perfect and summery, it has an elastic waistband (comfy!!), and it has POCKETS.  I love it.  Today I wanted to keep it simple with just a plain white tee and a necklace.  I'm looking forward to wearing it with colorful shirts, my chambray shirt, my new coral blazer (that should be coming soon!!), etc.  I definitely think you'll be seeing a lot of this skirt over the next several months.

We just began training our summer staff yesterday, and I'm already super tired.  I'm an introvert, and while I enjoy being around other people, it is exhausting.  I have to be to campus early in the morning and stay later than I'm used to, so by the time I come home, I just want to lay quietly on the couch snuggling with Kevin and the dogs.  I anticipate that I'll be watching a lot of Netflix (my favorite way to relax and decompress) in the coming days...


Milestones + Outfit Organization

Dress: Target Cardigan: Target Belt: Old Navy Shoes: Thrifted Target stock

Yes, this yellow dress brings my lace dress count up to four...NO SHAME.  I love lace, and I love dresses - what can I say? :)

You guys! I was so side-tracked by the Blog Every Day in May challenge that I failed to realize I've achieved two milestones this week.  First, I have exceeded 100 blog posts!  Wooo!  I feel super excited and proud about that.  I've been known to start and stop projects and not maintain interest in things/hobbies before...so making it to 100 posts feels awesome!  Thanks to all of you who have been following along - reading your comments completely makes my day.

My other milestone is that I've been tracking my outfits in an Excel document for over a year now.  I wanted to keep track of what was in my closet, what clothes I actually wore, plan outfits, etc.  I created an Excel document that stores it all.  When I've worn an item, I color code it...a different color for every time I wear something (up to 8 times...since some of my item like shoes and jeans get worn much more frequently than other items).  I keep track of things that I did certain days too, so I know not to wear the same thing when I see a friend from home twice in a row, or on class days.

I've planned and completed 30x30 remixes and other capsule wardrobes on my Excel document (pre-blog, of course), packed for vacations, planned outfits in advance for linkups and other blog challenges, and dreamed up outfits to wear in the future.  I can search for certain items and see other ways I've worn them and when, which is so helpful.  I highlight outfits that I particularly liked so I can recreate them on non-blogging days.  It's been a really nice way for me to feel very in touch with what's in my closet, and as a person who likes order and control, I really love it.

Here are a couple of screenshots of what it the document looks like.
This shows the outfits that I've already worn.

This tracks the items I own, and how often I've worn them.  For example, the items in red have only been worn once, and the items in teal have been worn 8 or more times.

Do any of you have ways to track and/or plan your outfits, or am I completely nerdy?  I'd love to hear how you've kept track of your outfits!


Coral and Navy

Tee: Target Skirt: Target Flats: Payless Necklace: F21

I've been off work since last Friday, and while I enjoyed having the time to bond with Delia and dink around at home, I was ready to get back to work today.  I work in orientation at the university I attend, and we're about to start training all of our new staff members before a summer full of orientation.  I really hate training other people and am not feeling prepared at all, so I was ready to get back into the office today to plug away on some work before our staff arrives on Sunday!  I often feel more productive when I'm dressed nicely, so I wanted to be sure to wear something cute.  I wanted to wear this skirt, and instead of pairing it with something easy/obvious (navy or white), I decided to wear my bright, fun coral tee!  I tied in the navy with a navy and gray necklace.  I really like how this outfit turned out.  I felt comfortable and cute and summery all day.

I tend to place really high expectations on myself.  When I first started the Blog Every Day in May challenge,  I felt determined to complete it and write every. single. day.  I felt pretty good about the challenge the first few days, but after a while, it didn't feel fun anymore.  I wasn't jazzed about every prompt, and I found it to feel like another thing I had to check off of my to do list each day.  It just lost its appeal.  I still think some of the prompts are fantastic, and I may jump in on those days (or borrow the prompts for future posts).  However, I want to keep the focus on my outfits and my own little nuggets for now.  I hate that I'm not completing the project (even though I've missed a day or two) and feel like I'm giving up, but ultimately, I just want to have fun with blogging and not feel such a sense of obligation.  Sound good?

