Sunday, January 31, 2016

Let's go for a run! Or not!

So, I decided to take up running again. I declared to my family that I will be running in the Ice Breaker Road Race, which takes place in the spring. No one at work wants to run it with me; my coworkers all blurted out a strong NO as soon as I said the words "Would you like to run..." It's okay, though, because both of my kids have decided they want to run it with me, so I am all set! My son has been nagging me to take him running at the track at his school, and since he's pretty good at nagging, we went to the track.

We got poised to start...

And then I stayed behind and let the kid run.

I was ill-prepared for a run. Riding boots? Not for running. But damn, I looked cute on that gravel!

I was so busy being distracted by my incredible vintage knit poncho with fringe that I didn't even realize my son was about to lap me.

He might be perplexed by my selfies, but I doubt even he could deny the perfection that is this outfit! And for a bonus, this poncho has pom-poms! Poms-poms! I love pom-poms, but how on Earth am I going to run without them smacking me in the face? I had to sit this one out...for safety reasons!

My daughter was also dressed too cute for running, with her pattern-mashing ways and adorable little booties. 

She ran, anyway, which made me feel a tiny bit of guilt for standing around in front of my camera instead. Both my kids get participation ribbons today. All I get are pom-poms. But hey, pom-poms are still pretty sweet.

For the curious: My poncho is vintage, purchased from an Instagram shop months and months ago, so I can't remember which shop. It's pretty incredible; comfortable, warm, and so much fun. Everyone should get a poncho. EVERYONE. My boots are from Nordstrom Rack, and my jeans are the same pair of jeans I always wear anytime I wear jeans. Also, I did run before this shoot, at the gym, on a treadmill, wearing proper running attire and shoes. That's why my legs look so tired. ;)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

This is my uniform!

Today's outfit post should look fairly familiar. You might even say that this is my standard uniform: simple dress, cardigan, gold belt, tights, and flats. I do get teased sometimes for "overdoing" it, but the truth is, I feel like I am at my best when I'm wearing something like this. This might come as a surprise, but most of the time, I feel like I look sloppy and unkempt. This is mainly an issue I have with pants: they sag in the butt or they squeeze my legs or they're too short or too long, or perpetually covered in lint, no matter what I do. It's so much easier to get a decent fit with a dress, and even the most casual style elevates your look. I feel sophisticated and put-together every time I wear a dress, so I will continue to do so every chance I get.

Joe loves taking photos when I'm not ready... ;)

I think there's also something to be said for finding pieces that you love so much, you reach for them over and over; it always makes me feel justified in spending money on the thing! When I think about how many times I've worn this fit and flare dress in the four years I've had it, I feel like it was a well-spent $50. And that gold belt? Don't even get me started! It's one of my favorite pieces of all time. I don't need to have a large wardrobe; I just need a few things that make me feel good when I wear them.

For the curious: My red cardigan is HWR from Antropologie, purchased second-hand from @highlowchicscloset on Instagram. It is in impeccable condition, and so cute, and it cost me under $20, including shipping! Shopping on Instagram has been working out beautifully for me. My dress is Jennifer Lopez for Kohl's, and the tights are from Tabbisocks. My gold belt is vintage, purchased on Etsy from Roulette Vintage.

Thanks to my boyfriend, Joe Ryan, for taking photos for me!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

This coffee shop has a sweet mural!

My friend Tianta and I have a grand tradition whenever we get together: We love to make plans to meet up in places that we don't realize are closed for the day. This way, we can scramble to think of an alternative location, so we can go there and discover this other place is also closed. We continue this routine until we finally find a place that suits our needs so we can hang out. Last time we got together, it took us four tries to find a restaurant that was allowing people to sit in the outdoor patio section. This time, we made plans to meet at a very popular coffee spot in town, only to arrive and find out that the place is closed on the weekends. So we went to a different very popular coffee spot and got our coffee...and discovered that the shop was closing in about ten minutes. But hey, it's okay! We got to sit in front of a fantastic mural and enjoy some good coffee, all the same!

