Category Archives: Life

Small Town Christmas.

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Sister love on Christmas. (Photos by Jenna Spurlin)

My dad’s family is from a very small town in Nebraska, just over 7,000 people. I look forward to spending a day here every year for Christmas. This year, it was especially important to be here, and celebrating with my grandmother, as it marks almost a year since my grandfather passed unexpectedly. It’s been a hard year for us as a family, and having that at-home feeling at my grandma’s house was pretty important for everyone. I love my grandma’s cute home, and her small town floods me with memories from my childhood with every visit. This year, we were blessed to have one of my good friends, Jenna, join us for the big family celebration, and she fit right in with the sarcasm and off-color jokes my dad’s side of the family is known for.

With the formality of Christmas Eve gone the night before, Christmas day is a little more about over-eating, games, opening gifts, and relaxing with the family. In keeping with this comfortable tone, I chose to dress comfortably as well. I always try to look a little nicer for a holiday, because that’s part of what makes it special for me, so I opted for a fun floral surplice dress I’ve had on hand for a while. Though I bought the dress during the spring season, it’s muted color palettes work really well with fall and winter elements. Not to mention, the print is perfect for hiding a food baby! Don’t act like you don’t know.

I chose to layer heavily, mixing a lot of my favorite comfortable styles together for one cozy look. On top of the dress, I layered my favorite denim shirt, followed by a fur vest gifted from my Aunt a couple of years earlier, as well as colored tights, a belt, and the fringe boots that I apparently live in, according to my other posts.

My wonderful friend Jenna, who is a fantastically talented photographer, (view her work here) offered to take these photos for me and she did a great job directing me in a natural way. Thanks Jenna! :)

Dress: Nasty Gal
Denim Shirt: Zara
Vest: Ann Taylor (Gift from my Aunt)
Scarf: H&M
Tights: Target
Belt: Target
Booties: Target
Ring: Zara

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White Christmas…almost.

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Christmas Eve has always been fun for my sister and I, because from a fashion point of view we get to dress up. Ok, not get to dress up, choose to dress up. Looking nice for the holidays is fun, and reinforces that it’s a special time of year. Every year we eat dinner, go to church with my parents, and come home to open all the “Non-Santa” gifts. It’s great, we like to sleep in before going to celebrate with the rest of the family on Christmas day, so it is convenient, fun, and something to look forward to that seems to make the celebration of Christmas last longer. Traditionally, every year my family takes photos in front of the Christmas tree, with my sister and I in our carefully selected and pre-planned church outfits. All propriety aside in this family though, we snap a few “good ones” and tend to end up with more hilarious photos than well-behaved ones.

This year, I’ve been especially loving the idea of clean whites in the winter time. Especially in a cold winter time. Though it didn’t snow this year when I was home in Nebraska (bummer), I did get to watch everyone else enjoy a few days of sunshine and warmer-than-average weather. I decided to go with a white dress this year for a couple of Christmas occasions, one being a holiday party with my boyfriend, and the second being Christmas Eve. For both occasions, I paired the dress with bold red lips, red nails, and a red clutch bag. Due to an open bar sort of situation, I have no pictures of the white dress and red accented ensemble from the Christmas party in California, but here is the dress worn for Christmas Eve in Nebraska…only with tights and pumps, because, well, you have to here.

Sidenote: my beautiful little sister makes her RSWL blog debut wearing a festively pretty red lace dress. I think we accidentally coordinated quite nicely.

On Me:
Dress: Nasty Gal
Bracelet: Nasty Gal
Tights: Target
Pumps: Steve Madden

On Erin:
Dress: Tobi
Belt: Target
Sweater: Gap

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Embellished-Casual For Turkey Day!

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Now that I’m finally out of my food coma, let’s talk about how gorgeous Thanksgiving was last week! I spent the day down in Manhattan Beach with my boyfriend and his family, and spent both the night before and morning of whipping up some desserts and appetizers. I made a couple gluten-free turkey, cranberry, and blue cheese flat breads that people scarfed (I was thrilled)…and not to brag, but my first ever pumpkin pie turned out pretty damn good, considering it was gluten-free and dairy free!

Those of you who know me well know that I have Celiac Disease, and have been on an involuntarily-strict gluten-free diet for the last 7 years or so. For many years I avoided cooking, and just got by having snacks and no-prep food as meals. Fortunately, I’ve evolved and have experimented with cooking and become quite proficient at it, creating interesting things and learning the best substitutes for recipes. Though this will probably never grow into a food blog, I do love the art of cooking and maybe one of the best joys I get is sharing it with others. Especially when it allows people to realize that “gluten-free” truly can taste amazing when the proper effort is put forth!

I chose an outfit that was easy to move around in during the hustle and bustle of my morning, but would embrace the warm temperature without being overdressed or underdressed. Holidays are special, and we should always look nice, but when you’re with family and friends it’s still important to be comfortable. This outfit did the trick, and I chose to pair a simple tee, loose-fit denim shirt, and flats with what would normally be a very dressy skirt. It was just the right amount of holiday glam while being extremely comfortable, and most importantly, ready to chow! It was an awesome day with wonderful people, who I am very thankful have let me into their life as family when I am far away from my own. :)

Skirt: Express
Denim Shirt: Zara (Similar)
Tee: F21
Flats: Steve Madden
Bracelet: Nasty Gal
Necklace: 2020ave (similar)
Ring: Kate Spade

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Halloween 2013: Daria Morgendorffer.

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Originally Posted 11/2/13. Ok…can we talk about how in style Daria is at the moment?!? The Daria series hails from the 90s, when post-grunge was really in. I mean, come on. Her green utility jacket, pleated skirt, combat boots, and hipster glasses are basically complete wardrobe staples right now. It was an extremely convenient choice as a Halloween costume this year, while paying homage to everyone’s favorite sarcastic outcast. My apologies for another iPhone party pic, but you get the idea. Please. It’s a Halloween party, I had other priorities.

The glasses were a last-minute purchase from Forever21, and the tank top is an old white cami that I dyed myself in an hour using RIT Dye. Everything else I already owned. Daria is a classic if you watched MTV in the 90s, and it couldn’t have been easier to throw together for last-minute Halloween plans. Like. Totally.

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Pumpkins and Palm Trees.

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Final Results: A Texas Longhorn, Dia De Los Muertos, Minion (Despicable Me), and Heisenberg (Breaking Bad)

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And of course, the Minion was mine :)

Originally Posted 10/19/13. Believe it or not, though I absolutely love Halloween, this is my first year carving pumpkins since I was a kid. Thankfully, there are several “pop-up pumpkin patches” scattered around LA this time of year. We found ourselves enjoying warmer daytime weather at Mr. Bones’ Pumpkin Patch in West Hollywood before throwing on warmer clothes for the evening. Just a couple iPhone snaps before heading to our carving party. Though I miss home in the Midwest, I can’t help but love the somewhat foreign concept to me of palm trees mixed with Fall elements.

Embroidered Dress: F21
Tank Dress: Alice + Olivia
Boots: Target
Belt: Target
Sunnies: Free People
Necklace: Urban Outfitters

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