Linking up with Work Clothes I Suppose and Mix and Match Fashion today.

Day Fifteen: Today

Dress: Old Navy Flats: Payless

Today's topic for Blog Every Day in May is to give a play-by-play of your day.  I'm a really boring person...Here was my day:

5:00 am: Wake up to a puppy who needs to go potty.  Kevin lets out the dogs, and then they all come snuggle in our bed until it's time to get ready for the day.  I check my email and figure out how to help Delia get used to her crate (she's been crying all night long...we decided to put her in Pippin's kennel with her last night and it went so much better).
8:00 am: Wake up, feed the dogs, and get ready for the day before Kevin leaves for work at 9:00.
9:30 am: Take outfit pictures, feel like something is missing, throw on a gold necklace.  Play with dogs and let them outside again before going into work to conduct interviews...on my day off...ugh.  Feel super sad that Delia cries and panics in her crate.
10:00 am-12:30 pm: Work.  Conduct interviews for summer student staff, chat with boss about who to hire, send emails, catch up on work after having been off since last Friday.  Talk to one of the head directors of the animal rescue group about Delia's aversion to the crate and how we can help her feel safer and more secure.
12:30 pm: Leave work, get soaking wet from the rain (didn't know that was going to happen today...).  Head to the pet store to get a new toy for Delia for only playing with in her crate...fingers crossed that it works!
1:30 pm:  Come home to two very nervous dogs - Delia is still crying...4 hours later.  Feel super guilty about it and take the dogs on a nice walk to get their nervous energy out.
2:00 pm: Take more outfit pictures with the gold necklace, but realize none of them are good enough for the blog because my hair had gotten all frizzy and gross from the earlier rain.  Settle for a shot from this morning and start to answer emails, begin this post, read blogs, etc. while eating toast and yogurt for lunch.
3:00 pm: Kevin comes home from work!  We chat about the day together, decide how we're going to contain Delia tomorrow when I go back to work.  Attempt to take pictures of Delia to put on her Petfinder profile and fail miserably.  Get one cute shot (below!)
4:00 pm: One of Kevin's coworkers stops by to meet Delia and we chat for 45 minutes.
4:45 pm: Kevin falls asleep with the dogs, I continue catching up on blogs, planning outfits, doing laundry, relaxing, etc.
6:30 pm: Kevin takes the dogs outside and I do a little cleaning around the apartment.
7:00 pm: Kevin and I went out to the tennis courts by our apartment and played tennis for a while.  It felt great to get out and do something active.  My knee has been really bothering me lately so I've been hesitant to go running.  It's been a week since I've worked out and I am really feeling it - gross.
9:00 pm: We finally watched Silver Linings Playbook!  It was soooo good.  It's been built up by so many friends so I was worried I wouldn't like it, but it was so great!  Plus, Jennifer Lawrence is in it, and I LOVE HER.
11:30 pm: Put the puppies outside one last time and go to bed!

I love her little tongue poking out!

**I wrote this post yesterday but didn't publish it until this morning!  Oops!


Day Fourteen: 10 Things I Love about Life

Tee: Target Shorts: Old Navy Shoes: Born Necklace: F21

It's going to be 95 degrees here today...WHAT.  I've already shared my disdain for shorts, and while I really don't want to be wearing them today, it's too hot not to.  And I'm pretty sure a flowy dress or skirt is just a play toy for a puppy, so I decided to just suck it up and wear one of my new pairs of shorts.  I still don't love the way they look on me - slightly snug in the waist and the leg holes are huge, but whatever...they're as good as it will get, I fear.  I love these dressy tees from Target, too.  The material is soft, and I love this bright teal color.