We sipped...

 We laughed...

  We got comfortable and put our feet up...

We stared in awe and wonder at Tianta's incredible post-surgery boot...

And then we ran out of things to talk about and sat around awkwardly until the coffee shop closed.

I'm just kidding! It's always a good time hanging out with Tianta! After the coffee shop people kicked us out, we hung out some more; we talked about love, life, food, and adorable silk-screened kitty cats, like the one on my shirt.

Yep, it was a pretty awesome Saturday! I hope everyone else had a great Saturday, too!

For the curious: This sweet mural can be found at Morning Light Coffee Roasters. In addition to sweet murals, they also have sweet coffee (both literal and figurative), sweet walls of sweet coffee mugs, and some sweet staff members who generously let a weirdo like me be weird. I found my adorable kitty tee at Society6, and my yellow cardigan and boots are both from ModCloth. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

You can't make me go outside!

Today's outfit post started outdoors; it was so nice and sunny and white, I thought it would make for an incredible photo shoot. I figured I would just get out there, take a few photos, then run back into my warm house and climb into my fireplace. I got myself put together and made it outside for maybe thirty seconds before deciding that it was just too freaking cold for nice pictures. Sorry, guys. It was zero degrees, and my limit is way above that, hovering somewhere around 60. So, I'm back inside, standing around and looking cute in front of my fireplace!

I know, I know: it is zero degrees, and I'm wearing a skirt and ballet flats. I just don't care about being practical as much as I care about being cute. I wore this vintage wool skirt a lot during fall, back when it made sense, and I'm having a hard time putting it away. I has pockets! Pockets! Look at that beautiful plaid! Look at that color! Look at how nice it looks with my yellow cardigan, and my favorite flats (lately)! You know how I feel about mixing a semi-fancy skirt with a graphic tee, and this tee is awesome, mostly because it's true: I ain't no wifey. Why shouldn't I wear this incredible get-up? I can't think of a single good reason. Other than the zero degrees. But whatever.

You might have noticed something else going on here. I get a job as an optician, and three months later, glasses appear on my face. In the past, I have worn glasses as an accessory, but not much, since I always felt stupid wearing glasses with no prescription in them. These are the real deal, meant to correct a minor problem I have with crossing my eyes, which causes migraines. Here's a closer look at my new specs: 

I love these frames! I wanted to go with something bold, but shied away at the end and went with something semi-bold instead. My next pair will be neon colored and covered in blinking lights, trust me. In fact, I will be starting a sweet little spectacle collection, because I love, love, love glasses! It's so exciting to be "allowed" to wear them now, and to get a great discount to boot.

I just realized that in the last photo, my shirt looks like it could say "Ain't no Wifi." This is also a true statement a lot of the time, and it just made me love the shirt even more.

For the curious: The Wifey/Wifi tee was a birthday gift from my bestie, Amma, who knows me so well, it's almost creepy. I'm not sure where she got it, but I do get asked about it every time I wear it. My wool skirt is vintage, another perfect find from my favorite Instagram shop, @senias_styleshop. When I got it, it was too long, and made me look like an old school marm, so I lopped off six inches and hemmed it, and never took it off again. My cardigan is ModCloth, and I still can't remember where I found my adorable shoes. The glasses are Diane von Furstenberg, and they don't have a cool name like some frames do. I might name them myself. I haven't decided yet.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year's Road Trip!

Happy New Year, everybody! I started 2016 in the best way possible: by getting up with the boyfriend at 4:00 am and buckling a pair of twin 6-year-old girls and all of their various accouterments into my little SUV. It was time for Clover and Piper to head back to Missouri, and I decided to go along for the ride: we drove 14 hours to Sioux Falls, SD to meet up with their mom and do the semi-annual twin exchange. 