Today, I'm sharing with you a list of 10 things that make me happy.  Here they are, in no particular order.
  1. Kevin!  He is my perfect partner.  We are so, so different from each other in many ways, but we just work together.  He is super funny and makes me laugh all the time.
  2. Painting.  It is so fun to have a hobby like this, where I can just sit quietly or with a podcast or playlist of favorite tunes and create something.
  3. Singing.  I love, love, love to sing, especially with other people.  Singing in a small group or a duet is my absolute favorite.  When you sing with someone whose voice blends beautifully with yours, there's almost nothing better.
  4. Dogs!  I especially love our little Pippin.  She is quirky and sweet and snuggly and sassy, and she is the best companion ever.  Also, I'm loving little Delia, our foster pup, right now.  She's a great little puppy, and I am excited to help her find her forever home!
  5. Frozen yogurt.  It's just delicious and refreshing!
  6. Minnesota!  I really don't want to get too political on my blog, but I can't NOT talk about this today.  Minnesota became the 12th state in the country to legalize gay marriage yesterday.  I could not be happier - so many of my family and friends will finally have the privileges I do and will be able to marry their loves as well!
  7. Warm, sunny, breezy days.  I'm not much of an outside girl, but on perfect days like that, I just want to sit outside and soak it all in.
  8. My family and friends.  It's so great to know there are people out there who support me and care about me.  And man, do they make me laugh!!
  9. Harry Potter.  I know the series is over, but I absolutely LOVE Harry Potter.  The books are smart and interesting, and pose some fascinating questions.  I have so much respect for JK Rowling.
  10. Telling other people about the positive impact they have had on me.  I know how wonderful it feels to know that I've made a difference in someone else's life, and it means so much to me to pass that along to those who have impacted me as well.


Day Thirteen: I'm sorry.

Shirt: Thrifted American Eagle Jeans: JCPenney Shoes: TOMS

I'm sorry for the boring outfit today.  I'm off of work today through Wednesday, and taking care of our new foster puppy, so I'm not looking glamorous by any means.

I'm sorry I didn't blog on Saturday for the Blog Every Day in May challenge.  I didn't like the prompt and wasn't sure I wanted to blog just for the sake of the challenge.  In fact, I went into this fully expecting to blog every day, but I'm unsure if that's what I want to do right now.  I don't want to be tied to my computer or feel obligated in any way.  I do like some of the prompts, though, so I'll probably blog on those days.

I'm sorry for talking about animal rescue all the time [I'm actually not that sorry about this one...].  It's just something I'm incredibly passionate about.  We spent our day yesterday bathing little puppies, snuggling them, helping them get checked out by the vet, matching them with their new foster homes, and giving them the love they haven't received before but so badly need and deserve.  We took home our first foster puppy, Delia, and couldn't be more smitten with her.  It will be difficult to say goodbye to her when she is placed her with her forever family, but fostering her and having to say goodbye is so much better than the alternative (euthanasia).

This is the sweet little girl who has stolen our hearts and is making herself comfortable in our home (and my lap, right now) for the time being.  She is 12 weeks old and cute as can be.  Her mother was shot in front of her three brothers and her, so they became mother-less very early.  Thankfully, all four of them are placed in loving foster homes right now to give them the love and security they need.  I keep telling her (and myself) that the worst part of her life is over - she is safe now.


Day Twelve: The good old days

In today's challenge, we're supposed to write about something that we miss.  For me, I would give just about anything to go back to elementary school for even a day.

Kindergarten Brynn
I absolutely loved school when I was growing up.  From kindergarten on, I never complained about going to school.  I mentioned in my first blog post of this challenge that I loved reading, and school involved a lot of reading...I was set!  I loved learning about different cultures, history, plants, animals, math...I soaked it all in.

First day of 1st grade
I was lucky to grow up in an amazing school district (ranked second in the state of Minnesota!) and I had so many incredible teachers.  As a gifted child, they challenged me and pushed me and kept me engaged in class material.  As a shy little girl, they knew how to reach out to me and help me become more outspoken.  As an overly confident 4th-6th grader, they taught me the importance of humility and taking turns (and raising my hand...I was a "blurter").  They are what inspired me to want to work in the public school system and change lives.

My 9th birthday...A teddy bear birthday party complete with a super cool vest, made by my mom!
I miss the structure and variety of elementary school.  I miss having all the time in the world to read books, spend time with friends, and hang out with my family.  I miss the innocence of childhood.  I never felt truly scared of the world we live in until having to practice lock downs in 6th grade after Columbine, or watching coverage of 9/11 in 8th grade.  I miss how easy it was to make friends, and how quickly you made up if you got in a fight over who got to play with the only Barbie whose head hadn't fallen off (their necks just never looked the same after that...) or the only Beanie Baby that still had it's tag on (everyone knows they're worthless after the tag gets damaged).

4th grade piano recital with my brother and cousin.  I especially like my pioneer chic dress and neon watch.
I am so excited to be interning in an elementary school this upcoming year.  I will get to relive some of the most happy and magical times of my life and see young children learn, develop, and grow just like I got to.  I am so, so excited for this.


Day Ten: Embarrassment

Tank: Old Navy Blazer: Thrifted Calvin Klein Jeans: NY&C Shoes: TOMS Necklace: F21

Ugh, remember when I complained about blazers being hard to photograph?  Well....there's a reason this crappy shot is the picture for today.  This was the best one of the bunch.  Ew, not a fan.  Oh well!  I liked this outfit so bear with the bad picture!  It's casual Friday in the office, but I was conducting interviews, so I wanted to look a little professional.  So I went with business on the top, weekend on the bottom.  It kind of works, right?

Thanks to Blog Every Day in May, I'm sharing my most embarrassing moment with y'all today.  Please don't judge me too harshly.

I peed my pants twice during my junior year in high school.  Once was in Target, laughing at fart humor (I think farts are funny, okay??).  Once was at my friend's house, when my friend got shot off the back of a treadmill (she was completely fine).  And I was wearing overalls for that second one.  Not quite sure what's more embarrassing...the peeing of the pants, or the fact that I was wearing overalls in high school...


Day Nine: Moment in My Day...

Shirt: Target Pants: TJ Maxx Scarf: Old Navy Flats: Payless

I love this outfit.  I haven't worn my teal skinnies in a while, and I thought they would look great with my pretty lace shirt.  I was going to wear a necklace, but since it's rainy and chilly outside today, I thought a scarf would provide a little extra warmth!

It's Day 9 of the Blog Every Day in May challenge, and today's prompt is to show a moment of your day.

I went to the gym this morning and afterwards, worked on this painting that I'm donating to an auction. It's only about halfway done at this point, but I love it.  I'm a newbie painter...I've only painted about 6 paintings so far, but I love it and I'm happy with how its turning out.  I'd love to take a class some time, to learn actually how to paint...but I'm getting along well right now, being self-taught!!

I'm about to head out to the animal shelter I volunteer at for the afternoon, and this evening, I'm going to a local Mexican restaurant for margaritas with the girls in my grad school cohort.  I'm pretty excited!!


Day Eight: Advice.

Tee: Target Skirt: Target Shoes: Payless Necklace: From Mom

I absolutely love this outfit.  I wanted to wear a fuller skirt today, and this chambray skirt with pockets called to me from my closet this morning!  I also wanted to finally break out my new sandal wedges, so I thought I'd keep the other elements of my outfit focused on black.  I love how this turned out - I feel cute and put together and sassy.  I'm also having a fantastic hair day - I cut it over the weekend and it's quite a bit shorter than it was (particularly in the back, which you can't see here).  I love having a good hair day.

The prompt for today's Blog Every Day in May challenge is to give some advice.  Well, as an aspiring school counselor, we have been taught time and time again that we are not professional advice-givers.  After a year of graduate school, it feels weird to give advice.  But I'll pass on a nugget of wisdom that has been really helpful and motivating to me in my adulthood!

Find a cause that you are passionate about and do something about it.  In a world where there is so much injustice, inequality, and negativity, it feels amazing to make a difference.  Give your time by volunteering or give your money by making donations, or spread the word by advocating for others and educating people who may not know about the cause that you're interested in.  I know I talk about this all the time, but animal rescue is the thing I am most passionate about.  I have done plenty of research on animal rescue and talk to people about it all the time (for instance, I talk about the importance of spaying or neutering your pets).  I volunteer at the local animal shelter on adoption days and help place animals in their forever homes.  And this weekend, Kevin and I are getting our first foster puppy from a high-kill shelter in Kentucky.  We don't have many details yet, but we're excited to share with you when we do know more!  I have never been this excited or passionate about something in my life, and I cannot wait to start saving the lives of innocent dogs!