The trip to Sioux Falls was great: the girls were incredibly well-behaved, happily watching DVDs in the backseat. We had a lot of pit stops, saw some great scenery, saw some boring scenery, took turns driving and sleeping, listened to some podcasts, and talked, talked, talked. I love road trips with Joe because we never run out of things to talk about, but I can also take a vocal break and say nothing for a while, and it's always comfortable. 

When we arrived in Sioux Falls, we met the girls' mom in her hotel and all five of us got into swimsuits and swam in the massive pool and went down the massive water slide and enjoyed some massive discomfort walking around half-naked in a nearly public space, as is the norm for hotel swimming areas. It was fun, and I'm so glad for this dynamic we have going, where my boyfriend, his ex-wife, and I can all hang out with the kids and have a good time. I feel like we're special divorce unicorns. It's an awesome feeling. 

I had originally planned to bring my camera and some cute things to wear so I could take some pictures for the blog, but 4:00 am destroyed my ambition. At that moment when Joe shook my foot to wake me up, I felt like I would never want to get dressed again, and could not imagine myself wanting to take the time and effort to organize a photo shoot during this grueling drive. I left my Canon behind, as well as my cute outfits, and regretted it the entire time. First lesson learned in 2016: Just bring the freaking camera. It's not that big, or that heavy. Luckily, I do have an iPhone, so I did get to take some photos on the trip back.

Here we are in the Red Rock Restaurant in Wall, South Dakota, enjoying a selfie break while we wait for our food. I'm wearing the same clothes I wore the day before for some reason. I suppose I just couldn't roust myself into pulling different clothes from the bag that I packed for myself. And you have to know that makeup just isn't going to happen during a road trip of this magnitude. It just isn't. The Red Rock was good to us, even in my disheveled state, and Joe and I will stop there again. The pie was incredible. If you're ever in the area, go and get some pie. 

We opted to take a slower approach to returning to Montana, and took an extended pit stop in Rapid City, South Dakota. We were only there for an hour and a half, but I fell in love with this city. Downtown was magical, with beautiful old buildings and statues donning hats and scarves, and actual people walking and ice skating and smiling and nodding and waving. I loved the people we met; we stopped in a tea and spice shop ten minutes before closing and were welcomed with a huge smile and good conversation with a college student named Ian, and left with a bag full of fragrant teas. We ducked into the historic Hotel Alex Johnson to ogle the beautiful lobby and spent a huge chunk of time in the gift shop, talking with Jennifer, the woman in cat-eye glasses who ran the place. She was so much fun and so easy to talk to, we felt like we had known her for much longer than the forty-five minutes we spent with her. We also spent some time in an alley, taking pictures near dumpsters: 

This is Art Alley, an outdoor art gallery where artists cover the walls and dumpsters and utility boxes with art that will take your breath away. It was a bit surreal, walking here in the dark. We felt that small fear that comes with walking down a strange alley in an unfamiliar city in the dark, but the artwork worked against that feeling. I imagine this is what Alice felt when falling down her rabbit hole: fear and excitement and cold in her toes.

This alley is the reason I will never take a trip without my camera again. How cool would it have been to do an outfit post here? So cool. Oh, well. We will be making this trip again and again and again, so don't be surprised if that post still happens sometime.

We arrived back in Great Falls around 4:00am this morning, at which point we took a tiny break on our way home to stop and help a man push his car up a hill. Well, Joe helped push and I followed them with my hazards on. That's the kind of guy I'm with: he'll stop to help push, even after fourteen hours of driving, just because it's the right thing to do. It was a great way to top off the trip, and when we got home, we collapsed into bed and slept for the rest of the week. 

On New Year's Day last year, we spent hours moving a couch into my house and breaking up the old one with a hatchet. This was much, much better than that. Maybe the New Year's road trip can be a new tradition. We shall see, I suppose. I hope everyone had an incredible New Year's weekend of their own, and I hope you all have a fantastic 2016!