Day Seven: Waste.

Tank: Old Navy Skirt: Old Navy Cardigan: Gap Flats: Payless Necklace: Eclectic Wendy

I'm loving this outfit today.  I picked up this skirt at Old Navy for $3 because I liked both the price and the colors, but have found it a little difficult to style so far.  The green of my blouse is slightly brighter than the green stripes on the skirt, but I really don't mind.  I just feel springy and fun in this outfit!  And I don't feel boring like I have lately.  It's finally spring here in Minnesota and I'm able to wear all the spring outfits I've been planning in my head for months!

So, for the Blog Every Day in May challenge today, I wrote this long post about the things I'm afraid of (needles, fish, vomiting) but these are the physical things that make me pass out or panic.  These are the easy things to talk about.  I was avoiding the deep things that really make me most afraid at my core.  The thing, deep down, that makes me the most afraid is wasting time.

I'm not just talking about wasting time dinking around on the internet (which I'm really good at, but wish I wasn't) or watching copious amounts of mediocre television on Netflix (I'm looking at you, Desperate Housewives), but I'm talking about something bigger.  I'm talking about the kind of time wasting that prevents you from living life and experiencing it all.
  • I'm afraid of wasting time on unhealthy friendships.  Or wasting too much time dwelling on the unhealthy friendships I've had in the past that is taking away from the time I could be investing in new, healthy friendships. 
  • I'm afraid of time wasting getting in the way of my family.  My grandfather was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and we don't have as much time (good time, filled with memories) left to spend together.  I'm lucky that I still have four grandparents left, but I know that my time with them is precious.
  • I'm afraid that if I waste too much time, I won't be able to accomplish the things I want to.  I have dabbled in painting, but at the end of the day, it is too easy to reach for my laptop instead of my paintbrushes.  I want to learn to love running, but I waste time sitting around instead of getting outside in my running shoes.  I want to become a mother via adoption, but if I waste my time and money at the mall and doing other frivolous things instead of working hard, earning more money, and putting that money towards my future child(ren), I'm afraid it will never happen for me.
Wasting time is so scary for me.  I would love to get better at using my time well and in the most meaningful and productive way possible.  What have you done to better use your time?  What are you afraid of?


Day Six: Dream Jobs

Dress: Old Navy Flats: Thrifted Target (new with tags) from Goodwill

So far, I've been really enjoying the Blog Every Day in May challenge.  It's been such a fun way to connect with other bloggers and share more about myself with all of you!  Today's topic is to share what you would do if you could do anything (not your current job).  If I couldn't be a school counselor, there are three careers I think I would really love.

1. House flipper.  Since I was a little kid, I've been interested in interior design and architecture.  I used to sit outside and draw house plans for fun, and my parents gave me an interior design computer game when I was like 12 years old that I LOVED.  I used to love playing the Sims, too (NERD ALERT), and my favorite part was designing the house.  HGTV used to be my favorite television station, and I was utterly obsessed with Trading Spaces.  [To be honest, I'm still a little bummed that show's not on anymore.  I was the biggest fan of Paige and Vern (and Hildi was craaazy, amiright?).]  I love going on walks around our little town to look at all the cute houses, and going to real estate websites to see interior floor plans and rooms and everything.  I think it would be super fun to buy houses, gut them and completely redesign the interiors, and then sell them for a profit.  SO FUN!

2. Run an animal rescue group.  I've always had a huge heart for animals.  My dad always jokes that I can never watch movies with "animals in peril" because they make me cry every single time.  Free Willy?  My Dog Skip?  Marley & Me?  Homeward Bound?  Where the Red Fern Grows (the book got me, too)?  Can't watch any of them without crying my face off.  I won't even watch Old Yeller because it will make me bawl. [True story: Kevin started talking to me about Old Yeller a few weeks ago and I started crying.  I'm such a softy.]  Anywaaays, after we adopted our pup, Pippin, I learned much more about the rescue organization that saved her.  I was completely shocked by the information I learned about animals and how many dogs are put down simply because they don't have room at shelters.  I want to have a huge house some day (well-decorated, of course) with a huge fenced backyard so I can rescue dogs from high-kill shelters and place them in their forever homes.  Aside from my dream to be a  school counselor and a mother, fostering and rescuing dogs is one of the things on my "must-do" list before I die.

3. Physical therapist.  I'm a ridiculously clumsy person, and have broken two bones before.  I broke my left collar bone in 8th grade (playing Red Rover during gym class...), and my left wrist about a year and a half ago (I was playing with Pippin on our bed and fell off...).  I needed surgery on my wrist to pin the bone back in place, and after six weeks in a cast, I began physical therapy to get my strength and range of motion back (I'm a lefty, I should add).  I fell in love with physical therapy.  I loved all the exercises my physical therapist helped me do.  I loved watching my progress from session to session.  I enjoyed watching other patients at the clinic make progress.  The physical therapists were so fun, encouraging, and personable, and I found myself thinking about physical therapy as a career.  How rewarding it would be to help patients overcome trauma, injury, and accidents and gain some freedom back!!  I've always been interested in the medical field, but I'm insanely squeamish about blood, needles, etc., so physical therapy would be a good venue for me in the health care industry!

What would you do, if you could do anything?!


Day Five: Blogger Love

It is the fifth day of the Blog Every Day in May challenge.  Today's topic is to publicly profess your love for one of your blogger friends.  I'm going to take the time to feature one of my favorite bloggers and friends, Whitney from Along the Lines of Style.

I've been following Whitney's blog since a few months after she began blogging.  I can't even remember how I came across it - through a linkup, perhaps?  Right from the bat, I knew she and I would get along.  She's so down to earth and absolutely darling, and I love her approach to blogging.  Whitney has a great sense of personal style, is young and married (like me!), and forms the minds of young people every day as a middle school teacher.

Before I ever started blogging, I commented on Whitney's blog and was always so touched when she would make a thoughtful response.  I think it is really neat when bloggers respond to their comments - it makes readers (particularly non-blogging readers) feel accepted and appreciated.  Whitney wrote a post about her running schedule several months ago, and I emailed her with some questions (as I, at the time, was just starting to get into running).  She emailed me back with the best and most supportive response.  When I was thinking about starting my blog, I emailed some of my favorite bloggers for some advice, and Whitney remembered me from our previous emails and was so excited for me, and incredibly encouraging about me starting my own blog.

Since then, we've just connected through our love of clothing (especially Target, skirts, and blazers), our interest in helping kids (her as a teacher, me as a school counselor), our similar personalities, and our general lifestyle (young, married, working, grad school...).  We have so much in common - it's uncanny!!  It's been so much fun to get to know each other through the internet.  I would love to meet in person someday and be able to turn our virtual friendship into a real life friendship!

I encourage you all to check out her blog to marvel at her beauty, intelligence, wit, and enviable closet.  Give Whitney some love!! :)


Day Four: Be the change...

Today's prompt for the Blog Every Day in May challenge is to write about a favorite quote and why you love it.

This is one of my favorite quotes: "Be the change you wish to see in the world..."  I remember the first time I heard it.  I was in junior high, and it just struck me.  I was not really in tune to the world around me at the time - everything was centered around school, music, boys, friends, and Nsync.  I remember having to read the quote to myself a few times in order to fully understand its scope.  When it did finally hit me, it really stayed with me.

As I got older and started to pay attention to injustices and inequalities, I would get really upset with certain things, people, etc.  This quote reminds me that if I want the world to be a better, more peaceful, more equal place, I must fight to make it so.  I can't just sit around and whine about the things that bother me; I need to step up and change them myself.

I was at Kohls about four years ago, and I found this quote on a ring.  I bought it, and have worn it most days since then.  It's a constant reminder for me to make this world better.  Even though I am just one person and I may seem insignificant, if I can impact just one person, that's enough for me.

This quote is in the forefront in my mind in many capacities.  As an aspiring school counselor, I want to  change the lives of the students I work with and make their realities a little sunnier.  As a feminist, I want to do my part to make the work a better place for women.  As an LGBT ally, I want to help educate those around me to more fully understand the LGBT community and learn to accept and embrace all individuals.  Like I said earlier, if I want to make the world a better place, I need to take action to make that happen.


Day Three: Uncomfortable

Cardigan: Target Skirt: Old Navy Flats: Payless Necklace: Suuuper old...Target, maybe?

Today's topic for the Blog Every Day in May challenge is to discuss something that makes you uncomfortable.  I know that I feel uncomfortable about many things, but I had a hard time with this post.  I decided that rather than writing a lot about one thing, I'd make a little list about the things that make me feel uncomfortable.

  • Wearing pants.  I've written about my general disdain for pants and how they make me feel, but wearing pants/shorts/capris make me feel physically uncomfortable.
  • Being around drunk people.  True confession: I've never been drunk.  I have consumed alcohol (and love a good hard cider...mmm), but never enough to get drunk.  I personally don't see the appeal - it's expensive, it's a lot of empty calories, most alcohol doesn't taste good, I don't like the feeling of being out of control, I want to remember everything I've done, I hate throwing up, and hangovers do not sound fun.  I have been around plenty of drunk people before, and honestly, I don't really find them all that funny or entertaining.  They're either loud and obnoxious, angry and obnoxious, sullen and obnoxious, or obnoxiously crying.  I've seen too many people do things while drunk that make me embarrassed for them to think it's "cool."  With some recovering alcoholics in my family and circle of friends, I understand how dangerous alcohol can be, and when I see drunk people, it reminds me of the pain my family members and friends have gone through with their alcoholic loved ones.  [Related side note: It also makes me super uncomfortable when adults get drunk regularly and think every social gathering is an excuse to drink.]
  • Watching sex scenes in movies with your parents or in-laws.  I'm not sure I need to really explain more about this.  I should say, however, that it is also pretty uncomfortable when your grandma asks you to explain to her what anal beads are and won't let it go until you do...or when the same grandma takes you to see Zoolander when you're in 7th grade, and asks you during this scene (scroll to 1:04) if you know what an erection is...
  • Admitting that I'm wrong.  I like to be right about things, and I oftentimes am right about things (it's a part of my Myers Briggs personality type).  So, whenever I am wrong, it is awkward and difficult to admit that I'm wrong.  I can't really think of any examples right now off the top of my head, but just know that admitting that I'm wrong is super hard for me.  Maybe it's a pride thing, I don't know.
  • Developing an adult relationship with family members.  Please tell me I'm not alone in this??  As I've gotten older, I've definitely grown and changed.  I'm not the same person I was when I was young (some things have stayed the same, but some things have absolutely shifted), but I sometimes think it is hard for my family to see that.  I don't need a mommy and a daddy anymore, but I still want my parents in my life.  I want to be seen as independent and successful, but I also want to know that my family is there if I need help.  I want to have adult conversations with family, and I want my extended family to acknowledge that I am an adult who is married, has a real job, has been living independently for years, and knows how to take care of myself.  This is a topic that I've actually talked about a lot with my counselors in the past - how to navigate this shifting relationship, and what I can do to make it more comfortable for me, but also  so that my family still knows that they are important in my life.  Have any of you experienced this, too??

I'm also linking up with Marissa for the last day of her and Heidi's Pantone Color Challenge!


Day Two: How to Get Rid of Baby Fever

Blouse: Cynthia Rowley via TJ Maxx Pants: NY&C Flats: Payless Necklace: From Mom
Ugh I need a haircut.  This weekend...fingers crossed!

For the second day of the Blog Every Day in May challenge, the prompt is to write a "how to."  I had many thoughts, such as how to survive an endoscopy (yes, that's me in the video...please don't judge too harshly...), how to take awkward outfit pictures, or how to talk like a Minnesotan (seriously, I'll vlog some time and you'll see how bad my accent is), but I decided on something else much more pressing...

I've always loved children and have wanted to be a mother some day.  However, with both Kevin and I being in graduate school and working, this isn't the right time for us to start growing our family.  I get a wicked case of baby fever pretty regularly, but I've learned ways to cope with it.  I'm here to share my wisdom with you all today.

Me and my cousin about 2 years ago.

1. Borrow someone else's baby.  I am lucky enough to have a few friends and family members who have babies and toddlers, and I love to spend time with them and their children.  I get to play with them, snuggle with them, teach them things, but ultimately, I get to send them home with their parents at the end of the day.  I've mentioned before that my mom does daycare, so I sometimes get to hang out with her and the baby she watches.  [I think that doing daycare for my mom is a way to stave off grandbaby fever, too ;)]

Snuggling with my mom and dad's dog, Piper, about a year and a half ago
2. Get a dog.  I've noticed that in the two years since we've had Pippin in our lives, I've contracted baby fever a little less.  I know she's just a dog, but I've definitely poured some of my maternal instincts into her, and she's just as cute and snuggly as a baby.  I have unconditional love for my dog, and I get to share it with Pippin all the time.  Again, I'm not comparing a dog to a child, but the desire to care for and love another being has partially been fulfilled by my sweet pup.

3. Watch videos of women giving birth. This, for me, is the quickest way to cure said baby fever.  Nooooo thank you.  Plus, Kevin and I are choosing to adopt our children (for many reasons), and watching birth videos just makes me more secure in our choice to adopt.  I honestly do not want to experience that.  Kudos to those who have gone through childbirth or who want to someday, but it really is just not for me. [I'm not attaching a video here...if you really want to see, that's what YouTube is for...]

4. Watch TV shows and movies about babies.  Have you seen the movie Babies?  Or watched any of those shows on TLC like A Baby Story?  Sometimes I watch things with babies in them just to get my baby fix.  Usually, it tides me over for a while, until I can actually interact with a real baby.  Be cautious with this one, though...sometimes it actually worsens the fever... :)

5. Picture your life as it is today...but with a baby added to the mix. I do this allll the time.  Right now, Kevin and I are super busy with school and work, as I mentioned above.  We know that it would be incredibly stressful to add in a baby.  Plus, we don't make very much money, and I know that children are expensive, so that's another factor.  We like the freedom to come and go as we want right now, and we understand that when you are a parent, you need to plan more.  We don't have to arrange for a babysitter (although, living on a college campus, there are plenty of built-in babysitters!  Oh yeah, I don't think I mentioned that Kevin works as a residence area coordinator, so we live on a college campus.).  I tend to be a realist, so when I start getting all baby feverish, I just have to remember the logistics and realities of our life situation right now and remember that this isn't the time or place for us to have a baby.

So, there you have it!  My five methods to curing baby fever!  Do any of you ever get baby fever?  What do you do to help get rid of it?

I'm also linking up with Marissa for the Pantone Color Challenge.  Today's color: Linen!


Day One: The Story of My Life

Sweater: Old Navy Pants: NY&C Boots: Target Scarf: JCPenney

I'm going to be participating in Jenni's Blog Every Day in May challenge.  I've seen challenges like this before and have always wanted to join in - now is my opportunity!  It's going to be fun to have a topic to write about each day (sometimes that's the hardest part about blogging for me - figuring out what to share with you all!), and I'm looking forward to the challenge of blogging each day, including weekends.

The first day of the challenge is to tell the story of your life in 250 words or less.  Here we go...

I was born 25 years ago, and my parents always say that I completed their family: they had their son and their daughter, and everyone was happy.  I was a shy, smart, wise little kid.  I started reading when I was three and spent most of my childhood with my nose in a book.  Music was another huge part of my life.  I sang all the time (and still do), and played piano, flute, and clarinet up through high school.

In high school, I was involved in theater, in both acting and stage crew roles.  While they don’t play a huge role in my life now, the people I met in theater had a huge impact on my life, and many of the issues I’m passionate about today can be traced back to them.

I attended college in St. Paul and LOVED it.  I reinvented myself in college and became a confident leader.  College was a time of deep struggles, but ultimately widespread growth.  Meeting Kevin was the best part of college and he continues to be the light in my world today.

We got married, moved to Iowa, and I worked in college admissions for two years before returning to Minnesota for graduate school.  Graduate school has confirmed my passion for helping students and I have learned so much about myself.  I see a wonderful life ahead of me, one in which I empower students, become a mother, develop close friendships, and rescue dogs.  Bring it on, life.

I'm also linking up with Day Three of the Pantone Color Challenge on Marissa's blog today!